It could be another six months before a planning application is submitted for the eyesore Power Court area.
Owners British Land had hoped to lodge plans before the end of 2012, with rumours of a possible large supermarket on the site.
Richard Wise, head of UK retail asset management and development for British Land, said: “Helpful discussions are continuing with Luton Borough Council regarding a retail-led scheme at Power Court.
“British Land and the council want to ensure the new retail will be complementary to the existing shopping centre and we are hopeful that a planning application will be submitted by the middle of the year.”
A council spokesman said the authority hoped to find a “positive solution” to the site, which is still home to a number of businesses but has become a hotspot for crime and vandalism.
She said: “British Land are to meet operators who may wish to be located at Power Court, but whatever comes forward will need to be well integrated with its surroundings, help promote the regeneration of the wider area, and contribute to the town centre as a whole.
“We have not received a planning application for a supermarket to be built on this site although we are aware that major retailers have expressed an interest in locating on this site.”