Work to demolish the Greyfriars bus station in Northampton will start on March 31 next year, and could take up to 18 months to complete.
Decommissioning work started in February, when fixtures and fittings were stripped out of the office complex above the site, and the overgrown roof garden was cut down.
And the main process will get underway 26 days after the opening of the new North Gate bus station next spring.
Once the new station is opened on March 5, hoardings will go up and Greyfriars will close completely.
The demolition is expected to take up to 18 months, as the building will have to be dismantled brick by brick.
The time estimate is from the removal of the first brick, right up to the point where the site is cleared and ready for redevelopment.
Council leader, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said: “I think it’s important you look at the town centre as a jigsaw and you have to put all the pieces in place.
“We have always said we are committed to developing the Greyfriars site, but first you have to open the new bus station. Then there is the process of demolishing Greyfriars, and to look at what we put on that site.”
Legal and General has exclusive rights to redevelop the site, but its plans to expand the Grosvenor Centre are still on hold. On this issue, Councillor Mackintosh said: “We have clearly got to have a number of other conversations about what happens on that site.
“There are things we are waiting to hear back on, such as the Rushden Lakes [proposed retail park] inquiry.
“But in terms of moving the town forward, demolishing the old bus station and building the new one, we have made some good progress. People have been talking about demolishing Greyfriars for as long as they have been talking about redeveloping Sixfields.”