COUNCILLORS will meet tonight to discuss plans to buy a derelict retail unit that has stood empty for years.
Hartlepool Borough Council is hoping to buy Jacksons Landing, on Hartlepool Marina, in a bid to regenerate the area.
The confidential sale price has not been revealed. But it is understood to be a fraction of the £10m valuation before the credit crunch hit.
Earlier this year officers entered into an exclusivity agreement with the owners Schroders, a global asset management company, to buy the building, which has stood empty since July 2004.
A price has been agreed and the deadline for the deal to be finalised is August 31, subject to full council approval.
Councillors are asked to back plans to borrow money to finance the deal.
The council had initially considered refurbishing the existing building but that is no longer being considered as an option.
Instead the proposal, which was recently backed by the cabinet committee, is for the council to buy the site and sell it on for redevelopment.
The aspiration is for the site to include a mixture of residential, hotel, restaurant and bar facilities.
A council report said: “Acquisition of the site by the council provides the control to ensure that the site is redeveloped with the correct mix of uses within agreed timescales, to a high standard of design reflecting the importance of the site to the future aspirations of the town.”
Jacksons Landing is one of the eyesores featured in the Mail’s Spot the Grots campaign, which was launched after Mayor Stuart Drummond drew up a shortlist of landmarks that are badly in need of repair.
The £5.5m project opened in 1995 and was seen as the centrepiece of the marina’s reincarnation.
Councillors are due to meet tonight at 7pm, in the civic centre, in Victoria Road.