A 460-bed Nightingale hospital for the north east of England is to be built on Wearside.
Work has been carried out to convert the site, which had been built for the motor industry and is close to the Nissan plant, into a hospital which will take coronavirus patients if units in the region cannot cope with demand.
The site is owned by Sunderland City Council and is close to the A19. It will be divided into 16 wards.
The Army is assisting with the construction.
Durham North West Conservative MP Richard Holden said: "Washington's Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing, just off the A1 is to become the North East England and Cumrbia's Nightingale Hospital. "It will be able to care for 460 patients...and will have the capacity to support patients who require ventilation, should that be required.
"Work is well underway on equipping the building and it should be able to receive patients within a couple of weeks."
Sharon Hodgson, Washington and Sunderland West MP, said the hospital would help alleviate the pressure being felt by other hospitals but also that it was a "sobering" reminder of the crisis facing the country.
She said: "The announcement that a temporary hospital will be developed at IAMP truly brings home the scale of the Coronavirus.
"It is a sobering thought that this facility will be needed and shows just how seriously individuals and businesses must take this issue."
Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive of Newcastle Hospitals, said the creation of the hospital was "remarkable and inspiring,"
She said: "‘Work is well underway on equipping the building and we anticipate being ready to begin treating patients in a matter of weeks.
"It is an important part of a comprehensive range of measures being put in place to respond to the pandemic in the NHS and social care."
The NHS has already set up temporary hospitals in London, Manchester, Bristol and Harrogate.