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Curbed Cup First Round: Downtown Versus Venetian Islands

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award to the Miami neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 8 'hoods vying for the prestigious fake trophy. This week we'll have one matchup per day, and all the results and the full tourney bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

For the last pair of neighborhoods in the first round of the Curbed Cup, we have the Venetian Islands and Downtown, two places near each other but a world apart in other ways. With the revival of Miami's economic fortunes since the Great Recession, while neighboring areas, like Brickell, Park West, Edgewater, and Miami Beach have seen strong booms in new construction, the growth of both of Downtown and the Venetian Islands has been slower. The first new condo tower to rise in the Downtown Core since the crash, Centro, in fact had its groundbreaking ceremony today. A bit further south, the tower originally known as Met 3, which will have a Whole Foods at the base, with parking above and 41 stories of something else above that, is well underway. Street life is rich and exciting. Oh, and the Intercontinental Hotel, that stately queen of Miami hotels went under the knife for a little and tuck and, although we at first thought the new look was the embodiment of an architectural mid-life crisis, the hotel's bright new edge has softened a bit. Either that, or we've just gotten used to it.

Most of the new action on the Venetian Isles has been in the pursuit of larger houses on lots not originally meant to hold such plus-sized palaces, some disturbing disgruntled neighbors. It was revealed that the architect Morris Lapidus' duplex apartment in the Terrace Towers has, since the late architect's passing, lost much of its splendour. The Kardashians, attempting to rent a house/film a TV show there were very publicly rejected from the islands, and had to make do with a house in North Miami. Other, more public goings-on, include a plan to expand the Standard Hotel that's wending its way through the approval process now.

Poll results

· Curbed Cup 2013 coverage [Curbed Miami]