The Manhattan Beach City Council, on a 4-0 vote Tuesday night, approved a proposal to buy half the land that was occupied by Metlox Potteries on Manhattan Beach Boulevard.
The large chunk of vacant land sits in the middle of the city's downtown and is prime commercial property. Metlox Potteries declared bankruptcy in 1989.
Manhattan Beach has allotted about $2.4 million to buy 63,000 square feet of land owned by the Santa Fe Railroad Co., City Manager Geoff Dolan said.
The railroad owes the city $875,000 for legal fees that Manhattan Beach incurred during a dispute over a strip of greenbelt once owned by the railway. The company will deduct that amount from the price of the land.
No specific development plans have been drawn up by the city.