Planning permission has been granted for the Vaux regeneration meaning the first phase of development can begin at the site.
It has been dormant for almost 17 years, but the green light has been given from Sunderland City Council.
The plans were submitted by Siglion, which was put together after extensive consultations with the community and local stakeholders.
The flagship project is the first of five locations around the city that will be redeveloped as part of £100million-plus programme.
Work is due to get under way in the summer on the first phase of the Vaux development.
At the heart of the plans is a 60,000 square ft office building looking out across the Keel Line, along the river towards the sea.
This will be the first speculative office space to be built in Sunderland for many years and will be one of the few sites in the city centre offering Grade A office space to attract new businesses.
Siglion chief executive, John Seager, said: “We are excited to be finally beginning our work to breathe new life into the Vaux site, which has been empty for almost 17 years since the brewery closed.
“This is such a focal point for Sunderland and its position at the entrance to the city centre is hugely important to how people coming into Sunderland perceive the city.
“The first phase will create a superb office development, providing the city with some of the best quality working space to be found anywhere in the North East.
“This truly is a flagship development for the city, which will bring employment and money into Sunderland’s economy, both during the construction phase and in the longer term.”
Siglion is driving forward the redevelopment of the Vaux site, together with sites at Seaburn, Chapel Garth, Numbers Garth and Farringdon Row.
Irene Lucas CBE, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “The go-ahead for work to start at Vaux really is an important moment for the future development of the city.
“This flagship location is one of the first things people see when they come into the city centre and we’re excited that work can now begin on providing this important location with the kind of development that reflects the modern, forward-looking city that Sunderland is.”
Sunderland City Council also granted outline planning permission for Siglion’s masterplan for the 5.5 hectare Vaux site.
The plan has an ambitious vision to give the site active streets, shops, cafes and restaurants with public spaces providing superb views of the River Wear and Sunderland’s bridges.
It includes ideas to develop a destination restaurant set partially in the cliff-face and around 200 homes with superb riverside views.
The site will be connected with new pedestrian access to St Mary’s Way and the development of a new pathway along the cliff-edge.
Siglion chair, Neil McMillan, said: “We worked hard in consultation with local stakeholders to create a transformational masterplan for Vaux, and I believe that’s what we have achieved.
“We are now focussed on the delivery of the first phase which is planned to commence in the summer.”