This innovative contract, which will initially focus on the redevelopment of key sites across the City, is worth at least £100m over the first eight years and potentially up to £800m over 20 years.
The deal means there could finally be movement at the Vaux site, which has been standing empty for 14 years since the brewery closed in 1999.
Other key sites which will also be developed by the partnership include Seaburn, Chapelgarth, Farringdon Row, Holmeside and parts of the East End.
The two other shortlisted bidders were Langtree Land and Property and a consortium including Ramboll, Calmont Project Services, Barratt Developments, Kier Construction, BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council said: “The chance to take part in an ambitious, long-term initiative attracted bids from a number of leading UK companies.
“We were delighted at the high standard of the shortlisted bids and it was a difficult task to choose the preferred bidder, but the commitment, track record and approach of our chosen partner gave it the winning edge.
“This decision marks an important milestone in the joint venture agreement, which will breathe new life into under-used publicly owned land in prime sites for development.
The programme will invigorate key areas of the City and offer new opportunities for employment, housing, shopping and leisure.”
Carillion Chief Executive, Richard Howson, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Sunderland City Council as its strategic partner for this innovative contract.”