Sheep paddocks in Jerrabomberra are set to be redeveloped and deliver 10,000 jobs to the suburb over the next 10 years.
The Poplars Innovation Precinct was launched on Friday with the project intended to become a hub for defence industries, cyber security and space companies.
Poplars spans 210 hectares and sits on both sides of Tompsitt Drive. The first stage of the precinct, a 10-hectare retail and services site, is set to open before the end of the year. It will have a McDonald's, KFC, Aldi, a medical centre and gym.
Poplars development manager David Maxwell said the McDonald's and KFC will open before Christmas.
"With the first retail stage of Poplars already underway, this exciting new development will foster industry connection with the national capital, offering the latest facilities in an attractive and rapidly growing regional centre," he said.
Mr Maxwell said there is a "10-year horizon" for development and about 10,000 people will employed at the hub upon completion. He there are 30 buildings planned in total.
"Trying to imagine that today is difficult because it is no more than sheep paddocks," he said.
A 4.5-hectare site is set aside for science, technology, engineering and maths-based high school.
An innovation hub for the Queanbeyan-Palerang City Council will also be built at the site. QPRC mayor Tim Overall was at the launch on Friday.
"The bold vision being brought to life by the Poplars development is part of the great growth story of the Queanbeyan area, providing much-needed retail and employment land as a springboard for continued expansion," he said.
"The south Jerrabomberra area will see some significant progress over the coming years including the establishment of the proposed South Tralee residential area and planning for the development of a regional sports precinct, educational facility and an innovation hub."
A road will be built through the precinct that will connect to South Jerrabomberra, which is currently under construction.
The site is being developed by a consortium between the Riverview Group, Goodwin & Kenyon Group and Larcombes. The three partners came together to develop the site in 2003.
It was intended to be residential, but Mr Maxwell said the flight path proved to be a barrier.
A grassland reserve will form part of the precinct with Poplars working with the Wadiyali Restoration Trust to protect an ecological area of 110 hectares.