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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (3) SoMa vs. (14) Nob Hill

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the San Francisco neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Just about everything happening to San Francisco is also happening to SoMa, and consequently it's a barometer of change in the city—and a point of contention as tech companies continue to dominate in the "Cloud Corridor" and the Design District holds steady against the pressure of change (for now) and the Flower Mart tries its best. Forest City's ambitious 5M project is poised to remake the blocks around the Chronicle Building (and add a stunning roof garden to the top of the building). Median rents in SoMa have been ticking up—Zumper's latest count has the median for a one-bedroom standing at $3,500—as has the district's micro-unit count. SoMa still feels gritty, but it's getting fancier by the day. However, you should under no circumstances leave your bike at Ninth and Harrison.

Though it's by no means SF's most expensive neighborhood, Nob Hill has a reputation for being ritzy (the nickname Snob Hill had to come from somewhere, right?). Legacy buildings like 1001 California make it home to a very settled elite—who not uncommonly pay HOA fees in excess of $5,000 per month for the privilege—as do luxury hotels from the Huntington to the Mark Hopkins to, of course, the Fairmont. In late 2013, Acquerello sister eatery 1760 opened, and this year there's been a mini-frenzy of condo construction, between the units going in at 1601 Larkin, Marlow's grand entrance, and the arrival of 1645 Pacific.


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