A DEAL for Hartlepool Borough Council to buy a derelict retail site is set to be “concluded” imminently according to regeneration chiefs.
The council is in negotiations to buy Jacksons Landing, at Hartlepool Marina, as part of plans to then sell the land on for redevelopment.
Council bosses are remaining tight lipped over the timescale for the plans, but say they are confident a deal will be concluded soon.
The building has been empty for almost eight years.
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Mayor Stuart Drummond said it would be a “relief” to finally secure the building and admitted he would still love to see it stage a one-off music concert.
If the sale does go through, two thirds of the site is set to be redeveloped for housing and the rest for commercial use.
The rumoured sale figure is around the £2m mark, but Mayor Drummond has previously said it was a “lot less” than £2m.
A council spokesman said: “Negotiations are ongoing with the owners for the council to acquire the site and we are confident that a deal will be concluded soon.
“We have also reached agreement with a developer to undertake an exciting redevelopment of the site in partnership with the council subject to the necessary planning approvals.”
Mayor Drummond said: “I’ve said all along that I would love to see the building used as a concert venue before the site’s future use is confirmed.
“I will be checking to see if that is a viable option as a one-off.”
The building has been empty since July 2004 and talks have taken place with a number of interested developers.
Last year the council entered into a “lock-out” agreement with owner Schroders to give it time to produce a feasibility study.
He added: “I will be relieved to tie up a deal for the site.
“This has been a thorn in the side of the town for several years now and we have had a lot of false starts.
“Even when economic times were better nobody came up with the cash to do something with it.
“But we have been in positive negotiations for a few months now to find what I think will be a suitable end use.”
Regeneration bosses have previously said the deal has been a “complicated process” because the site is not in the ownership of the council, it has an existing structure on it and it has been a problem identifying a suitable viable use in the current economic climate.
Recent council figures revealed that so far a total of £35,935.63 had been spent on advertising, marketing and site survey costs in relation to the Jacksons Landing site.
The figure includes £8,549.63 of officer time spent working to see if the council’s plans are viable, a total of 304 hours.
That includes internal and external meetings, project development works and the preparation of reports.