A start date of 2020 has been set for the first phase of regeneration work in Stevenage town centre.
The Borough Council has made a 'formal commitment' with developers Mace Group Limited - the same company which built London's The Shard.
Residents and businesses will be invited to have their say through a consultation planned for this summer.
David Grover, Mace’s Chief Operating Officer for Development, said: "This agreement marks a major step forward for the transformation of Stevenage town centre. With a contract agreed we can now get started in earnest in delivering the regeneration of the town centre - I look forward to seeing our exciting plans come to life."
Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: "This is an exciting time for Stevenage and the future of our town centre. Signing this deal with Mace highlights our ambitious vision for Stevenage as we grow our town and improve the services, environment and facilities we currently offer to residents.
"We’ve seen a number of projects already completed in our town centre as part of the regeneration programme including Market Place, Vista Tower and updating of our public spaces. SG1 will be transformational, and drive significant, positive change for our town centre. We’re delighted to have Mace on board and can’t wait for development to get underway."
Andrew Percival, Chairman of the Stevenage First partnership, concluded: "Today’s contract signing represents a significant milestone in the opportunity to deliver a town centre that’s fit for the 21st century and offers modern facilities and amenities for residents and visitors to live, work and play.
"The scheme that Mace has developed aligns with Stevenage’s heritage as the UK’s first new town and highlights their confidence in its future growth prospects. We’re delighted to announce that the contract is in place and look forward to working in partnership with Mace."