Skip to main content

New skyscraper proposed for downtown San Francisco; it would be city’s third-highest

A rendering shows a tall, narrow tower rising up in the city's downtown.
A rendering shows what the proposed 840-foot-tall apartment tower at 530 Howard St. in Downtown San Francisco may look like. | Source: Courtesy Pickard Chilton Architects

A San Francisco real estate firm is proposing a towering new Downtown skyscraper that would contain more than 600 apartments and alter the city’s skyline.

Bayhill Ventures, a local real estate and investment firm, said Thursday it is seeking city approval to develop 530 Howard St., near the intersection with First Street. The location is south of Market Street, just a block from the Salesforce Tower.

The company hopes to build an 840-foot-tall building containing 672 apartments, according to its announcement. The residences would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available for lease.

The skyscraper’s 72 stories would stand at 795 feet, with mechanical penthouse levels and screening features extending the structure to 844 feet, according to a project description filed with the city. 

The building would be shorter than the 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower and stand just shy of the 853-foot-tall Transamerica Pyramid.

It will cost an estimated $268 million to build, according to the filing.

“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,” said Bayhill CEO Paul Paradis. 

Located in the heart of Downtown, the tower would feature a fifth-floor bridge over Natoma Street leading straight to Salesforce Park. An elevator on Natoma Street would provide public access to the pedestrian bridge, according to the description.

A bridge stretches next to a building, showing pedestrians walking next to flowers and trees.
A rendering shows the proposed pedestrian bridge that would connect the 530 Howard St. apartment building to Salesforce Park. | Source: Courtesy Pickard Chilton Architects

One-bedroom units would make up 424 of the apartments. There would be 180 two-bedroom units and 68 three-bedroom units, according to the project description. 

Plans call for a total of 68 “affordable” units, including 43 one-bedrooms, 18 two-bedrooms and seven three-bedrooms, the filings show.

A three-level parking garage would provide 149 parking spaces and 34 bicycle spots.

“This significant investment in our Downtown is another infusion of confidence and excitement for the future of San Francisco,” said Mayor London Breed in a statement. “Turning a parking lot into housing, including affordable housing, is exactly what we need to do to build a stronger, more resilient San Francisco.”

Currently, a vacant lot and a four-story office building sit on the land that the new tower would occupy, according to the company.

The current building at 530 Howard St. was originally built in 1908, according to city filings. During the 1910s, it was occupied by the Magnesia Asbestos Supply Co. before a rubber goods and leather clothing manufacturer took over the space from 1920 to 1966. Since the late ’70s, the building has been used as office space by architects, designers and other professionals.

Another portion of the land was an auto repair garage from the 1940s through 1989, when it was demolished, according to the filings. It has been a parking lot ever since.