Development and construction firm Downing has started work on student apartments at Belgrade Plaza as part of a £50m development of the former car park site.
The company is creating 42 apartments, 600 student bedrooms and 12,000 sq ft of retail and commercial accommodation on the former surface car park between Hill Street, Bond Street and Ryley Street.
Cllr Lucas said: “Belgrade Plaza is a key site in the city centre. The first phase which, saw the arrival of the Premier Inn and the adjoining restaurants has proved very successful and this development will only further stimulate this area of the city.
“Seeing Belgrade Plaza developed out is a vital step in the regeneration of the city centre and it will be great to see it happening at pace before opening in 2017.
“Hopefully work starting on this development will act as a catalyst on the last phase and a scheme will be brought forward.”
Work is expected to be completed in time for the start of the academic year in 2017.