This derelict two-acre site in central Birmingham is being snapped up by developers for more than #25 million, netting the city council its biggest ever land sale.
A consortium is poised to buy the site off Great Charles Street, which was once going to be the home of the city's new coach station and has been the subject of on-off disposal attempts for years.
The deal, which is expected to go through in the next few weeks, will give the council enough money to build a new pedestrian bridge crossing Great Charles Street, linking the city centre with St Paul's Square and the Jewellery Quarter.
The site, one of the most visible in Birmingham which thousands of motorists pass each day along the A38, will be turned into a mixed-use development of offices, houses, shops and a hotel.
Council leader Mike Whitby said last night that a bidding war among developers demonstrated the buoyancy of the Birmingham economy.
More than half of those placing bids were prepared to pay in excess of #8 million an acre, but the final price is expected to be more than #12m an acre.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) added: "This is a perfect riposte to those people who try to claim that economic activity in Birmingham has ground to a halt."
The council's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has been under attack in the property and building trade press for failing to progress regeneration projects.
However, Coun Whitby pointed out that demand in Birmingham is so great that rents for office and commercial space are at record levels. Three years ago, the council valued the Great Charles Street site at about #5 million.
At the end of 2005 the land was put back on the market amid speculation that it could fetch as much as #15 million.
The exact price-tag is not being revealed, but The Birmingham Post understands that a figure of more than #25 million will be agreed.
Ken Hardeman, the cabinet member for regeneration, said he expected a new bridge across Great Charles Street to be constructed along the lines of London's Millennium Bridge across the River Thames. "We will be looking for innovative first class design," he added.
Referring to the "knockers and critics" of Birmingham, Coun Hardeman took a swipe at Sir Digby Jones, the director general of the CBI, who has been critical of the council's record on regeneration. He urged Sir Digby to recognise the rapid growth of the city economy and to stop criticising.
Ladywood councillor Carl Rice, who represents the Jewellery Quarter area, said: "It is no good building another bridge. That is not what people want these days."