Manchester Airports Group has asked CBRE to find a funding and development partner for the delivery of its £650m Airport City.
Airport City will deliver up to 5m sq ft of new business space, including offices, hotel and leisure uses, retail, manufacturing and logistics space.
The development area is one of the government's enterprise zones, with special tax and planning breaks.
MAG said the appointment of CBRE 'will enable the procurement process to commence by the end of summer 2012.'
John Atkins, director of Airport City, said: "Standing out as the only airport city in the United Kingdom, this ambitious project is one of only a handful of schemes truly capable of competing on an international level. The expertise of CBRE will assist us in securing a strategic partner to work on Airport City and the Enterprise Zone and provides a statement of our intent in the market place for investors and international occupiers."
Atkins and his team believe Airport City will compete with similar schemes at Barcelona, Frankfurt and Amsterdam; with the aim of attracting international occupiers that would not previously have located in the Greater Manchester region, or even the UK.
The CBRE team for the project includes Stuart Eisenkraft, co-chairman for global cities, Tony Martin, head of investment advisory, Rob Silvester, head of capital markets for UK regions, and Colin Thomasson, head of North West capital markets.
Thomasson said: "We will be looking for the best partner for this opportunity and will be using our international knowledge of key markets to identify the best fit in order to bring the project to market alongside MAG. It's a large, long-term and unique scheme that we are sure will be of interest to major development partners involved in global development projects."