The planned Newington Butts tower will deliver 470 flats on public land passed to the Greater London Authority when it took control for delivering housing from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Originally a joint venture between English Partnerships and First Base, the landmark tower designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners was approved five years ago but fell victim to the economic slump.
The publicly-owned land, which used to be home to the London Park Hotel, has lain dormant ever since.
If a developer can be found the plan is to also build new facilities for the Southwark Playhouse, including a 150-180 audience capacity theatre and a café.
Boris Johnson, said: “This project will play a key role in our plans to release public land to boost construction, create jobs and provide homes for working Londoners.
“It will be central to helping Elephant and Castle realise its enormous potential for growth and regeneration and so I’m delighted to ask developers to step forward and make it happen.
“We’re looking for a developer with the know-how, financial clout and the ambition that this fantastic project deserves and that will help to make this historic part of London an even better place to live, work and visit.”
Developers have until 22 October to submit their expressions of interest to city hall.