Curbed Cup 1st round: (3) South Park vs. (14) Studio City

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!


South Park

Every year, Downtown LA’s fastest growing neighborhood climbs higher, and the flurry of development doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon. By our count, at least 27 projects are in the works in the busy area.

At least one of those developments will bring some badly needed green space to the neighborhood, and renovations to Broadway’s Julia Morgan-designed Herald Examiner building will add a new outpost for popular eatery République.

But you don’t have to look into the future to see that transformation is underway in South Park.

More of the much-hyped Metropolis megaproject came online this year, including the swanky Hotel Indigo, and amenity-rich condo tower Ten50 opened its doors to dozens of eager residents. The quickly fancifying neighborhood is also now home to the “most expensive” penthouse in the city.

Plenty walkable and transit friendly, South Park is also chock full of interesting restaurants and bars, with easy access to live entertainment venues (and, of course, the Staples Center). It’s a great place to live—if you can afford it.

Studio City

Studio City was LA’s original master-planned development, built around an actual movie studio and created as a middle-class bedroom community for those could be “lured by the promise of an easy commute into LA on the newly paved Riverside Drive.”

The neighborhood continues be a single-family stronghold, though it seems more high-end than middle class now. Improvements are coming to the neighborhood’s riverside areas slowly but surely.

Hanging in the balance are a few potentially major projects for Studio City. One, the Sportsmen’s Lodge revamp that would bring shops and eateries to the site of a popular events center, remains stalled.

The other is the Weddington Golf and Tennis site. The long-time owners of the property had planned to build housing on part of the site. Neighbors protested; some had long hoped for a park on the site. It was not to be: In October, the owners sold their property to the Harvard-Westlake school.

The school plans to turn the site into a community athletic center, which should be at least partially open to the public. (At the same time, Harvard-Westlake gave up the battle to build a hated parking garage and skybridge near their school.)

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