The £100 million second phase of Birmingham's huge Masshouse regeneration project is set to become a reality.
Developers have formalised an agreement for the city's bold City Park Gate scheme.
The mixed- use project includes plans to: n Build 608 apartments, including 152 housing association homes n Develop around 125,000 sq ft of net office accommodation n Create 105,000 sq ft of retail space, including a 60,000 sq ft food store
The scheme also includes refurbishment of the grade two-listed Fox and Grapes pub and the creation of highquality public areas.
City Park Gate is a joint venture between developers Countryside Properties, Quintain and Birmingham City Council. Architects the Richard Rogers Partnership have designed the project.
The 5.75-acre scheme will create a major gateway to Eastside, the ten- year £6 billion project to create a new cultural and learning quarter to Birmingham.
Planners say the creation of a southern gateway would provide an important connection between the bus mall, Moore Street station and the Bullring, with the Eastside district beyond City Park Gate.
The forming of a new northern pedestrian gateway would provide a link to Martineau Galleries.
City council leader Mike Whitby was delighted national leaders in development had joined the scheme.
He said: "There are now significant commitments made to major schemes in Eastside, with developers already on site. And more in the pipeline to come.
"This shows Birmingham is able to compete for investment, building on the success of the city."
He said the formalisation of the project validated "our recent European City of the Future award".
Cabinet member for regeneration Ken Hardeman described the project as a high-quality scheme which would sit well next to the Bullring and Selfridges.
He said: "The signing of the development agreement will keep up the momentum of development in Eastside and be a catalyst for further development in the area." Chairman of Countryside Properties Alan Cherry said the development agreement would allow the business the opportunity to "deliver of vision of a sustainable mixed use development that will create an important gateway to Birmingham's City Centre".
Quintain described its involvement as a strategic move. Ronnie Robinson, head of development, said: "With our holdings in Smallbrook Queensway, adjoining the Bullring, we now have the capacity to become a major player in the Birmingham market and make a difference."
Quintain specialises in strategic property acquisition, redevelopment, asset management and regeneration.
The company is leading major projects, including the regeneration of 246 acres in the Major of London Ken Livingstone's "London Plan".
Countryside Properties is a specialist development company recognised in particular for the development of sustainable communities, and both urban and rural regeneration.