Plans Surface for 71-Story Residential Tower in SoMa, San Francisco

530 Howard Street aerial view, rendering by Pickard Chilton530 Howard Street aerial view, rendering by Pickard Chilton

Bayhill Ventures has announced plans for a new skyscraper at 530 Howard Street, overlooking San Francisco’s Salesforce Park. Initial plans shared with media this morning suggest the tower would stand 840 feet tall, making it the third tallest structure in the city skyline if built today and the second tallest in the city’s pipeline. Bayhill Ventures is a relatively new firm led by the former chief at Hines, Paul Paradis, and former president of the Sobrato Organization, Rob Hollister.

The current application will rise 840 feet to create 672 for lease apartments. Unit sizes are expected to vary between one- to three-bedrooms. At least ten percent will be designated as affordable. Parking will be included for cars and bicycles, while residents will enjoy nearly 30,000 square feet of amenity space.

530 Howard Street within the San Francisco skyline, rendering by Pickard Chilton

530 Howard Street within the San Francisco skyline, rendering by Pickard Chilton

530 Howard Street pedestrian bridge to Salesforce Park, rendering by Pickard Chilton

530 Howard Street pedestrian bridge to Salesforce Park, rendering by Pickard Chilton

In a statement shared with YIMBY, Bayhill CEO Paul Paradis said the following:

We believe there continues to be a strong need and desire for housing in Downtown San Francisco, which will support a more diversified and balanced ecosystem for residents, businesses, and their employees… I have been active in this submarket for decades, and I’m pleased that Bayhill will provide much-needed market rate and affordable housing, as well as employing skilled labor in the near term. We believe in the City’s ability to continue to attract forward-leaning technologies, as well as both large and small corporate companies, alongside other business services, retail, and dining.

Pickard Chilton is responsible for the design of 530 Howard Street. Renderings show the slim tower rising from the five-story podium, with a four-floor-high cantilevered amenity terrace facing the pedestrian bridge connecting the public to Transbay Park via an elevator. The facade appears to be treated with bold horizontal lines established by steel beams between each floor, while metal panels represent pilasters rising up to the 840-foot-high parapet.

530 Howard Street street view, rendering by Pickard Chilton

524 Howard Street, a 2016-filed plan for the surface parking lot, rendering by Handel Architects

524 Howard Street, a 2016-filed plan for the surface parking lot that is now canceled, rendering by Handel Architects

Today, a surface parking lot and a four-story office building occupy the project site. Crescent Heights had pursued plans in 2016 for a 48-story mixed-use tower with 350 units. The Handel Architects-designed apartments never materialized, and over the years, its most common permit activity regarded the temporary parking lot’s two-year lease renewals.

The tower is expected to rise amongst a crop of several dense apartment towers, with one notable exception. Close to the project site, in fact, just two parcels down at 550 Howard Street, Hines and a development team canceled the planned 61-story mixed-use tower known as Parcel F. The 750-foot skyscraper would have created 165 homes, a 189-room hotel, retail, and roughly 325,000 square feet of office space. Construction was expected to start in early 2022, but due to the city’s struggling office market, the shifting nature of the hospitality industry, and ballooning construction costs, Hines put the parcel up for sale in July this year.

While plans for Parcel F are officially canceled, the developer has continued to push for plans to create the city’s second-tallest skyscraper right next to the Embarcadero. City Grove is the developer’s master plan, which includes one and a half million square feet of offices designed or adaptively reused by Pickard Chilton. Between the offices, Hines and Foster + Partners are working on 50 Main Street, a 992-foot supertall with 808 homes. The Planning Department shows that the project is still under review, with activity about a lot merger noted earlier this summer.

The site is in SoMA, close to the Yerba Buena cultural district and the Rincon Hill neighborhood. Prospective residents can also look forward to The Portal, connecting Caltrain and future High-Speed Rail with the transit hub’s underground train platforms.

