The developer has submitted revised plans for the conversion of the Liverpool eyesore into a 241-bed student development.
The prominent corner site on Duke Street and Berry Street at the entrance to Liverpool's Chinatown has been derelict for many years. Earlier plans for a hotel fell through despite planning approval granted in 2011.
The latest scheme was designed by architects Shedkm and will, if approved, create a mix of shared apartments and studios, plus ground floor retail.
Downing was appointed preferre3d developer by Liverpool Vision in 2002 for the complex council-owned site which was acquired through compulsory purchase order from former owners Frenson and two Chinese businessmen.
The site is within the Duke Street Conservation Area and close to Liverpool Cathedral.
Paul Houghton, development director at Downing, said: "As one of the UK's most experienced developers of student housing, with projects in Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, London and Cambridge, we are looking forward using our knowledge and expertise to bring forward another high quality student scheme, with 241 bedrooms and ground floor retail."
Unlike previous design approaches that required the demolition of the majority of the buildings this design began with the premise of keeping as much of the existing structure and fabric as possible while making interventions to allow new uses.
A void through the centre of the new buildings will allow natural light in and there will be a new link to Cummings Street, connecting Chinatown to East Village, the wider Ropewalks area and Liverpool ONE.
A planning decision from Liverpool City Council is expected in April.