The former RAF Coltishall base in Norfolk has been bought for £4m by the county council.
The authority hopes to create hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy using the site.
Although details of its plans are still being finalised, it is thought some of the site could be turned into business units.
Plans are also under way to return part of the land to farming and to build homes.
The council bought the 600-acre site from the Ministry of Justice, which had earmarked the base as a potential location for a new prison.
Cliff Jordan, council cabinet member for efficiency, said: "I am convinced that the price we have paid for the site represents excellent value for money for council taxpayers, and that over time, it can generate a very useful income for the authority.
"No ideas are set in stone and we very much welcome the thoughts of local people and those from more widely across Norfolk. Equally, we are open to suggestions regarding a new name for the site.
"We understand the strong feelings towards, and importance of, developing the site for commercial purposes while maintaining the rich military heritage which still exists.
"We are working closely with English Heritage and have commissioned Cold War experts at the University of East Anglia to help us in our thinking. Allotments for local people and community woodland are also a real possibility."