The scheme drawn up to create a business park which could create 8,000 jobs is in the running for an award.
The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) was given formal planning permission in May.
Back in August builders moved on to the 150-hectare site north of the Nissan plant, off the A19, to begin construction of the first factory.
Over the next 10-15 years the IAMP is expected to bring in about £400million of private sector investment.
The project is a joint scheme between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.
The IAMP Area Action Plan (AAP) will facilitate the delivery of 392,000sqm of floor space over a 150-hectare site for the advanced manufacturing and automotive sectors, creating nearly 8,000 jobs.
It is among the projects shortlisted for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence.
The awards celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning.
Entries reflect the diversity of planning achievement, whether in urban or rural areas, large or small in scale, involving new development, regeneration or conservation.
Those entering come from the public, private and community sectors.
Also on the shortlist is Barnard Castle Emergency Services Building - Napper Architects, The Urban Science Building, Newcastle Helix, Trilogy I, in Saltwell Road, Gateshead,Tree Top Village, The Boiler House at Newcastle University.
The winners will be announced at RTPI North East’s Awards Dinner in Newcastle on October 26.
Ian Cansfield, chairman of RTPI North East, said: “I am thrilled with the quality of the entries that have been submitted for the RTPI North East Planning Excellence awards.
"It was a difficult task narrowing down a shortlist and coming up with winners.
“The submissions reflected projects across different building sectors and each have successfully addressed a range of social and economic challenges, showcasing the problem-solving skills and innovation of the planning profession.”