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Old Posted Jul 21, 2015, 12:08 PM
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Arrow SEATTLE | Hyatt Regency (808 Howell Street) | FT | 45 FLOORS

Construction of Pacific Northwest’s largest hotel can begin: city ruling

A Seattle developer has won a fight against a powerful union to build the largest hotel north of San Francisco.

Officials at R.C. Hedreen Co. say a ruling this week by the city’s hearing examiner on an appeal filed by Unite Here Local 8 means they can finally begin construction on the $400 million, 45-story project on the Denny Triangle block between Stewart and Howell streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues.

“This has been a pretty bogus scenario from day one with the union using these delay tactics to force us to the table,” said David Thyer, president of Hedreen, on Thursday.

A representative for Local 8, which represents about 5,000 workers in the hospitality industry in Washington and Oregon, said it “will assess all the options” with its partner in the appeal, Alliance for a Livable Denny Triangle.

Hedreen’s project, known as 808 Howell St., is a 1,264-room hotel above a podium of meeting and retail space, covering three-quarters of the block. The Seattle Sheraton currently is the Pacific Northwest’s largest hotel, with 1,236 rooms.

After the city issued a master permit for the project last fall, Local 8 and the alliance appealed the planning department’s decision.

Attorney Peter Eglick, who represented the union and the alliance in the appeal, didn’t return calls seeking comment.

The appeal alleged the project didn’t provide adequate public benefits under the city’s land-use code and accused the planning department of “assuming the role of project advocate, apologist and process manipulator.”

In her decision, hearing examiner Sue Tanner wrote that opinions can differ on what is “a significant public benefit,” but the union and alliance failed to show the department director’s conclusions “are clearly erroneous.”

If demolition and excavation begin in a month, Thyer said, the hotel could open in early 2018. Sellen Construction is building the 45-story tower, which will anchor the corner of Eighth and Howell.

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