The City of Fredericton is one step closer to getting a new hotel beside the downtown convention centre.

Mayor Brad Woodside says a committee looking at requests for proposals has recommended Aquilini Investment Group develop the hotel.

Aquilini owns the Crowne Plaza-Lord Beaverbrook Hotel across the street from the east-end location of the new hotel.

Woodside says the sooner the deal is done, the quicker the city can recoup the $800,000 it spent buying three properties along Queen Street where the hotel will be built.

"I asked them to bring it back sooner, rather than late," he said. "We want to get this missing piece of the puzzle in and get our money back from what we've invested in acquiring that property."

The next phase will be to negotiate the hotel costs and land costs with Aquilini, Woodside said.

The city issued the request for proposals in September, seeking bids for construction of a 90- to 120-unit hotel, which would be attached to the convention centre by a pedway.

The $28-million convention centre opened in 2011 and in its first year, it fell short of its targets for attracting events. The new facility was expected to host 220 events during its first year of operation, but it only held 192 events.

Still, downtown business owners have expressed optimism about plans for the new hotel.