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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) Downtown Brooklyn vs. (11) Harlem

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Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

Downtown Brooklyn
Flickr/Tectonic Photo

Downtown Brooklyn

It’s been five years since this busy Brooklyn neighborhood clinched the title of Curbed Cup, but Downtown Brooklyn may now be as deserving as ever. The neighborhood is still seeing new development in droves. A short list: 7 Dekalb Avenue of the City Point megaproject welcomed residents while some of its anticipated retail—Alamo Drafthouse and Century 21—finally opened to the public. Brooklyn’s tallest tower, The Hub, also made major progress and is due to open next month.

There’s also a few major projects on the horizon. The Landmarks Preservation Commission gave developer JDS approval to move ahead with Brooklyn’s first supertall tower, which will sprout from the landmarked Dime Savings Bank; Extell announced plans for a 59-story City Point tower; and ODA New York’s 28-story Albee Square building began to rise.

Banding together, neighborhood organizers also launched an initiative to help Downtown Brooklyn keep ahold of its artistic identity amid all of the change.

Harlem

Harlem
Flickr/Jeff Reuben

Although on a smaller scale, Harlem saw similarly neighborhood-altering projects progress this year. The semi-circular Circa Central Park launched sales on its namesake park’s northwest corner with condos priced from $1.075 million, the restoration of P.S. 186 into affordable housing wrapped up, and the city’s first Passive House rental building hit the market.

It wasn’t just new development that redefined the neighborhood—housing prices continued their ascent. A Hamilton Heights townhouse set a record for the neighborhood with its $5 million sale, and poet Maya Angelou’s former home sold for $4.08 million.

Meanwhile, the city dedicated $135 million to upgrading 500 affordable apartments in the neighborhood, and Whole Foods is oh-so-close to debuting on 125th Street.