Even as the U.S. struggles through a severe housing slump, a weak economy and a financial crisis, LNR Property Corp.'s Commercial Property Group and Hopkins Real Estate Group have started construction on an $850 million mixed-use project in Carson, Calif. “The biggest challenge with a project like this is the time line,” says R. Lang Cottrell, president of the west region, south for LNR's Commercial Property Group.

The partnership has lined up financing for the 168-acre project, dubbed the Boulevards at South Bay. The Boulevards will include about 1.3 million square feet of retail and restaurant space, more than 1,300 residential units and up to 300 hotel rooms. The project is slated to open in late 2011 or early 2012.

For the next two years, the two Orange County, Calif.-based developers will work on remediating the site, which has been closed since 1965. The total remediation is expected to cost roughly $150 million, funded partly by the city.