Cheshire East Council has bought the former Royal Mail site in Crewe for £2.75m.
The 4.5-acre Weston Road site became vacant when Royal Mail relocated its sorting offices to Stoke and Warrington.
The council said the site is a prime spot for a landmark development as part of an ambitious plan to redevelop Crewe Rail station and identified as a key project in delivering the wider vision to revitalise Crewe and wider region.
Wesley Fitzgerald, Cheshire East Council leader, said: "This acquisition is part of our wider vision to grow and develop a strong and sustainable Cheshire East economy, which will improve people's life opportunities and enhance the environment in which they live."
Cllr Jamie Macrae, cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, added: "The need to acquire this site to deliver a new 'rail gateway' for Crewe, and a potential transport interchange for the wider region with increased parking provision, has been a key ambition for Crewe over many years. Cheshire East Council has now become the catalyst for that project. Our vision for a new rail gateway includes improved passenger facilities, a high-quality concourse, improved parking and traffic arrangements and a landmark building at this important location.
"This is a long-term commitment and we are realistic that, in the current funding climate, we won't be able to deliver this project immediately. We will be working with private sector partners and public bodies over coming months and years to bring it to fruition.
"This is another example of our commitment to be an excellent council that works with others to deliver for Cheshire East.
"This is the largest site acquisition that the council has made to date but it is the type of acquisition that large local authorities such as ours make regularly to deliver strategic regeneration priorities.
"We are developing proposals for short-term uses that may be suitable for the site while we develop our detailed proposals, together with our strategic partners, for the long-term regeneration of the station."
The Weston Road site comprises a 48,620 sq ft single storey building with adjacent parking and an 85,551 sq ft part two-storey and part three-storey former Royal Mail delivery offices, as well as an extensive yard which serviced both offices.
The move is the latest in a series of regeneration projects undertaken by the council across Cheshire East, including the long-awaited £52m Alderley Edge and Nether Alderley bypass.