Lead Asset Strategies claims to be close to announcing a winner in the bidding contest to choose a hotel operator for the New World Square corner site at Princes Dock, Liverpool.
Ian Pollitt, property surveyor at Peel Holdings, the majority landowner at Princes Dock, said: "It is a done deal with us [to acquire the site] and LAS has told us they will announce a hotel operator very shortly with a view to starting on site in January 2009 with a three year build."
LAS, owned by wealthy Asian entrepreneur Raj Basu, retained CBRE Hotels to conduct a search for a hotel operator of "at least four stars".
The £130m scheme was granted planning permission for a 224-bed hotel in December 2006. If developed, New World Square would include 16,900 sq ft of commercial space, 8,000 sq ft of offices, a 4,500 sq ft restaurant and 356 flats.
Basu and CBRE Hotels were unavailable for comment.