The frustrated developer behind the project, Maro, has approached the former Will Alsop duo as well as BDP, Broadway Malyan and Liverpool-based SMC:DTR Ormrod to come up with fresh designs for the waterfront plot.
Now Maro chief Jamey Hargreaves - heir to the Matalan clothing company fortune - working under the banner Ollerton Developments, is hoping a new approach will find favour will Liverpool's planners.
Hargreaves said: 'The aim is to achieve a development of exceptional quality and originality, but also one that respects its immediate context and relates positively to the wider waterfront.
'We believe that the companies selected will provide us with different creative approaches and responses to what is an outstanding waterfront site.'
He went on: 'In addition to their impressive track records and experience, the four companies also provide knowledge of the area and an informed understanding of the wider aspirations for the regeneration of Liverpool's waterfront.'
Hargreaves added: 'SMC:DTR Ormrod is a highly respected local practice and part of a larger architectural group.
'BDP is the masterplanner for Grosvenor's massive Paradise Project, while Broadway Malyan has designed the highly acclaimed Mann Island development and are working with Peel Holdings on a master plan for the North Docks. SEW produced an extremely imaginative proposal for the Brunswick Gateway area and has recent experience on two other major city-centre projects.'