The centrepiece of the 5.2ha project will be three skyscrapers - named Mizzen, Genoa and Spinnaker towers - the tallest of which will be 36 storeys high.
Sitting next to Cardiff Bay's International Sports Village development, the project for Allied Developments Europe will create 997 residential units, ranging from one-bedroom flats to low-rise town houses.
Explaining the scheme, project director Eugene Travers Jones said: 'The architectural concept has been imaginatively developed to create an exciting environment for both residents and visitors.
'By retaining green open spaces interspersed with water-based landscaping features we have been able to ensure the site provides plenty of accommodation without feeling overdeveloped.'
He added: 'Our Cardiff- and Bristol-based design team is looking forward to seeing the development completed in time for the 2012 Olympics, as Cardiff hopes to be used as a base and training facility for countries competing in London.'
A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted early next year.