Seattle’s newest skyscraper finally underway

by / Tuesday, 25 November 2014 / Published in News

November 25, 2014

Josh Kerns, My

After stalling for several years because of the economic downturn, work is underway on what will become one of Seattle’s tallest and most distinct downtown skyscrapers.

In this week’s edition of “What are they building?”, we profile the 44-story Fifth + Columbia tower. The newest addition to the Seattle skyline will be anchored by a four-star luxury SLS Hotel from the third through 15th floors. The boutique hotel will operate 184 rooms, restaurants, spa and a ballroom.

Floors 17-44 will be premier view office space designed with 13.5-foot ceilings and floor to ceiling glass that deliver views in every workspace and will have no interior columns in the workspaces.

Developer Kevin Daniels has worked for a number of years on the project, but had to delay construction when Washington Mutual went under in 2008 and the city was left with a glut of vacant commercial real estate.

Daniels has been a leading force in local real estate, spearheading a number of iconic projects ranging from the preservation of the old warehouse that would become the Starbucks Center to the futuristic Stadium Place development just north of CenturyLink Field.

While the new tower will feature the newest advances in design and amenities, it also preserves a significant part of Seattle’s past. One of Daniel’s inspirations for the location was the nearby Daniels Recital Hall – the former First Episcopal Church at Fifth Avenue and Marion Street. Daniels has said he invested in the area in part to preserve the historic building with its distinctive dome.

Daniels Real Estate and Stockbridge Capital Group purchased the First United Methodist Church parcel in 2008 to preserve the historic 1906 church from impending demolition. Fifth + Columbia also shares the block with The Rainier Club another landmark structure, built in 1904.

“Preservation and reuse of the First United Methodist Church is integral to the Fifth + Columbia project but ‘what that is’ will be a future announcement,” Daniels said in an email. He did confirm it will include restaurants, a conference center, ballroom and other public spaces.

If all goes as planned, the Fifth + Columbia tower should open sometime in 2016.