Salesforce tower opens for business

The tallest building in San Francisco is now officially open for business.

Several city officials joined Salesforce employees in a triumphant ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday for the massive 61-story building, which has already become an iconic part of The City’s skyline.

Although the building’s anchor tenant, Salesforce, moved into the building earlier this year, today marked its official opening.

Co-developed by Boston Properties and Hines, the Salesforce Tower, located at 415 Mission St., will not only house the Salesforce headquarters, but also includes housing, hotels, retail space and a gondola lift that will lead to the Salesforce Park, a 5.4-acre public rooftop park on top of the new Transbay Terminal.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, including a handful of San Francisco supervisors, Mayor Mark Farrell and former Mayor Willie Brown, who hosted the event.

Supervisor Jane Kim said:

“It took some ambitious minds and hearts, some may call it stupidity or brilliance, but it really was hope and optimism that brought Hines and Boston Properties to the table and said ‘we will build a thousand and seventy feet into the sky and there will be tenants when we open’ … So many years later, it is such a pleasure to stand here today at a building that is fully tenanted.”

Mayor Mark Farrell said:

“When we passed the Transbay Transit plan a few years ago, we were in a recession and unemployment was at 10 percent here in the city of San Francisco. And of course how far have we come today … Like the Transamerica pyramid before, the Salesforce tower is going to dominate and highlight San Francisco’s skyline for decades to come.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said:

“Yes today is a beautiful celebration, but even more I hope it’s an opportunity for deep reflection about who we are in this city and where we need to go as a community. We all know that this is now the tallest building. But what does that really mean?”

Benioff added:

“We see extraordinary wealth… but also grinding poverty in the shadow of this very building. And we see companies unleashing incredible innovation, but also families in deep distress, struggling to survive everyday.”

According to Benioff, Salesforce has pledged $1.5 million to the Hamilton Family Center, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that helps families struggling with homelessness. Furthermore, Benioff said he and his wife were going to match the gift, making for a total donation of $3 million.

Benioff said:

“We have an obligation to make this city as beautiful as can be … There is a lot more to do in this city and we shouldn’t have to look up at buildings like this to be inspired.”

The tower stands on land that was purchased from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority for around $192 million. The project broke ground in 2013, and Salesforce signed on as the anchor tenant in 2014.