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Curbed Cup Round 1: (5) Downtown Fort Lauderdale/Beach vs. (12) Edgewater

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Instagram: @ogunquitmaine and @lpsproduction

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the South Florida neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the trophy of all trophies. This week we'll have two matchups per day, with the results and full tournament bracket reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the friendly madness begin!

Fort Lauderdale and its beaches are amid a building boom with about $1.5 billion worth of current residential and hotel development. Among the draws pulling at South Florida's epicenter is Fort Lauderdale Beach, a cleaner and more chill alternative to the sands of South Beach, and the streets of Las Olas, the Lincoln Road of Fort Lauderdale. Rocco's Tacos is a home run happy hour and the Tortuga Music Festival is a fun time.

As Brickell and Downtown Miami prices soar, rapid development is shifting north to Edgewater, a growing part of Miami just east of Wynwood and Midtown. Condos are sprouting, from Elysee to Aria, to name a couple. Walkability is improving along Biscayne Boulevard. Margaret Pace Park is becoming one of the best parks in South Florida, offering bay views, a dog-friendly atmosphere and wide variety of sports, like basketball and beach volleyball. It even hosted a European soccer watch party in the fall. Developer Melo Group is undoubtedly imprinting on the area.

Reader Allie Schwartz Grant said it best, although her South of Fifth comparison is a bit of a stretch today:

Often compared to as the new 'South of Fifth,' Edgewater connects the city to the great museums, arts and entertainment district, Design District, downtown, and benefits from easy access to the beach sandwiched between both bridges. It's a great value proposition because it's so well situated in Miami. But unlike the more slowly evolving SoFi, Edgewater is being transformed all at once, with dozens of luxury buildings in development and under construction. Over the next couple of years we will start to see the neighborhood actually come to life as these new buildings start to deliver, bringing with them new restaurants, parks, a waterfront baywalk, and thousands of news residents – some of them even celebrities.

Poll results

· Fort Lauderdale [Curbed Miami]
· Edgewater [Curbed Miami]