But senior members of the council have thrown their weight behind the Gehry scheme, which has also been worked on by Piers Gough. The Karis/ING proposal is thought likely to provide a bigger boost to the city's economy, providing £25–32m a year, compared with £15-21m from Barratt/Brunswick. It would also work out cheaper for council tax payers, and create more jobs.
Deputy council leader Sue John said: "Both were good bids. But we've been extra-impressed with the Karis team. It is professional, enthusiastic and proactive. The development offers a real boost to the local economy."
The Gehry scheme includes four towers with 438 flats, of which 175 are social housing. The scheme would fund a £26m sports centre.
If the scheme is chosen, there will be at least six months of negotiations between the authority and the developers to agree details before a planning application.