Michael Ingall, chief executive of developer Allied London, said he expects construction to begin on site at the 13-acre former ITV site in Quay Street in 2015, earlier than originally expected.
Speaking to Place North West, Ingall said: "We are assessing the potential for the site, with the first phase expected to come through early in the next year. We have a plan for the site which envisages development in 2015."
A consultation on the plans for the site, which will be renamed St John's Quarter, is expected to be launched by the end of summer 2014 following the appointment of official masterplanners in the coming weeks. The timescale for the masterplan submission was initially autumn 2015.
In March this year Allied London launched the interim use for the site, known in this temporary stage as Old Granada Studios, with proposals including pop-up shops, bars and restaurants, markets, and spaces for music and theatre performances and film screenings. The use of the site as Old Granada Studios was expected to last until the end of 2016, with development beginning the following year.
Ingall previously said the scheme would be residential-led with a mixture of other uses. There are plans for around 3,500 residential units to be developed on the site over the next 15 years.
JLL and Deloitte Real Estate advise Allied London.