Four firms will compete for the opportunity to masterplan a new £500 million district in Manchester.
The offices going head to head are: MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, Studio Egret West, Dutch masterplanner Maxwan and international giant EDAW.
The practices will come back with their proposals in early February, with an appointment expected to be announced in March.
The district, called Holt Town, is earmarked to sit alongside Will Alsop's New Islington community and ING Real Estate's Royal Mills development, which is being converted by practice Blustin Heath Design.
Mike Appleton, executive director at developer Cibitas said: 'We were delighted at the quality of the response to the OJEU notice and are very much looking forward to seeing the proposals in response to the brief.
'Our shortlist gives us the opportunity to explore the creative ideas of four experienced and vibrant consultancies.'