The developer plans to deliver a 950,000sq ft mixed-use scheme on the former Pirelli site in the centre of the city in two phases.
Total construction is estimated at around £70m, with the first phase involving building the landmark 14-screen cinema and up to 15 restaurants and shops alongside a new public area in front of the city’s historic walls.
Phase two will come on stream later and comprise a new residential tower with up to 240 apartments, one or two hotels, offices and public spaces.
Work is expected to start on the initial phase later this autumn with Watermark WestQuay set to open in autumn 2016.
Guy Wells, Hammerson Development Manager said: “This site offers a unique opportunity to deliver an exceptional leisure and dining destination for Southampton.
“We have been encouraged with the level of support we have received on the scheme from stakeholders and we have worked hard with the council to create a scheme which is already generating strong interest from potential occupiers.”
The development is next to Hammerson’s jointly owned WestQuay Shopping Centre, which is anchored by John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.
ACME are masterplanners and architects for Watermark WestQuay, Grant Associates are the landscape designers and Gleeds are project managers.