COUNCIL officials say they finally expect to conclude a deal “soon” for a derelict retail site, more than a year after plans were first revealed.
Hartlepool Borough Council is yet to buy Jacksons Landing, at Hartlepool Marina, as part of plans to then sell the land on for redevelopment.
Officers say they are making good progress, but it has been a complicated process due to the nature of the site.
The building has been empty since July 2004.
The rumoured sale figure is around £2m, but Mayor Stuart Drummond has previously said it was a “lot less” than £2m.
In 2011, the council entered into a “lock-out” agreement with the owner Schroders to give the local authority time to produce a feasibility study and work with potential developers.
If the sale does eventually go through, two thirds of the site could be redeveloped for housing and the rest for commercial use.
Mayor Drummond has previously said that the aim of the council buying the building and selling it on was to make a surplus and reinvest that money into other services.
Officers say the redevelopment of the site would also help boost the town’s economy.
The contract is yet to be signed, but officials say they are making “good” progress and expect a deal to be concluded soon.
A council spokesman said: “We are making good progress and expect to conclude a deal soon in relation to Jacksons Landing.
“The transaction will result in the council receiving some income which will be beneficial given the financial pressures facing the council and the whole of the site will be redeveloped, bringing in much-needed investment and jobs to the town.”
Over the past year council officers have met with the owners Schroders in London.
A council report last spring revealed £35,935.63 had already been spent on advertising, marketing, officer time and site survey costs.
The building has been empty since July 2004 and talks have taken place with a number of interested developers.
Councillors gave their backing to buy the building – which was valued at £10m before the credit crunch – at a full council meeting in 2011.