530 Howard Street looking toward the Transbay bus bridge, image by Google Street View

530 Howard Street looking toward the Transbay bus bridge, image by Google Street View

In a public statement, Mayor London Breed commented on the new plan, saying, “this significant investment in our Downtown is another infusion of confidence and excitement for the future of San Francisco. We are focused on doing everything we can to bring more housing and vitality Downtown, and I want to thank Bayhill Ventures for working to deliver on that effort.”

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24 Comments on "Plans Surface for 71-Story Residential Tower in SoMa, San Francisco"

  1. Something pointy on top to scrape the sky please.

  2. love it! bring back some life to downtown please

  3. Buy High, Sell Low in SF | November 16, 2023 at 8:57 am | Reply

    With properties available for purchase below the cost to replace, prices falling, and construction prices skyrocketing, new San Francisco developments now make zero sense. This is especially true for secondary locations previously being foreclosed upon multiple times.

    However, as a new start-up development company Bayhill Ventures needs a calling card to appear relevant and active. The actual Hong Kong property owner lacks local development expertise and may want any excuse to forget what may have been the worst purchase of the last decade in its included 524 Howard Street $78 million small vacant parcel. Therefore, both parties appear complicit for different reasons in this entitlement charade.

    Hoping the Kardashian family is invited to stay at Buckingham Palace is more likely than this development soon moving forward.

  4. Love this, but hate the plain box top.

    • I think the top is fine, no one sees it unless you are up in a hi-rise at that level or from a distance and then there isn’t much detail. People like different things. It may get built, the guy who is building is may do it to pump up his ego.

  5. Rather than start a new project like this, why don’t they just buy and complete one of the existing towers like Oceanside Center or 550 Howard?

    • The foundation for Oceanwide has been done, this means by default they HAVE to construct the rest of the tower no? Would rather then become an abandoned lot if nothing is done. Nonetheless, the more heigh and density, the better. They should build both this tower and Oceanwide would make for an impressive skyline transformation.

  6. Last century had my small business offices on the third floor of 530 Howard. The old brick parking garage was torn down at 524 Howard after the 1989 earthquake with promises of a building and it’s still empty. I’ll grab the popcorn and watch how long this takes.

  7. JohnMichael O'Connor | November 16, 2023 at 2:21 pm | Reply

    SF has been losing population steadily for years. Where is the market for this project in SOMA? it’s not downtown,arden. Former Sobrato Organization President Rob Hollister’s belief that this project can pencil out may explain why he is no longer with the Sobrato Organization.

    • 2 years ago when I started working in the area I would have said the same thing, but the area has been rebounding. A lot more foot traffic around this area and the Salesforce Park is visited regularly. Good luck getting a coffee @ Andytown (191 Fremont building) in the afternoon as the line stretches out the door. It’s a great time to plan a residential building especially with the CAHSR and Caltrain tunnels being ~2 years from groundbreaking. Remember these kinds of buildings have to predict the market in 5 years. The area could take 3 years to fully rebound in this new post-covid world and by then, we’ll be a year or two away from this building welcoming residents.

      • An office builder would be a better fit for CAHSR. I doubt people living in the high rise would commute to work in the central valley but the opposite is likely.

  8. I believe the Board of Supervisors no longer has a say in construction anymore, let’s get this going!

    More density for a world class city. Skyscrapers are as American as apple pie.

  9. SiliconValleyRiseUp | November 16, 2023 at 7:04 pm | Reply

    Love to see it! With SF’s housing prices and its role in the tech industry, 61 stories for the city’s tallest building is disappointing. They should aim for the tallest buildings in the world, not just the country, and set 100 as the benchmark to climb towards

  10. Great build it! But don’t create a scrawny matchstick skyline like Manhattan has become.

  11. I prefer the 2016 version better than the new one. Boring, boxy, no setbacks.

  12. #drilltobedrock

  13. Hi administrator, Excellent work!

  14. I like it, it will make San Francisco skyline beautiful, Build it San Francisco.



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