In our last round of semi-final voting for Detroit's neighborhood of the year, we find ourselves with one fierce face off. Midtown is separated from the contendor, Downtown, by just that thin strip of highway barrier that is I-75. Well that and Brush Park plus some vacant land on the west of Woodward that can't seem to pick a new neighborhood name (Notown?) The point is, they are pretty much neighbors but only one can advance one step closer toward a fake trophy.
In some sense, these hoods have faced off before. Midtown brought the Auburn apartments on the rental market at the same time that downtown's Broderick Tower finally opened to residents after several move-in date delays. Sure, the Broderick is a lot more tower, but the Auburn is pretty much the only piece of new construction we got this year.
In early spring, Midtown came out swinging with the groundbreaking of America's most important grocery store. The summer opening of Great Lakes coffee was a huge game changer since the place also serves alcohol, stays open late, and became popular overnight. (There was that early period where we were pretty sure the city's freelance population was actually squatting the place by all technical definitions). Other midtown news was dominated by the promise of more rental apartments in the works; new construction began at the Woodward Gardens site and promises were made about reno at the Strathmore Hotel and the Forest Arms. Lastly, some blog editor bought a house across from one dilapidated mess of a market she hopes you will buy and gentrify.
Downtown, Dan Gilbert continued his Motown Monopoly game with the promise of a Z-shaped parking lot mall, followed by an end of year buying binge that saw five more buildings join the Quicken founder's empire. Over the course of the year, a gargantuan Buffalo Wild Wings ate up the Odd Fellows building and finally opened earlier this month, then promised to invite its friend Dave to the party. Here on Curbed, we obsessed over the now-you-see-them, now-you-don't Whales on the Broderick, and then the iPad ad coming down that might just mean the David Whitney renovations are ramping up soon. We hope. Lastly, the GAR Building, better known as the castle, showed off some early progress and announced that it would be overhauled and opened for business in November 2013.
· Update Your Brackets: We're Down To The Final Four [Curbed Detroit]
· Previous Curbed Cup 2012 Voting [Curbed Detroit]