With the appearance of earth movers and protective barriers, work is quietly getting underway on the first phase of Onyx, a two-building mixed-use complex in the booming South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles.

The project, which is being developed by Fashion District landlord Jade Enterprises, will rise from two parking lots on opposite corners of Pico Boulevard and Hope Street.  Designs from TCA Architects call for a pair of seven-story structures, featuring a cumulative 410 apartments above 42,000 square feet of stores and restaurants.

Phase one of Onyx, slated for a .75-acre parking lot at 1306 South Hope Street, will consist of 162 apartments, 13,200 square feet of street-fronting retail space and 163 underground parking spaces.  The site is currently developed with a standalone restaurant building, for which Jade Enterprises recently received a demolition permit.  The developer is currently in the process of obtaining permission to begin grading and excavation work on the property.

The second half of the project, intended for a 1.33-acre property across Hope Street, remains a parking lot at this point in time.  The proposed building at 516 West Pico Boulevard would include 248 apartments and 28,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Onyx is one of numerous mixed-use complexes in development within walking distance on Metro's Pico Station, which is served by the light rail Blue and Expo Lines.  Construction barricades were recently installed around the perimeter of another large parking lot at 1200 Figueroa Street, which is intended for a pair of 36-story residential towers.