A party of key investors flew in from China for the traditional Chinese style ground breaking ceremony where sand surrounding a plinth was turned over with the help of special shovels.
Construction is now underway on New Era Square - a 20-storey mixed leisure, commercial and residential development which will transform an area between London Road and Bramall Lane, close to the city centre.
New Era Development (UK) Ltd, the Sheffield-based company behind the plans, is creating a cosmopolitan, international, multi-cultural focal point.
The scheme has been designed by Sheffield-based architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson. Building works are being led by Derbyshire-based Bowmer and Kirkland.
Work is now underway to prepare the foundations for the development, which is to include retail units, food and drink outlets on the ground floor, leading out to an open air square for events.
Speaking at the event, Jerry Cheung, managing director at New Era Development (UK) Ltd, said: “New Era Square is a landmark development for Sheffield, the region and the UK.
“It represents substantial investment for the city and is set to create a cosmopolitan, urban destination, including the new public square, to bring people from across the whole community together.
“We are very much looking forward to developing opportunities for businesses through our Sheffield City Region China Business Incubator, which has the potential to offer significant inward investment.
“This will offer a fantastic opportunity for any business looking to break into the Chinese market and vice-versa for businesses based in China seeking a UK market entry through Sheffield."
The project is set to create hundreds of jobs once construction has been completed.
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