As part of ongoing Best of Atlanta 2021 coverage, Urbanize’s inaugural Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament is kicking off with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the city’s greatest. (Note: Seeding from 1 to 16 was determined by reader nominations this month, so no pitchforks, please.)

For each Round 1 contest, voting will be open for just 24 hours. Please, let’s keep the tourney fun and positive, as one neighborhood rises above the rest in very public fashion. The eliminations begin now!

Midtown (4)

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Highest home sale of 2021: $2.8M condo at new 40 West 12th building

Lowest: $112K studio on West Peachtree Street

Median sales price increase year-over-year: 6 percent

If the Best Atlanta Neighborhood tourney was based on scale and multitude of 2021 development alone—instead of happily lacking any criteria whatsoever—Midtown would be like the Hawks playing middle-school basketball squads. (The neighborhood, after all, leads all others outside of Los Angeles when it comes to recent apartment construction across the country.) But while we still have a David vs. Goliath scenario here, a sky full of cranes doesn’t necessarily mean a place has the makings of a great neighborhood. Some 60 buildings have cropped up from Midtown’s core in the past decade, and deliveries such as Selig Development’s three-pronged West Peachtree Street complex, like groundbreakings for the 36-story Momentum Midtown building and Middle Street Partners’ two-tower build, show that developers’ appetite for Midtown is hardly waning.

Additional wins in 2021 came with the unveiling of revised Colony Square in July, followed by the debut of the world’s first hotel combination of Courtyard by Marriott and Element by Westin brands two months later. (The latter project claimed a surface parking lot near the Fox Theatre.) This year also saw the unveiling of what could be Atlanta’s tallest new skyscraper since the early 1990s. So yes, things keep looking up in Midtown like no other place in town.

Adair Park (13)

Photo by Justin Schaeffer, courtesy of Stryant Investments

Highest home sale of 2021: $660K restored Craftsman bungalow

Lowest: $221K fixer-upper on Metropolitan Parkway

Median sales price increase year-over-year: 43 percent

It’s safe to say few Atlanta real estate prognosticators—no matter how astute—would have predicted a day this decade when median home listing prices in Adair Park had ballooned to $430,000. That’s according to’s tabulations, and it brings to mind home price inflation seen around another BeltLine-adjacent neighborhood, Old Fourth Ward, between roughly 2011 and 2015. As Westside Trail hoopla reached a fever pitch, Adair Park started losing its status as a bastion of affordability, but its profile as a lovingly preserved, tight-knit, historic place began to quickly rise, too. This year, Adair Park introduced the concept of affordable, art-force housing in Atlanta with the Academy Lofts project (above), as another promising adaptive-reuse venture got underway. Meanwhile, the Southside Trail’s first completed segment means BeltLine connectivity in Adair Park has never been greater.

On the civic side of things, one reader pointed out two local programs during the nominations phase: The Adair Park Housing Relief Fund, “a program that started in the middle of the pandemic as many people lost their jobs and were trying to make ends meet,” and The Adair Park Senior Network, which “started in 2014 as a way to connect with legacy neighbors who were still living in the neighborhood” and became a COVID-era lifeline. Sounds like the stuff the best Atlanta neighborhoods are made of.