Salford City Council has granted planning permission for the first phase of the Greengate Embankment scheme.
A joint venture between Ask Developments and Network Rail plans to develop a 200,000 sq ft office building, 101 Embankment, and a new 445 space multi-storey car park on the northern bank of the River Irwell in Manchester city centre and adjacent to Manchester Victoria Station.
The site, including Manchester's old Exchange Station, has remained a priority for the council, which has agreed to underwrite half of the rent for ten years on 101 Embankment as an incentive to get on site.
The office building will be available for occupation in spring 2014 and has a BREEAM 'excellent' rating.
The wider plans are for 1m sq ft of mixed-use development including retail and leisure.
Construction is already on site for the public realm aspect of the scheme, funded by the North West Development Agency and Homes & Communities Agency, which is due for completion in spring 2012.
Alan Burke, director at Ask Developments, said: "The continued strength of the occupier market in the city centre and the lack of new Grade A space likely to be available in 2013/14 gives both Salford City Council and ourselves the confidence that now is the right time to be planning speculative development."
David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, added: "The number of people using Manchester Victoria set to double by 2019. Network Rail's plans for investment at the station will help stimulate the requirement for high-quality commercial office space in the heart of the city.
"We've been working with Ask Developments, and Salford City Council on this project for several years and we're pleased that work on the public realm is now on site. This development, along with our plans for the station, will be key to the wider regeneration of the north of the city."