As we outlined last month, the amended Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed 27-story, 495-unit infill tower to rise on Nordstrom’s underdeveloped parking lot parcel at 469 Stevenson Street was slated to be re-certified, clearing the way for the approval and entitlement of the tower that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors had “killed.”

In fact, not only has the amended EIR for the project been certified but the window within which said re-certification can be appealed has just closed without an appeal having been filed.

All that being said, as we noted when the original EIR was certified back in 2021 and holds true today, “neither building nor demolition permits for the project have yet to be requested, permits which are typically paralleled processed for projects which are positioning to break ground and which continue to speak to the actual intentions and planning of the entitling team (Build Inc.),” but we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

22 thoughts on “Tower That Supervisors “Killed” Re-Certified, Sans Appeal, But…”
  1. My gut feeling is that if we just wait a little while there’s going to be plenty of housing available for everyone who wants to stay. No need to build more.

    1. That equilibrium won’t last long though. People will return. I give it five years tops.

  2. Yes, if people just wait a while, prices will come down, and it will be easy. Has happened so many times in the past. There is no innovation in the Bay Area, no new companies being started, so it’s guaranteed. All the big companies are doomed, and there are no decent lifestyle amenities in this region. Even the weather is too mild.

      1. True, but housing costs would have to plunge a whole lot more for them to be even close to being affordable. I don’t see how this would happen without an increase in supply, or a drastic decrease in demand via some sort of natural disaster. But maybe I’m just not applying “The Secret” with the proper amount of gusto.

        1. It seems like the disaster is happening. I’ve lived here for a very long time and this is the first time I’m unsure about a recovery – at least in my lifetime. We just don’t have the leadership ready to step up and do what needs to be done.

          1. if we vote out Preston, Chan and Peskin, things will improve. in particular, preston is the biggest killer of housing and the biggest fan of drug cartels

          2. Supervisor Aaron Peskin co-sponsored with Mayor London Breed the recent proposed legislation to streamline the process of converting downtown office buildings into housing complexes.

            Among other things that developers, and other hangers-on in the S.F. real estate “game” want, the Commercial Residential Adaptive Reuse Program includes eliminating city requirements that housing conversions have a set amount of space reserved for yards, have a certain percentage of units above studios and one-bedroom units and bicycle parking requirements. So times have changed, and he is no longer the bogeyman.

  3. Interesting comment from John Elberling whose organization filed the original appeal against this project. This from the SFBT:

    “Nonprofit and frequent development opponent TODCO filed the earlier appeal; TODCO President John Elberling told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would not appeal the latest vote because he feels the tower will never be built given the economic downturn in the city’s central neighborhoods.”

    IMO Elberling is right. This project won’t be built – you can strike 495 units from the San Francisco housing pipeline.

    1. As we outlined above, the window to appeal the re-certification has closed, regardless.

      In addition, it would be a mistake to “strike 495 units from the San Francisco housing pipeline,” versus understanding the pipeline bucket(s) into which this project was – and still is – slated to fall, where we are in the current development cycle, and the various implications.

    2. Or… Elberling is attempting to save face given the onslaught of mounting criticism on his org and approach to building [err, stalling] housing.

    3. I want to thank John Eberling for all the work he has done to block housing. As a landlord, he is really helping preserve the value of my investments. Even better, my kids will thank him they inherit generational wealth.

      1. and as an apartment broker, I would like to thank Dean Preston and his ilk. For every new misguided legislation he uses to pander to his base that piles more regulation on small mom and pop landlords, I get new listings to sell. these policies just keep pushing small property owners out of the business. many of these buildings get sold to corporations or large investment groups, the ones Dean Preston hates.

  4. Exhibit A of “A project delayed is a project killed.” Would have been built a few years ago, not so anymore. TODCO and the BOS win, 100 low income houses are scrapped, and a historic parking lot is preserved.

    1. Once again, as we noted when the original EIR was certified a few years ago and holds true today, “neither building nor demolition permits for the project have yet to be requested, permits which are typically paralleled processed for projects which are positioning to break ground and which continue to speak to the actual intentions and planning of the entitling team (Build Inc.).”

      At the same time, Build Inc. has walked away from their entitled plans for a 40-story, 319-unit tower to rise up to 420 feet in height at the intersection of Market, Oak and Van Ness Avenue, a project which was approved back in 2017 but has yet to break ground.

      We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in to what’s actually going on behind all the posturing and scenes.

    2. While your description of the parking lot as “historic” was probably aiming for glibness, it’s correct nonetheless: at least in the sense that with Nordstrom closing its need will soon have passed. Parking lots used to replace obsolete buildings, wonder what will replace an obsolete parking lot?

    3. Have to hand it to whoever handles social media or PR for Build Inc., they really put on a master class in astroturfing around the 469 Stevenson St. project. The sheer volume of posts around this project from folks like ‘Ben’ above mindlessly shilling for the developer will ensure it gets written up as a case study in how to generate fake outrage and umbrage for future generations of politically savvy companies to study.

  5. How true is it that building and demo permits are parallel processed? There’s a pretty significant risk factor for that, especially in todays market, and the denial of EIR cert underscores that. I’m not starting my permit drawings at risk, especially in SF, especially in the current market, unless I’m 100% sure I’m getting approved.

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