The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the New York City neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!
The fourth contest in this first round of voting pits development giant, the Financial District (seeded 4) against relative newcomer but by no means a lesser rival, Flushing, in Queens.
It's impossible to talk about FiDi without mentioning the World Trade Center site, and this year there was a massive amount of development on it. For starters, the observatory at One World Trade center opened to the public this past summer, and was notable for it's elevator ride to the top that takes you through 515-years of New York City history. Bjarke Ingels was selected as the designer for the Two World Trade Center building, which will cost just under $4 billion to construct. The Santiago Calatrava designed World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened partially, but is still plagued with problems that will now delay its opening. And the performing arts center at the site finally named a new architect, Brooklyn-based firm REX. But if you think that's development enough, think again. Downtown's tallest building, 30 Park Place, topped out and is now fully sheathed with a targeted completion sometime next year. The 34 converted condos on the top floors of the Woolworth Building launched sales and the penthouse is commanding a staggering $110 million. The Art Deco gem, 70 Pine Street began leasing its apartments. And if the glut of buildings is too much for you, there was development elsewhere too: Battery Park's bioluminescent, $16 million SeaGlass Carousel opened its doors to customers, and developers proposed glass-enclosed "mini Bryant Park" on the waterfront.
Not to be outdone, Flushing made progress on its megaprojects that will completely alter the face of the neighborhood. The 750-unit The Grand sold $85 million worth of contracts in just one weekend. It was revealed that the 600-condo Flushing Commons project will have one-bedrooms starting at $650,000 and going up to $2.5 million for a four-bedroom. The Willets Point project may be a no go if developers don't offer the requisite number of affordable housing units the city desires. Veering course from the housing developments, The New York State Pavillion will be restored to its former glory, a crowd-funded project will help restore it to the colors it was painted for the 1964 World Fair. And last but not the least, Madison Square Garden announced plans to host a massive music festival at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park that would compare in size and scale to Coachella.
Will it be the supertall, glittering buildings of the Financial District that race to the finish line or will be the soon-to-be dominant Flushing that walks away the victor? Cast your vote now for FiDi or Flushing.
· All the Curbed Cup Coverage [Curbed]