A mystery buyer that put in an offer for the old Countdown building in Kensington a few months ago is still doing due diligence.

Building owner Northland Regional Council accepted an offer just when it contracted real estate agents in the local and international markets. The building has been vacant for nearly three years.

The sale, if it goes ahead, is expected to be completed by the end of Christmas. The building has been vacant since June 2014 when former tenant Countdown, previously Woolworths, moved to Regent after 26 years at the site.

The NRC did not formally put the property on the market in the past 18 months because of roadworks at the Kensington Ave/Kamo Rd intersection.

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After the work finished early this year, NRC intended to advertise for tenders through real estate companies when an offer came in.

The 9967sq m site consists of 12 lots and at September 2015 had an estimated value of $5.5 million.

NRC spokesman Phil Heatley said yesterday the building had still not gone unconditional yet because the potential buyers were doing their due diligence.

He could not divulge the potential buyer's identity or other details, including the price.

The site was originally bought as a commercial investment and had not been inherited from the former Northland Harbour Board, as had other NRC properties.

Last year the NRC turned down a proposal from Whangarei disability support group NorthAble to buy the property and turn it into a healthcare hub.