The Ninth and Pine project would be the tallest building in Seattle's current apartment-construction boom.

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Developer Holland Residential plans to break ground late this spring on a 40-story apartment tower in downtown Seattle, Vice President Tom Parsons said Monday.

The site, now a parking lot, is at Ninth Avenue and Pine Street, across the street from the Paramount Theatre. Holland, one of the region’s most active apartment developers, has signed a contract to buy the property from Seattle-based Security Properties, which won city approval for the tower in 2009.

Seattle is seeing an apartment-construction boom, with more units in the pipeline than at any time in the past 20 years.

But the Ninth and Pine tower, at 40 stories, would be by far the tallest.

Security, also a major apartment owner and developer, put the site up for sale last year. John Orehek, Security’s president and CEO, said a year ago that despite the boom, rents still hadn’t risen enough to cover the construction costs of a high-rise.

But Parsons noted that he and his team in 2008 completed a downtown high-rise condo, Fifteen Twenty-one Second Avenue, for their former employer, Opus Northwest. “We understand the 400-foot tower,” he said.

Plus, “there are some sites in Seattle that are long-term great real estate, and that is absolutely the case with Ninth and Pine,” he said.

The Washington State Convention Center and the Convention Place transit-tunnel station are steps away, and the site is within walking distance of downtown shops and offices.

Documents filed with city planners indicate Vancouver, Wash.-based Holland wants to modify Security’s plans, increasing the number of apartments from 336 to 386. It also has proposed fewer parking spaces, more bicycle parking and less ground-floor retail space to allow for a larger lobby.

Holland already is building three projects with more than 600 apartments in South Lake Union and First Hill that are scheduled for completion within the next 12 months. It has two more South Lake Union complexes with an additional 300 units in the pipeline.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or