Cheshire West and Chester Council will reveal the end user in August.
Whoever takes over will be granted a long term lease of up to 150 years to give developers confidence before investing the significant sums required to bring the grade II-listed building back into use.
Insiders at CWaC previously indicated the options had been narrowed to either a boutique hotel or state-of-the-art offices but it is unclear if this is still the case.
It was in June 2015 that firms were invited to submit concept schemes for the redevelopment of the property and the remodelling of the public realm in which it sits.
This is the latest attempt to transform what has become an eyesore in a prominent location next to the Roman amphitheatre.
Chester Renaissance , now called Chester Growth Partnership , had pursued an idea suggested by economic troubleshooters at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) who wanted the crumbling Georgian building turned into a Roman experience centre with the Roman remains exposed in the basement and on public view.
Then chairman Steve Broomhead did not rule out combining a visitor centre with a hotel on the same site.
But plans for a must-see visitor attraction fell through in 2014 when Patrick Parsons allegedly pulled out of the proposed vision because the building ‘wasn’t safe’ and needed ‘too much investment’ – thought to total millions of pounds.
Councillor Louise Gittins , cabinet member for Communities and Wellbeing, said of the latest plans: “There has been significant interest in the site and the council has worked with potential developers throughout the procurement process to support the development of schemes.
“The outcome of the process will be concluded in August when announcements will be made about the developer who is ultimately selected to take a scheme forward.”
The former convent, which has been vacant since BT moved out around 20 years ago, has long divided public opinion with some saying it is an ‘eyesore’ – and should be knocked down to allow the amphitheatre to be fully evacuated – while others say it is of ‘historical importance’ in its own right and should be maintained.
But Cllr Gittins commented: “Dee House is grade II-listed, Historic England hold a firm view that they would like to see the building repaired and brought back into a beneficial use enhancing its historical context. The building sits on top of part of the unexcavated area of the amphitheatre which is a scheduled ancient monument.
“Historic England clearly state that there is an over-riding need to protect and retain in situ the nationally important archaeological remains. Historic England will not countenance agreeing to the Scheduled Monument Consent that would be required in order for excavation of the amphitheatre to occur even if Dee House was not on the site.
"Historic England also add that from an archaeological perspective, the post-medieval remains in the area should be left undisturbed.”