HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -

The face of downtown Hollywood is changing. Saturday's demolition of the Townhouse Apartments signals the start of a building boom that will bring hundreds of new residences to Young Circle.

"There has not been any new residential rental built in the downtown area for almost a dozen years," said developer Chip Abele. "And we think it's ripe. It's the right time."

Abele is going to build a 25-story building on the Townhouse Apartments site, with 347 rental apartments, a 100-room boutique hotel, a new grocery store and a restaurant.

At the same time, on the west side of Young Circle, the historic Great Southern Hotel will make way for a 19-story apartment building with 250 units. That would bring the total number of new residences to the downtown area to nearly 600.

Downtown business owners are pleased to finally see some progress on a decade-old plan to revitalize the area, which is dotted with vacant storefronts and sparsely populated restaurants

"You can definitely see a change, so hopefully that's one more step to a better downtown Hollywood," said Karim Laitaoui, owner of Bistro 1902.

Residents are also optimistic that the new units will attract even more shops and eateries to the downtown area, bringing Young Circle back to the vibrant area it once was.