Another large residential complex is expected to break ground in downtown Los Angeles in September: the 290-unit, $125-million, all-glass, luxury multifamily high-rise project at Hope and 8th streets near Staples Center. Planning for the project began back in 2006. Completion is expected in the summer of 2014.

Also jumping into the reviving multifamily housing market is contractor C.W. Driver, Pasadena. The company's president and CEO, Dana Roberts, predicts that those construction companies positioned to capture the multifamily residential market "will lean positive" in the coming years.

C.W. Driver, ranked No. 16 with $402 million in revenue, recently formed an independent company, Driver URBAN, that will focus on multifamily apartments, mixed-use developments, affordable housing, student and senior housing, and hospitality projects.

C.W. Driver, like many other contractors, experienced fits and starts for various high-profile projects, but that worked out for the best, Roberts says. "In the construction industry, the impact of the long lead time projects can sustain companies for several years," he says.

Roberts adds, "Our backlog was extremely strong heading into the recession, and only recently have we actually seen the impact of the negative economy that many other firms experienced 18 to 24 months ago."