SEATTLE—Developers plan to break ground this fall on a 660-foot downtown office tower that would be the tallest building erected in Seattle in more than 20 years. 

Daniels Real Estate of Seattle and equity partner Stockbridge Capital Partners of San Francisco obtained permits for the 43-story Fifth and Columbia Tower in early 2008. They put the project on hold later that year when Washington Mutual collapsed and downtown offices began to empty. Nearly five years later, they are back in the starting gate, according to the Seattle Times.

Seattle’s strong job growth is enough to get the partners to start building again — even without signed tenants, they say.

“We just really like Seattle as a market, today and for the long term,” Stockdridge COO Stephen Pilch told the paper.

One big change is likely for the project: A luxury hotel could occupy the skyscraper’s second through 15th floors. A permit application for the change was filed with city planners last week. Daniels Real Estate President Kevin Daniels said he’s negotiating with a national hotel company he declined to identify, except to say the brand would be new to Seattle.

At 660 feet, Fifth and Columbia would be 55 feet taller than the Space Needle. Only Columbia Center, 1201 Third Avenue, Two Union Square and the Seattle Municipal Tower are taller.

The $400 million project is slated for completion in mid-2016.

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