Developers are confident there will be demand for the 940 townhouses and apartments planned as part of an $800 million residential precinct in central Christchurch.
Fletcher Residential has won the tender for the East and North Frame project, and wants to finish it within nine years.
It said attitudes to apartment living were changing globally, and more and more people see buying an apartment as an entry point to the housing market.
Director with the Christchurch Central Development Unit Rob Kerr said research has shown the demand for the properties, and recent apartment sales nearby have reinforced that.
"We think the research that we've done, and that others have done that we've seen, points to really a strong build up actually of demand for apartment living.
"If you have a look at the rate of sale for Leicester Apartments, just on Madras Street, that went very very quickly - very strong sales as well."
The new East and North Frame homes will cost between $400,000 and $900,000, and are expected to house 2,200 people.