Council leaders are about to start talks with development partners which have made the shortlist to build the Sheffield Retail Quarter.
A trio of prospective firms are in the running to deliver the £480 million scheme - Aspire Development Management Ltd, Lend Lease Europe Holdings Ltd and Queensberry Real Estate.
Lend Lease developed the major Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, Queensberry is working on the refurbishment of the Corn Exchange in Manchester, while Aspire was involved with the Olympic Park in London, and lists Lend Lease as a client.
Outline plans for the project - which will transform the area between Barkers Pool, Pinstone Street and Charter Square with new shops, offices, restaurants and flats.
Sheffield Council’s deputy leader Coun Leigh Bramall said: “We’re looking forward to meeting each of the bidders to discuss their proposals. The bidders have extensive experience in major developments in this country and internationally.”
Coun Bramall reiterated that work is ‘on track’ to begin next year, with most shops opening in 2019.
A developer will be confirmed in February or March 2016. The shortlisted firms work as developers or project managers - meaning that if Aspire won the contract it could choose Lend Lease, or a third party, to do the work.