Manchester City Council has made a compulsory purchase order for London Road Fire Station, which is owned by Britannia Hotels.
The council said the CPO will now be considered by the Government.
A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: "This important building has been lying empty and largely disused since it was acquired by Britannia more than 20 years ago. Despite them bringing forward a number of previous planning applications dating back as far as 1986 nothing has been delivered. What should be an asset for Manchester has become an eyesore.
"London Road Fire Station is on English Heritage's Buildings At Risk register and we have made a Compulsory Purchase Order because Britannia have failed to satisfy us that they intend to bring the building back into appropriate use with an acceptable timeframe. Should that situation change we would be willing to reconsider our position.
"It's essential that this Grade II-listed building makes a positive contribution to the regeneration of the Piccadilly area rather than inhibiting it and causing a poor first impression of the city."
The property, owned by the same company which owns the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool city centre, was built between 1904 and 1906.
English Heritage listed the building, located at the junction of London Road and Fairfield Street, opposite Piccadilly Station, in 1974 before placing it on its At Risk register in 2001.
Britannia Hotels is based in Hale Road, Hale.