BOSTON-Sources tell that Vermont-based developer David Leatherwood is close to a deal to build a hotel here at 155 Portland Street in the North Station area.

“We’ve heard through the grapevine that he plans to develop a Hilton Garden Inn,” the source says. The site was previously owned by the Portland Building Association, which received approval to build a 10-story office building here. Some local business owners in the area objected to the proposed building but it is unclear if that is why the company decided to sell the site to Leatherwood.

Leatherwood’s hotel would also be 10 stories but would be lower in height and the traffic impact of a hotel is significantly less than that of an office building. “The process at the Boston Redevelopment Authority will probably go very smoothly,” sources close to the BRA tells Leatherwood needs BRA approval for the deal to go through.

Leatherwood owns two small hotels in Peabody and he has a 164-room hotel under development there. The developer attempted to open a Hooters restaurant in the hotel complex earlier this year but the Peabody City Council refused to grant a permit.

According to Meredith Bauman, spokesperson for BRA, nothing formal has been submitted to the Authority yet. But, she adds, “Meeting our needs for a hotel in this city is an important goal.

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