SAN DIEGO — A plan to revitalize the Convoy District is taking a big step forward.

Those familiar with the area remember where the old Dixieline Lumber used to be located in Kearny Mesa. On Thursday, construction broke ground at 4888 Convoy Street on a 531-unit apartment complex as part of a plan to revitalize the area.

“I’m thrilled to announce that this site will be transforming into much-needed housing for San Diegans,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. “This new housing will take this area that was once just a place where folks came to work and maybe do a little bit of shopping to a full 24/7 live, work, play community.”

Gloria and other community leaders were on site to expand on the project.

“In about a month, we will start construction on one of our biggest road repair projects yet: the full repaving of Convoy Street,” Gloria said. “No more potholes on Convoy, everybody.”

The hub is also known as the Convoy Asian Cultural District. It’s the cultural and commercial home to San Diego’s nearly 450,000-member Asian and Pacific Islander community.

Bike lanes will be added to the area, as well as hundreds of new parking spaces on side streets.

“What that typically means is taking some of the side streets and converting them from parallel spaces to angled or head-in spaces,” Gloria said.

And as people come into the area, they will soon be welcomed by a new Convoy District sign.

“Very similar to what we see in North Park, Hillcrest, Little Italy that will really mark this as a cultural destination,” Gloria said.

The apartment buildings are expected to take about two years to complete, but progress on the area’s roads should begin in about a month, according to the mayor.