The Municipality of Central Huron faces challenges in redeveloping the former Bluewater Youth Detention Centre property south of Goderich.
Mayor Jim Ginn says Central Huron is at the front of the line on purchasing the almost 300 acre site on Highway 21, and the buildings located there.
The Bluewater site has sat idle, since the province suddenly closed it in early 2012 in an effort to cut costs.
Ginn notes that there are many issues to resolve, and characterizes the effort as "two steps forward and one back".
While he can't say much while discussions are in progress, Ginn is enthusiastic about the idea of an agri-food processing plant locating on the Bluewater site.
He adds that the open space inside the fenced area is also drawing interest.
Most of the western side of the Bluewater property along the Lake Huron shore is designated a Community Facility in the Central Huron Official Plan.
The former youth correctional facility property occupies 2,000 feet of shoreline.
Ginn says a major and expensive part of any redevelopment will involve demolition of the existing buildings, which have been quickly deteriorating over the past seven and-a-half years.