At long last, light appears at the end of the tunnel for Downtown's Park Fifth development.

According to a notice distributed last Thursday to residents of the Metro 417 apartment complex, San Francisco-based developer MacFarlane Partners is scheduled to break ground on the first phase of the development later this year.

In April, crews are expected to begin demolishing the parking structure on the western side of the nearly 2.25-acre Park Fifth site, which is bounded by 5th, Olive and Hill Streets.  Construction would then commence on the project's seven-story component, which will include 313 apartments and 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Completion of the low-rise building is scheduled to occur within 28 months, placing its opening date in mid-2018.

Simultaneously, crews will also be embarking on a $50-million renovation of long-disparaged Pershing Square.  Although exact details of the park's latest remodel are unclear, more information will become available through an event scheduled for April 28th at the Los Angeles Theatre.

Conspicuously absent from the notice was any reference to Park Fifth's proposed 24-story tower, which is slated for the northeast corner of 5th and Olive Streets.  Plans for the 255-foot structure include 348 residential units and 5,800 square feet of ground-level commercial space.

The project is being designed by Portland-based Ankrom Moisan Architects, and will be "similar in feel," to the firm's prior Downtown projects: South Park's Luma and Elleven condominium towers.