Construction work is under way for Redrow's new Hemisphere apartment development at Edgbaston Mill.
Paul Pedley, Birmingham-born executive deputy chairman, was back on home turf to perform the honours at a special sod-cutting with Richard Allen, chief executive of Calthorpe Estates.
The ceremony signalled the start of the construction contract, awarded to Laing O'Rourke, which is also building Redrow's Jupiter development in Birmingham and Celestia, in Cardiff Bay.
The Hemisphere construction contract is scheduled to take two years but the first phase should be ready next October.
Mr Pedley was born in Streetly and began his career with Price Waterhouse & Co in Birmingham, after graduating from Warwick University with a first in pure mathematics.
He said: "It's great to be back in Birmingham and be launching such a flagship development for Redrow. The location of Hemisphere is superb - directly opposite Edgbaston cricket club and alongside Cannon Hill Park - and the building has been designed to match its position."
Redrow's development of 344 one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses forms part of the wider Edgbaston Mill development.
This £100 million, nine-acre mixed-use scheme will create a prestigious place to live. A food store, retail and leisure facilities, restaurants, offices and a hotel will also take shape.
Prices at Hemisphere currently range from £157,950 to £273,950 for a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments.