York Central is being brought forward by the York Central Partnership, a collaboration between the City of York Council, Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and Homes England.
More than £155m in funding is in place to fund infrastructure works needed to unlock the 45ha site, which is one of the largest brownfield city centre sites in the UK.
The contract for the first phase infrastructure works is understood to be worth around £70m. The council aims to start work before the end of the year.
Outline planning was granted for York Central in the Summer. The plan includes 2,500 homes, 900,000 sq ft of commercial and 130,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.
This will be divided into four distinct development quarters with the site split into two by a ribbon park.
The York Central Partnership development team is made up of major landowners, Homes England and Network Rail, which will act as master developers.
The National Railway Museum and City of York Council are also part of the development team.
The outline planning was developed by Avison Young, Allies & Morrison, Arup, Gustafson, Porter + Bowman and Turner & Townsend.
Work is due to start on housing and offices in 2020 and run for up to 15 years.