The former post office in Bury St Edmunds town centre could undergo a transformation as part of plans to refurbish and extend the building.
Owner St Edmundsbury Borough Council has appointed Donald Insall Associates as architects for 17-18 Cornhill.
A business case and proposals will go to cabinet for consideration in early April. If approved, full council will be recommended to approve funding in late April.
The architects have been asked to develop proposals that keep the historic Victorian front, respecting the town’s heritage while also bringing it back into economic use, but will also better integrate the arc with the Cornhill and Buttermarket.
Cllr Alaric Pugh, Cabinet member for planning and growth, said: “The purchase of 17-18 Cornhill by the council offers the opportunity to explore potential for a new shop front on to St Andrew’s Street South, which we hope will open the eyes to other landowners and investors as to what can be achieved there.
“We will not simply be investing to gain the maximum financial return, but to deliver social and economic improvements to the area. As part of this, working with Donald Insall Associates, we are aiming for some very real improvements to the look and feel of Market Thoroughfare.
“Had we not acted and invested in the purchase of this building, the council would have little or no control over these outcomes.”
Tanvir Hasan, of Donald Insall Associates, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to work on this exciting project.”