PORTSMOUTH — The Historic District Commission unanimously voted this week to approve a plan by Deer Street Associates to build a 5-story mixed-use building on the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Deer Street.

The development at 161 Deer St., on a parcel DSA refers to as Lot 5, features 45 residences on the top three floors, along with five workforce housing units.

The building is one of four DSA plans to construct around the city’s new Foundry Place Garage, as part of a public-private partnership with the city, that will transform this part of the North End.

Architect Tracy Kozak, who designed all four buildings for DSA, said they are aimed at creating a “welcoming, vibrant and pedestrian friendly” neighborhood in the city’s North End.

The Lot 5 building will be located on land that once was the city’s railroad depot, and designers have tried to “recall and invoke” that feel as part of the project, Kozak said at this week’s HDC meeting.

“There’s a real prominence to this intersection because this building is one of four important corners of what is going to become one of the major spaces in Portsmouth,” Kozak said.

HDC Chairman Vince Lombardi told Kozak that “you’ve kind of won me over.”

“For a long time I thought the building was too tall, but I think what happened is the details you put into it have made it different for me,” Lombardi said at this week’s HDC meeting.

HDC Vice Chairman Jon Wyckoff said the Lot 5 project is “very cohesive with all the buildings you have designed.”

“I guess what my comment is if you only put one of these buildings in place it’s going to stand out like a sore thumb,” he said. “What you’ve done here is you have this cohesive new section of Portsmouth and it really needs to be together. They all need to be constructed.”

HDC member Martin Ryan, who made the motion to approve the project, stated “this whole part of town is changing and I think it’s one of the better buildings that’s going to be in that area.”

He added the 5-story structure was “beautifully detailed” and “I think it will be a beautiful building.”

HDC member Richard Shea acknowledged it’s hard to judge the Lot 5 building when he thinks about “Portsmouth as a historic seaport village and that image that tourists come here for.”

“I know Portsmouth is changing. So to rate that building based on how it fits into Portsmouth is really difficult for me,” he said. “I could see that building in Cambridge, Mass.”

Lombardi replied he recently visited Miami and spent a lot of time in its art deco district, which he loved. “History doesn’t stop, it is a progression,” Lombardi said.

The Planning Board still must grant site plan approval before the project can move forward.

The HDC’s approval of the Lot 5 project represents an important run of approvals received for DSA’s four mixed-use developments. DSA received site plan approval from the Planning Board in February for its five-story hotel at 165 Deer St., which will include a rooftop restaurant and bar. The hotel is being built on Lot 3. Kozak said that building will include about 104,000 square feet of space, with parking on the first floor. There will be a total of 28 hotel rooms on the second, third and fourth floors, with the restaurant and bar on the rooftop, which will include a 4,000-square-foot deck.

The development will feature 111 parking spaces where 92 are required, including 78 on the first floor and 33 in the city’s Foundry Place Garage, she said.

In February, DSA also received approval from the HDC for its plan to demolish the existing Eastern Bank building at 163 Deer St. and replace it with a 4-story commercial/office building with a restaurant on the first floor. That project, which is being built on Lot 4, still needs Planning Board site approval.

The Planning Board in November unanimously approved DSA’s 43-apartment project at 181 Hill St., called The Residences at Foundry Place. That project will be built on Lot 6. The four-story building with a penthouse on top, includes retail on the first floor, apartments and penthouses on the upper floors and parking underneath.

Neither the hotel nor the Residences at Foundry Place need HDC approval because the properties aren’t in the city’s historic district, which mean the projects can move forward.