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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (5) Hayes Valley vs. (12) Embarcadero

Hayes Valley photo via Roshan Vyas/Embarcadero photo via Patricia Chang

Last year's Curbed Cup runner-up Hayes Valley has had another big year with new condo projects starting up regularly, including high-profile projects 8 Octavia and 55 Laguna, and the recently completed 300 Ivy proved this 'hood is in crazy-high demand when 350 buyers overwhelmed the sales office its opening weekend. With a growing number of the neighborhood's boutiques and restaurant/bars going upscale, local favorites like Moishe's Pippic and Marlena have packed up and left.

The most controversial and expensive development battle of the year, 8 Washington did not disappoint when it came to the project's ongoing drama. Both sides had wealthy local luminaries and politicians trying to sway the vote, which ended badly for the developer after voters killed off the project's attempt to have a special waterfront height limit increase. Coming in at a close second was the mere suggestion of having a state-of-the-art waterfront arena designed by a world-renowned starchitect on a site that currently serves as an underused parking lot. Another big event was the unveiling of the Exploratorium's new and gigantic space at Pier 15, which opened this year to much fanfare. This is all in addition to the Embarcadero's institutions like the Ferry Building still thriving on a daily basis.

Poll results