As part of ongoing Best of Atlanta 2021 coverage, Urbanize’s inaugural Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament kicked off last week with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the city’s greatest. Now, for each Elite Eight contest, voting will be open for 24 hours. Please, let’s keep the tourney fun and positive, as one neighborhood rises above the rest in very public fashion. The quest to crown a champion resumes now!
In Round 1 action, scrappy BeltLine neighborhood Reynoldstown took down a much higher-seeded Decatur. Which is saying something, as the DeKalb County city (we know, not a neighborhood, but that was allowed) is an ITP model of densifying walkability and transit-connectedness. Still, Reynoldstown captured 58 percent of votes.
Riding high on promises of affordable housing and a wave of new homes replacing BeltLine-adjacent industrial properties, Reynoldstown is always full of pride and ready to punch above its weight in situations like this. It proved as much in 2014, outlasting its across-the-tracks neighbor, Inman Park, to attain some sort of fictional hardware. And that was before the B-Line came to R-town.
ADAIR PARK (13)
In the shocker of the Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament so far, Southwest Atlanta's motivated Adair Park toppled mighty Midtown by the slimmest of margins—just three votes, of nearly 800 cast!—to climb out of Round 1 victorious. Midtown had gathered more nominations and was a higher seed, too, but the passion among Adair Park supporters can’t be underestimated.
As another BeltLine-connected neighborhood (a theme here?), Adair Park introduced the concept of affordable, art-force housing in Atlanta this year with the Academy Lofts project, 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. This “Jewel of ATL,” to quote one mural, dates all the way back to 1892.