Salesforce Literally Reaches for the Sky With New Tower Headquarters

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Salesforce Literally Reaches for the Sky With New Tower Headquarters

SAN FRANCISCO—Owner Boston Properties and Salesforce introduced their new baby, the 1,070-feet-high Salesforce Tower, to the city of San Francisco April 6 on a drizzly day in the Bay Area. When it is completed next year, Salesforce Tower will be the tallest building west of Chicago (although the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles, which is about the same height, is giving Salesforce a bit of an argument). Nevertheless, the tower features 61 floors and 1.4 million square feet of office space—more than Wilshire's. Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff told invited guests at the event that when all is said and done next year, about 10,000 Salesforce employees will be working in downtown San Francisco—most of whom will be in the tower. This eWEEK slide show offers a look behind the scenes at the introductory event. Photos by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK

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Topping It Off in Downtown San Francisco

Despite drizzly weather, a crowd of several hundred invited guests took part of the morning off and joined Salesforce for the introduction of Salesforce Tower, located at 415 Mission St. in downtown San Francisco. "415" is significant because that is the original area code for the city.

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Benioff Welcomes Everybody

Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff, whose company takes up a lot of office space in the Market Street/Embarcadero neighborhood downtown, welcomed invited guests to the event. A key message he offered was about the importance of enterprises "giving back" to their communities by enabling employees to work for nonprofits on a regular basis while on company time. Benioff is well-known for his philanthropy, including the starter funding of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children's Hospital a short drive from Salesforce Tower.

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Signing Herself Into History

Guests at the event were allowed to sign their names on a beam that eventually will be built into the 61st floor of the building, which will become an open-to-the-public viewing room on weekends. The room, with astounding 360-degree views of the Bay Area, will be made available for public events next year when the building opens to the public.

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What's on the Beam

Journalist Chris Preimesberger (center), representing eWEEK, signed the beam alongside hundreds of others. When the tower opens for business in 2018, Salesforce and Accenture will be the first companies to move in, with Salesforce occupying floors 1, 3 through 30 and 60 and 61. At inception, the tower was known as the Transbay Tower but was renamed Salesforce Tower after Salesforce signed a 15-year lease for 30 floors of the 61-story building.

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Getting Prepped to Go Upstairs

Members of the media, who were asked to wear hiking boots or athletic shoes and heavy jackets to protect themselves from possible high winds on an open floor at the 1,000-foot elevation, also had to wear hardhats, protective glasses, gloves and flak jackets.

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What it Contains

eWEEK colleagues Chris Preimesberger (left) and David Needle get ready to head up to the 61st floor. The tower project, started a full four years ago, is the centerpiece of the San Francisco Transbay redevelopment plan that contains a mix of office, transportation, retail and residential uses. When completed, the tower will be the tallest in San Francisco (surpassing the Transamerica Pyramid by more than 200 feet) and on the West Coast and a defining building in the burgeoning South of Market area. It has a top roof height of 970 feet (296 m) and an overall height of 1,070 feet (326 m).

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How It Looks From the Street

Salesforce Tower was previously known as the Transbay Tower—until Salesforce announced in 2014 that it signed a lease for 714,000 square feet on floors 1, 3–30, and 61 to become the building's anchor tenant. The lease is valued at $560 million over 15.5 years starting in 2017.

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Literally Changing a Famous Skyline

Salesforce Tower (upper right in the distance) joins the world-famous Transamerica Pyramid (left in the distance) to add to the San Francisco skyline behind the famous "painted ladies" Victorian-style residences on Steiner Street (foreground). Total cost of the project is expected to be in the $10 billion range.

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Towering Over the City

Salesforce Tower is built on bedrock not far from the western attachment of the Bay Bridge, built in 1937. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) selected real estate investment, development and management firm Hines as the architect for the project and sold the parcel to Boston Properties and Hines for $192 million. Groundbreaking for the tower took place on March 27, 2013. Actual below-grade construction work started in late 2013.

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