DTZ and Jones Lang LaSalle have been jointly instructed by UK Coal subsidiary Harworth Estates to find a development partner for the proposed 200-acre employment park at Cutacre near Bolton.
The selected developer could deliver up to 3.5m sq ft of manufacturing and distribution space, with the first buildings being occupied during 2013, subject to occupier demand.
Tony O'Keefe, director of DTZ's industrial and logistics team in Manchester, said: "The importance of the site cannot be underestimated. Cutacre has the potential to be the most significant scheme in the region, going a long way to redress the supply imbalance of industrial stock in the North West of England.
"Grade A supply currently stands at circa 1.9m sq ft, equating to around one-and-a-quarter year's supply. This follows a series of notable transactions within the larger logistics sector over the past 12 months that has soaked up the bulk of built space remaining from the last development cycle."
He continued: "As a result, occupiers are increasingly being forced to look outside the region or to progress pre-let, design and build solutions, for example Brake Brothers in Heywood and Waitrose in Chorley.
"This supply imbalance is further demonstrated by a return to strategic land purchases by notable developers including Evander Properties, a strong barometer highlighting the supply imbalance and supporting an argument for speculative construction in the next few years.
He added: "Although the market outlook in the North West region as a whole is improving, expectations remain for a muted recovery, but Cutacre will be at the forefront of all that is positive in the region over the coming years."