It may have taken a decade to get here, but the former Little Joe's restaurant is gone, and shovels have hit the dirt in Chinatown.  The long awaited Blossom Plaza mixed-user finally got rolling last year, and since then construction crews have busied themselves prepping the site for excavation.  Designed by local firm Johnson Fain, the $100 million project from Forest City Enterprises will rise five stories, creating 237 apartments and approximately 20,000 square feet of neighborhood serving retail space.  The project will offer a direct connection to the Gold Line's Chinatown Station via a 17,000 square foot pedestrian plaza on the eastern side of the property.  Should that easy transit link not appeal to you, don't worry: the mixed-use structure will also contain a 449 stall parking garage, including 175 spots reserved for Metro passengers.  Regardless of your preferred mode of transportation, the development of the tracts of underutilized land surrounding Chinatown Station can't happen fast enough.

Forest City, which took over development of Blossom Plaza back in 2011, has also set their sights on on the opposite side of Downtown LA.  The Cleveland-based developer recently paid $27 million to acquire two parcels near the Herald-Examiner Building which were previously entitled for a pair of Morphosis-designed residential towers.  While Thom Mayne's firm is reportedly out as the design architect, Forest City's new vision for the project has yet to be made public.