Peel Holdings is in talks with Ellesmere Port council over creating a 7,000 new homes on 90 acres of disused dockland.
Councillors want to use the success of development in Salford Quays, where Peel has major landholdings, as a blueprint for the 15-year scheme.
In 2006, Peel announced a £10bn plan for major mixed-use development on further port land at Liverpool and Wirral, under the Liverpool Waters banner.
A report by planners at Ellesmere Port council said: "Discussions with the owners of the site, Peel Holdings, have shown that there is significantly more potential than [an earlier study] has indicated. Indeed, the potential is huge, with a prospect of 7,000-8,000 residential properties being built over the next 15 years on the dockside.
"This potential is for a mixed use development comprising offices, leisure, retail, but pre-dominantly residential. This largely unused site (comprising approximately 35 hectares) offers real medium to long-term potential for a major new community and focus for growth in Ellesmere Port."