Ardmore Construction has been drafted in by Redrow Regeneration to build a £100m scheme in Barking town centre.
Sources close to the mixed-use project say Ardmore, which has a turnover of £200m, has begun work on site. It has taken over from Wates, which left the site earlier in the year.
News of Ardmore's appointment comes a few weeks after Redrow Regeneration took the scheme over from Urban Catalyst, which is moving away from development to concentrate on regeneration consultancy.
The first phase of the job, which is worth about £60m, will include 200 residential units and a Lifelong Learning Centre designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
The learning centre is funded by the ODPM, the University of East London, Barking College and Barking and Dagenham council. Phase one is due for completion by mid-2007.
The second phase, which does not yet have planning permission, is expected to include further residential development.
Neither Ardmore nor Redrow Regeneration were available for comment as Building went to press.
Ardmore’s appointment comes just weeks after Redrow took control from Urban Catalyst
Wates left the project in September after contractual wrangles with Urban Catalyst. Although the contractor played down reports of a dispute, it emerged in January that the firm had left the scheme after Redrow Regeneration bought Urban Catalyst's vehicle for the scheme, UC (Barking), for "a nominal sum".
At the time, Paul Drechsler, Wates' chief executive, said: "Redrow is clearly more of an established residential developer, and that is obviously not an area that Wates is focused on."
The appointment will be good news for Ardmore, which has recently fought a successful legal battle with Taylor Woodrow over a groundworks package at Glasgow harbour.
Its other projects include a 400-room hotel near to Waterloo Station in London for Galliard Hotels.