Peel Group will this week submit a planning application for an International Trade Centre to be built in West Float between Birkenhead and Wallasey in Wirral's docklands after agreeing a deal with an unnamed Chinese investor.
The Trade Centre will comprise four separate buildings totaling around 2.5m sq ft of floor space. The concept is pitched at "trade buyers who are looking for access to new goods and markets."
Peel said in statement on Wednesday: "The Peel Group has been visiting China regularly since 2007 and, as a result, a first Chinese partner for phase one of the Trade Centre has already been identified."
A spokesman for Peel said the identity of the Chinese investor would not be revealed.
Peel added: "Local businesses will in particular benefit from using the Peel ITC. The general public will not be able to use the facility. The Peel ITC will showcase an unlimited variety of high quality goods exclusively to the wholesale market that have been manufactured overseas. It will serve not just as a trading 'Gateway' into the domestic market, but to the whole of Europe. Goods will include but not be restricted to: electrical and technology, clothing and fashion, kitchenware, furniture, fixtures & fittings, DIY products, building materials, toys, garden products, sporting goods and household items. The Peel ITC will also include associated promotional and exhibition spaces, warehousing, storage and assembly facilities, and thanks to its strategic location will benefit from excellent transport connectivity via road, rail, water and air."
The ITC site is next to the original application area of the Wirral Waters development around East Float, which already has planning consent. Wirral Waters and the neighbouring Liverpool Waters were among the first Enterprise Zones granted by the Government in March this year.
Lindsey Ashworth, director of Peel, said: "This is a fantastic and exciting project where everybody wins. All local retailers will have access on their doorstep to high quality products manufactured overseas, and local people will have the opportunity to apply for new jobs that will be created. Peel will establish stronger business relationships with China and other emerging economies which we believe will be the start of additional overseas joint ventures that move other projects forward and kick-start much needed growth in the North West region."
Peel said that pending planning approval, work on the first ITC building could begin in 2012.