The Courage site had been largely derelict for more than a decade
Work has begun on the latest stage of the redevelopment of the former Courage brewery site in central Bristol.
Four giant cranes were manoeuvred into place to begin construction of Finzels Reach - a 1 million sq ft mix of office space, shops, cafes and apartments.
The £255m development - the largest such work in the south-west of England - will provide space for 3,000 office workers and homes for 1,000 people.
The consortium developing the site aims to complete the work by next year.
Finzels Reach - named after a Victorian sugar importer who built a factory on the site - incorporates several protected older buildings into its design.
A bridge linking the site with Castle Park on the other bank of the Avon will be built and there will be a landscaped riverside walk.
The project is unusual not just for Bristol, but for the UK as much of the office space is being built on spec rather than for a specific client.
The developers are convinced a resurgent economy will mean they will be able to fill the 110,000 sq ft space of Bridgewater House, a centrepoint of the site.
Chris Read, of advisory company HDG Mansur, said: "The start of Bridgewater House sends the right message about Bristol's position as the economy moves forward."