Plans have been submitted for what would be the third-tallest building in San Francisco if completed, a 71-story tower at 530 Howard Street that would utilize a new state law to bypass SF Board of Supervisors approval.

There could be another notable and visually prominent change in the San Francisco skyline in the years to come. The Chronicle reported Thursday morning on a new 71-story residential tower proposed for 530 Howard Street (near First Street). If completed as proposed, it would be San Francisco’s third-tallest building at 840 feet, and have 672 units, 67 of them affordable units.

While the renderings embedded throughout this post are from design firm Pickard Chilton, the developer is a relatively new company called Bayhill Ventures, which is headed by some prominent veterans of the downtown SF real estate scene.

Image via Pickard Chilton

“Rising 840 feet (255 meters) from San Francisco’s SoMA neighborhood, 530 Howard is a residential tower designed to complement the city’s skyline while maximizing views to San Francisco Bay,” according to a description on Pickard Chilton’s website. "The transit-oriented development incorporates a fifth-floor pedestrian bridge directly connecting to the 5.4-acre Salesforce Park and the Salesforce Transit Center. The tower will be taller than any existing apartment building in the city, and will be the third tallest in the city.”

Image via Pickard Chilton

The Chronicle’s coverage rather flatteringly focuses on Bayhill Ventures founder and CEO Paul Paradis, who’s certainly got a few notable projects under his belt, including involvement with the Salesforce Tower.

Deep in the article, the Chron also mentions Paradis was "tasked with damage control” for the flooded 33 Tehama apartment complex, and you can check him out doing said damage control below, after residents reported repair contractors stealing items from their rooms. Those residents are still displaced, and the building developer Hines had previously told the Chronicle the building could be reoccupied “sometime in the second half of 2023.” Which (looks at calendar) that deadline is going to pass pretty soon.

Paradis left Hines in March of this year to start his own firm.

Regardless, the 530 Howard project is unique in that it doesn’t have to be passed by the Planning Commission or the SF Board of Supervisors, who notoriously shot down the high-rise at a nearby Nordstrom parking lot in 2021. This project would fall under a new state law called AB 2011, which allows for automatic, streamlined approval of projects with a certain percentage of affordable housing on commercially-zoned land next to a street 75 feet wide or wider.

“It will be the first major project that is utilizing state ministerial approval process — no (California Environmental Quality Act) study, nor a hearing at the planning commission,” SF Planning Department director Rich Hillis told the Chronicle. The project would still have Planning Department staff review to ensure compliance, but it would face no up-or-down vote from the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors.

If completed as planned, this 530 Howard project would be the city’s third-tallest building behind only the Salesforce Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid.

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Image via Pickard Chilton