Cibitas Investments' plans for 4,300 new homes on 95 acres of east Manchester have been approved by the city council.
The outline planning application for Holt Town Waterfront is the largest ever to be approved in Manchester.
The houses and apartments will be built next to the Sportscity development in an area overseen by urban regeneration company New East Manchester.
Cibitas was created by former English Partnerships development director David Shelton to deliver the Holt Town project.
Shelton said: 'We have worked hard as a team with colleagues at New East Manchester to develop a commercially viable scheme that will bring something new and exciting to Manchester and the UK.
"Holt Town Waterfront is an ambitious project that will re-define urban family living in the UK – we hope this project becomes a flagship for the rest of the country."
The phased scheme will be built over the next 10 to 15 years with the majority of units aimed at families. Each home will have its own parking space, access to green space and private gardens, village squares and waterfronts.
In addition a new river valley park, Metrolink tram stop, primary school, studio/office accommodation and a range of shops, bars and restaurants will be delivered.
Tom Russell, chief executive of New East Manchester, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to create a new concept in family housing that is not only unique to east Manchester but anywhere in the UK, raising the bar in terms of urban living.
"Holt Town Waterfront is located close to Manchester city centre, and provides an opportunity to create a new community that will integrate with the existing neighbourhoods. Families will have the chance to invest in their future by setting down roots and staying within in the city."
Each phase will see its own architectural competition and will be delivered subject to approval of a separate detailed planning application. The first sites are likely to be released for sale in 2008.
Cibitas Investments is based in Manchester and is backed by ING Real Estate, Stanhope, Waystone/CP Holdings and other private investors.
Manchester City Council's planning committee resolved that they were "minded to approve" the application. The formal approval will be issued when the associated planning agreements have been finalised.
Cibitas was assisted in the preparation of the planning application by GVA Grimley, EDAW, Arup, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds and Cre8 Management.