Hallam University is poised to move into the former central post office in Sheffield city centre – bringing the Victorian building back into use after more than 15 years.
It is understood university chiefs will sign a deal with owner, development company Langland, this week.
The derelict building on Fitzalan Square closed in 1999 and has stood empty ever since.
Now it is set to be transformed into teaching accommodation.
At the same time, it is anticipated the deal will revitalise Langland’s plans to build student flats on the rest of the site, on the corner of Flat Street and Pond Hill, overlooking the bus interchange.
A Langland spokeswoman said they expected to make an official announcement by Wednesday.
A Sheffield property agent, who asked not to be named, said: “It makes sense for the university, which has several buildings in the area already, including One Eleven on Arundel Gate and the Adsetts Centre.
“And it makes sense for Langlands because having the university as a tenant will make anything they build more attractive to students. It could also lead to a revamp of Fitzalan Square.”
Three years ago Langlands submitted plans for twin towers – 22 storeys and 14 storeys – for 270 student flats, with shops, cafes and bars at street level.
They were to be targeted at international students, reflecting their importance to the university and the local economy. The aims were to help overseas students improve their English and settle into academic life before starting degree courses.
The post office, built in 1910, closed 16 years ago when new premises opened in the Co-op store in Angel Street. There were long-running concerns over its condition.