In what amounts to an excellent Christmas for Downtown boosters, work will soon begin on multiple new high-rise buildings in the South Park neighborhood.

Earlier in December, Oceanwide Real Estate Group started clearing the large surface parking lot at 1101 Flower Street, future site of Fig Central.  Now, after much speculation, the Los Angeles Times reports that the long-stalled mixed-use complex is on track for an early 2015 groundbreaking date.

The $1-billion development will feature a trio of skyline-altering towers designed by architecture firm RTKL.  The largest of the buildings - a 49-story edifice at the corner of Flower and 11th Streets - will rise 677 feet above street level, making it slightly taller than the nearby Ritz Carlton Hotel & Residences.  In total, the three towers will comprise 504 condominiums and a five-star, 183-room hotel.

Fig Central was originally conceived as the retail complement to the nearby restaurants and entertainment venues of the LA Live complex.  The retooled proposal from the Oceanwide Group places a similar emphasis on shopping, with approximately 200,000 square feet of stores and restaurants planned for the development

The project as a whole is expected to cater to an affluent clientele, with plans calling for an array of luxurious amenities.  In addition to a variety of high-end stores, the proposed hotel will feature multiple event spaces and a "celebrity chef restaurant."  DTLA Rising reports that Fig Central may also include the first American outpost of the ultra posh Cavalli Club.

A few blocks north, construction may begin soon on the next stage of the Greenland Group's Metropolis development.  High Rise Facilities reports that groundbreaking has already occurred for phase two, which will consist of a 40-story tower with 525 condominiums.

However, a precise construction timeline for the tower is currently unclear.  Although the Department of Building and Safety issued shoring and grading permits for two additional structures at 811 Francisco Street earlier this week, no visible progress has occurred north of the ongoing phase one site.

The project's fourth and largest building, referred to as phase three, will create an additional 725 condominiums at the corner of 8th and Francisco Streets.  The 58-story tower, designed by Gensler, will become the tallest residential building in Los Angeles.  Plans for phase three also call for approximately 67,000 square feet of retail space, contained within at-grade and above-grade levels.

While an exact groundbreaking date for phase three is currently unknown, earlier information presented by the developer indicates that construction of the entire Metropolis project is expected to finish by 2020.