KPMG has confirmed it has selected the 273,000 sq ft office building as its new Manchester office.
The professional services firm will occupy 65,000 sq ft across the top three floors of the development, which is a joint venture between Argent and the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund.
KPMG, which currently has an office in St James Square, said it chose One St Peter's Square due to its strong design, prominent location, proximity to public transport networks, environmental credentials and Manchester City Council's aspirations for the area.
The prelet deal between KPMG and Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund/Argent, which was expected to be signed before Easter, will now trigger construction of the office building located on the site of Elisabeth House.
The other frontrunner competing with GMPVF/Argent was Allied London for a prelet self-contained building in Spinningfields.
Jonathan Hurst, KPMG's regional chairman for the North, said: "One St Peter's Square will be a landmark building for Manchester, providing top quality space for our clients and staff, and a fitting location for KPMG in the city."
"We are delighted to commit to what is set to become a thriving business and cultural quarter for Manchester."
David Partridge, joint chief executive of the scheme's developer Argent, added: "The team has worked hard to provide a development that would suit all of the requirements of a high profile, blue chip organisation like KPMG and we are confident that having the firm on board will attract other major occupiers to the scheme. This deal will mean that construction work on the 270,000 sq ft office building can commence, and will complete at the same time as the £185 million transformation of St Peter's Square, the Library and the Town Hall, which is currently underway."
Cllr Kieran Quinn, chairman of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: "This is a highly significant deal for St Peter's Square and for Manchester as a whole. One St Peter's Square has been designed to meet 21st Century requirements but also to complement its civic surroundings. The construction and development of the building will run alongside the refurbishment of the library, town hall and the Square itself, with completion towards the end of 2014."
Knight Frank advised KPMG on the move and GVA advised the GMPVF and Argent on the transaction.
GVA and Savills are joint agents on One St Peter's Square. Glenn Howells Architects designed the scheme.