The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. Let the eliminations commence!
Fresh off nearby Fishtown’s recent renaissance, it’s South Kensington’s time to shine. In this neighborhood within the larger Kensington neighborhood, old warehouses are being converted into residences, and seemingly every piece of vacant land available is being built up by mixed-use developments, many of which seem to be trying something new with their offerings: One vacant lot will be turned into studios designed for millennials, asking just $750 in monthly rent. Another big townhouse development aims to transform the corner of N. 5th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
But for a quick take on South Kensington’s rapid growth, look to neighborhood’s efforts to activate N. American Street. One mixed-use project aims to bring Philly’s tech scene here to this stretch, and the Clay Studio plans to set up shop in 35,000-square-foot warehouse on this street, as well, drawing in the arts community to the neighborhood.
To understand Manayunk’s current state of affairs, all one has to do is spend some time while stuck on the Schuylkill and look toward the hill-top neighborhood. That view, which once just featured old mills and lines of charming rowhomes, now features hundreds of new apartment buildings along the river and throughout Manayunk’s streets—and thousands more are on the way.
It’s being called the neighborhood’s second rebirth, after its initial one in the 1980s, as young adults continue to live and rent here and baby boomers and empty nesters start eyeing life on the Schuylkill River Trail the bustling Main Street corridor. Manayunk may be nine miles outside of Center City, but that hasn’t stopped its growth in the slightest.
So what will it be: South Kensington or Manayunk for the win? Polls are open for 24 hours!