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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) SoMa vs. (16) Excelsior

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The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the San Francisco neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 areas vying for the prestigious (and 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!

It's possible that SoMa has seen more change in the past year than any other SF neighborhood. The much debated 5M project was finally given the green light, and construction for the development that will bring 400 condos and 288 rental units, and contain more affordable housing than any other project (40 percent) begins late next year.

It seems that development doesn't happen here without a fight—take, for instance, the battle to build a five-story office complex at 5th and Brannan, the current site of the San Francisco Tennis Club. After a lot of heated volleys involving how many courts the new building would hold (builders proposed four, the SFTC wants to preserve all 24), developers withdrew plans and are working on a new proposal before year's end. The turf battle between developers and the SF Flower Mart ended in a truce, with flower vendors getting a new 115,000-square-foot market and relocation services during the construction of office towers at 640 Brannan site. Coming next year: A sparkling new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (opening May 14, 2016).

Compared to the bustle of SoMa, the Excelsior is positively sleepy. However, the largely residential 'hood was the winner in last year's Curbed Cup match-up. The neighborhood at the southern part of the city continues to attract attention as beleaguered homebuyers take notice of a number homes that are priced under $1 million. An Excelsior reader wrote in an emailed nomination that the neighborhood is cheaper than adjacent districts; cleaner than nearby (and traditionally more popular) districts; and has good restaurants (including the city's first Laotian eatery).
Poll results

· Curbed Cup Coverage [Curbed SF]
· SoMa's 5M Project Gains Final Board of Supervisors Approvals [Curbed SF]
· Is It Game, Set, Match for San Francisco Tennis Club in SoMa? [Curbed SF]
· Flower Mart Vendors, Developer Reach Late-Blooming Deall [Curbed SF]
· The New San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a Heavyweight [Curbed SF]
· The Curbed Cup Neighborhood of the Year Is ... the Excelsior! [Curbed SF]
· New Laotian in Excelsior; 2212 Takes Punchdown Space [Eater SF]