COUNCIL chiefs say it would be “inappropriate” at this stage to reveal how much they plan to pay for a derelict retail unit that has stood empty for years.
Hartlepool Borough Council is rumoured to be buying Jacksons Landing, on Hartlepool Marina, for £2m in an attempt to regenerate the area.
But council chiefs are yet to release exact details of the confidential sale price.
A deadline for the deal to be completed has been set for the end of this month.
Councillors gave their backing to buy the building – which was valued at £10m before the credit crunch – at a recent meeting of the full council.
Senior officers say they hope to make a “six figure” profit from the move.
The council had initially considered refurbishing the existing building but the plan is to buy the site and sell it on for redevelopment.
That could involve demolition.
But the local authority would have more control over how the site is regenerated and the aspiration is for it to be a mix of residential, hotel, restaurant and bar facilities.
Labour councillor Robbie Payne, the council’s deputy mayor, said: “Despite the significant cuts in government grant, the council must continue to have a long-term vision and be creative in moving the town forward.
“For the past few years many residents and businesses have appealed to the council to try and do something about Jacksons Landing.
“The purchase of the building and surrounding land will not only bring an empty eyesore back into use, but also generate income for the council as well as creating new jobs.
“It would be inappropriate at this stage to discuss any figures in relation to the purchase as we are still in negotiation.”
Earlier this year officers entered into an exclusivity agreement with the owners Schroders to buy the building, which has stood empty since July 2004.
A price was agreed and a deadline set for August 31.
The majority of councillors backed plans to borrow money to finance the deal.