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Curbed Cup 1st round: (4) Back Bay vs. (13) South End

Polls open 24 hours

It’s time—time to pick the Boston area’s neighborhood of the year!

Here’s how the annual Curbed Cup works: We present two matchups a day during the first round. Polls stay open 24 hours for each one. The biggest vote-getter in each matchup advances to the second round.

We start with 16, and we whittle it down to one.

Got it? Good. Go!


(4) Back Bay

Sara Colket Photography

It’s little wonder why Back Bay is a perennial Curbed Cup favorite: It never fails to exit a year as one of the region’s more desirable and busier neighborhoods.

Much of that activity for 2017 stems from a major development in Back Bay’s western reaches: The 742-foot One Dalton hotel and condo tower that is already visible on the skyline and that is expected to wrap construction in 2018 (it’s pictured above).

Some of the tower’s 160 condos are expected to set sales records for the region, and the tower itself will be New England’s tallest primarily residential building.

Then there’s the three-tower project on and around Back Bay Station that got the necessary green lights this year to add 1.26 million square feet of housing, offices, and retail to the neighborhood.


(13) South End

Jorge Salcedo/Flickr

The South End is in the same existential boat as Back Bay year in and year out: A desirable patch of the region beset by change that only seems to enhance its rep.

In 2017, several new projects in the neighborhood either got underway or were publicly vetted for the first time.

Not least of these was the proposal for the conversion of the old Boston Flower Exchange. Developer the Abbey Group wants to build nearly 1.6 million square feet of commercial, technology, life science research, and retail space on the 5.6-acre site as well as new parkland.

There are also plans to redevelop the long-vacant Hotel Alexandra building on Washington Street—perhaps into another hotel or maybe residences—and the unfolding Ink Block complex in the neighborhood’s upper reaches wants to add a 14-story co-living building.

Also, one of the region’s more unique condo conversions, the 33-unit Lucas on Shawmut Avenue, wrapped construction in 2017.

Oh, and the South End got Boston’s newest park—under an Interstate overpass.