Signature Living has put in a bid for Liverpool's Municipal Buildings, which could transform the property into the city's first five-star hotel.
The developer behind the Shankly hotel in the city has confirmed it is one of the bidders for the property on Dale Street.
Liverpool Council put the Municipal Buildings up for sale in September in an attempt to make £90m of savings over the next three years.
The building has been the local authority's home for more than 150 years, but it was declared surplus to requirements as it is too costly to run and maintain.
Staff are being moved to other council buildings, including the Cunard Building at the Pier Head.
Hotel specialist Signature Living was linked with the building as soon as it went on the market, and now owner Lawrence Kenwright has confirmed he is bidding for the property.
Kenwright told the Liverpool Echo he wanted to turn the building into a luxury hotel themed around the city's history including its connection to maritime and the Beatles.
He said if he won the bid it would allow for another iconic forgotten building to be brought back into use, creating a "huge beacon for tourism".
"Because we're in the hotel sector now, we understand that a lot of people come here to party, a lot of people come here for football, but an awful lot of people come here just because it's Liverpool and because of its history and its conservation and its heritage. So we're going to bask in that. And we know that will work," Kenwright told the newspaper.
He added: "We do believe that Liverpool is at that point where it should have a five-star hotel."
More than a dozen potential buyers have already expressed their interest in the property and developers have until close of business today (16 December) to put in their bids.
The council will consider all bids before the council's cabinet confirms the winning bid.
Back in February, Principal Hotel Company (then Principal Hayley Group) acquired Martins bank building in Liverpool. It was shortly followed by news of a £50m investment, which is expected to transform it into a five-star hotel.
A new hotel cannot automatically have a five-star rating, it can only be obtained after an inspection.
The group said work would start on the property on Water Street this year, but a spokesperson for the hotel was unable to provide any further details. The hotel is expected to open in 2018.
Signature Living also owns 30 James Street, as well as the Shankly hotel and various apartments.