The joint venture between Sigma Inpartnership and Liverpool City Council, Regeneration Liverpool, has signed an option agreement on the development of an area to the east of Lime Street in Liverpool.
The site forms a gateway to the city for visitors arriving at Lime Street Station and is the main pedestrian route to the universities.
Lying to the south and east of Lime Street Station, the land is currently in a state of disrepair.
Development sites expected to come through the masterplan will be in the region of three hectares.
The project will be undertaken in association with Regeneration Liverpool's affiliate company Neptune Inpartnership, a joint venture between Sigma Inpartnership and Neptune Developments, which was formed in 2012.
Graeme Hogg, director at Sigma Inpartnership, said: "Significant improvements have been made to the Lime Street corridor in recent years, particularly to the new public realm outside of the station, but much still needs to be done.
"Now that the option agreement has been signed, the next step will be to start to outline a masterplan."
Steve Parry, managing director at Neptune Developments, said: "Lime Street and the Knowledge Quarter gives us an opportunity to both dramatically improve the quality of the major gateway to the city and make a significant contribution to the development of the knowledge economy, which is one of the mayor's key drivers for future growth."
Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for regeneration said: "Lime Street has the potential to be one of the most impressive parts of the city centre.
"There is obviously a great deal of work to be done before it becomes the type of gateway we would all like to see, but the signing of this agreement is an important step towards the regeneration of the Lime Street corridor."
Regeneration Liverpool is currently in the process of regenerating development sites in Norris Green and Stonebridge Cross Croxteth.