The chief executive of Belfast Chamber has urged councillors to reconsider deferring a decision on the controversial £500m Tribeca development in the Cathedral Quarter.
But campaign group Save Cathedral Quarter, which is opposed to the project, has welcomed what it says is recognition from Belfast city councillors of issues including provision for social housing in the 12-acre scheme.
Belfast City Council's planning committee voted this week to defer a decision. Councillors had previously backed amendments to the plan in January.
Developer Castlebrooke Investments has said the project would involve 600 construction jobs on site, with an economic impact of £225m.
When complete, they say the development would generate around £212m per year and employ 1,600 people.
The site is next to St Anne's Cathedral and takes in parts of Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street. A company linked with Castlebrooke first submitted a planning application in 2016.
Simon Hamilton, chief executive of Belfast Chamber, said putting off a decision was "very disappointing, particularly at such a challenging time for the Northern Ireland economy and the local construction industry".
"Tribeca Belfast will not only regenerate a part of the city which desperately needs to be brought back to life, it will also deliver an economic boost," he said.
"To then request further debate, when the city is in dire need of significant investment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sends a very negative message to other potential investors in the city and the process that we have to bring major developments to fruition."
He said the council should arrange a special committee to review the decision.
But councillors Kate Nicholl of the Alliance Party and Gary McKeown of the SDLP said the deferral was justified.
Mr McKeown said: "It has nothing to do with merits or demerits of the case or otherwise. A number of members are seeking additional information on a range of issues and it's right and proper that that information is provided so they can make a full and considered decision."
He said he also wanted detail on how the developer had concluded that the GVA from the site would be £212m.
Agustina Martire, chair of the Save CQ campaign, said it was "delighted" that councillors had requested more detail about housing on the site.
She added: "Now is the time for some real creative thinking and proper communication to find a resolution which all parties can support."
Architect Marcus Patton, who wrote Central Belfast: An Historic Gazetteer, has written a letter of objection to the application.
He said: "Too much has changed since the basis of these plans was drawn up. If they seemed unlikely to succeed four years ago, they now look unmistakeably like a white elephant.
"We have a surplus of offices, and many more may come on the market as home-working becomes more common. The council's priorities now should be encouraging small local businesses rather than the large ones."