Last April, Chelmsford Council announced its application for Chelmsford to be given city status as part of the 2012 Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Previous applications have been unsuccessful but it is hoped that this time, Chelmsford's CV looks strong.
The £100 million development behind Debenhams will form the showpiece for the town's 2012 revived bid for official city status.
Chelmsford is home to a prestigious university, a popular cathedral and an established football club. The addition of John Lewis store to the town centre promises to attract other big retail names to the town, which it is hoped will soon establish Chelmsford as the regional shopping centre of choice.
Council leader, Roy Whitehead expressed his views: "In view of its position as one of the largest towns in the UK, its heritage, cultural diversity and economic significance, Chelmsford should be officially recognised as a city."