The government has published finalised plans for the redevelopment of the northern part of Belfast city centre.
Plans to regenerate Belfast city centre have been finalised
The development, with the potential to create up to 4,000 jobs, gives two development firms the first opportunity to come up with proposals for the site.
The area to be redeveloped is on both sides of Royal Avenue and includes Smithfield Market.
Consultants have also been appointed to advise on a £14m programme to improve
public spaces in the city centre.
Two new department stores could come to the regenerated area, as well as "expanded retail opportunities for local traders as well as international brands new to the city", the government said.
"This is a milestone in the regeneration of the city centre," Social Development Minister David Hanson said.
"We want to create economic growth and a life style experience on a par with the best of European regional cities."
Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace Brown said the plan was a welcome boost for the city.
"It is clear that after more than 30 years of difficult times in this city, Belfast is getting back on its feet but it needs public and private sector support in order to get there," Mr Brown said.
"I want to see creative and imaginative improvements in our shopping streets that will give people a new buzz about Belfast."
He said a successful Belfast would result in a "booming Northern Ireland".