The 2.2 hectare Preston Barracks site was bought by the city council from the Ministry of Defence.
Cathedral and the University of Brighton, in joint venture, have exchanged conditional contracts for the purchase of the long leasehold interest in a 2.2 hectare site from the City Council. The proposed mixed-use redevelopment will see expansion of the university's Moulescombe campus.
The development on the Preston Barracks site and adjoining university land will include student accommodation of up to 1,316 beds, new academic buildings, 350 private residential units and 25,000 sq. ft. of retail space.
The development will also incorporate the Central Research Laboratory, a 55,000 sq. ft. commercial building for high-tech start-ups and SMEs, for which £7.7m of funding has been secured from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.
Matthew Weiner, director of Cathedral parent company Development Securities, said: "The regeneration at Preston Barracks offers the potential to bring forward a significant, £150m mixed-use redevelopment, that set within a wider mixed-use regeneration project, will transform this part of Brighton, creating a gateway to the north of the city."
Development Securities acquired Cathedral Group for £21m in May 2014.