A group behind plans for the centre of Cardigan says it has two weeks to raise more than £300,000 to buy a piece of land in the Ceredigion town.
The Society to Sustain and Support the Rural Countryside is raising money to buy the Pwllhai site by selling shares.
It wants to build a car park for 100 vehicles, and hopes to develop a community shop to promote local goods.
About 70 people attended a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the plan.
Backers of the scheme are aiming to buy the old farmers' co-op and surrounding buildings.
The not-for-profit consortium has the backing of the town's chamber of commerce and Ceredigion AM Elin Jones.
Society member and local farmer Aled Rees said the project would breathe new life into the town centre.
"We want the land for convenient parking in the centre of Cardigan," he said.
"There are several empty shops in the town centre and shops that set up there cannot make a go of it.
"Outside town there is a Tesco store with free parking, and as part of the Bath House project, Sainsbury's is building a store with free parking."
He added: "We also want to set up a community shop there where people can sell local products.
"We think it's a good idea, but it doesn't mean anything unless we can get local people behind it."
The share scheme, to encourage local people to buy shares for £200 each, was launched at the meeting on Tuesday in an attempt to raise money.
Mr Rees said a housing developer from Cardiff had already put an offer in for the land, and local people had two weeks to raise the money needed.