Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, was in Liverpool today to formally sign up to St Modwen's £150m Project Jennifer scheme on Great Homer Street.
The supermarket will anchor the scheme alongside 80,000 sq ft of additional retail space. King said: "This is a significant day for all of us who are committed to this very important regeneration project.
"Sainsbury's investment will deliver what will be the largest supermarket in Liverpool, over 500 new jobs for local people and kick-start this much-needed regeneration in the north of the city."
Project Jennifer is currently on hold due to a legal challenge from Tesco, which had been in talks with St Modwen for four years before they were abandoned. A decision on Tesco's appeal is expected in summer 2010.
King said: "We are absolutely committed to providing a quality supermarket on Great Homer Street, and exchanging contracts today is a big step towards making it happen."
Michelle Taylor, regional director of St Modwen, added: "We have worked really hard with Liverpool City Council, Sainsbury's and the local community to ensure that Project Jennifer goes ahead, despite the impact of the recession and the credit crunch.
"Our plans for the comprehensive regeneration of the area will transform Great Homer Street and provide the community with much needed facilities and local job opportunities.
"We are frustrated with the current challenge but are confident that we will be able to move forward again in the next few months."