The state College Board has given the University of Mississippi permission to proceed with contract negotiations to buy the Oxford Mall.
Vice chancellor for administration and finance Larry Sparks said the university already owns parts of the building.
The portions of the mall where the Malco theater and J.C. Penney rent space are owned by Crosswell Properties of Texas.
The purchase price of the property is $6.9 million plus closing costs and is less than the average of two appraisals the university submitted with its request to the College Board.
As per state law, the documents for the purchase were reviewed and approved by the Attorney General's Office prior to the College Board's approval.