Transbay%20Tower%20Side.jpg will lease just over half of the 1,070-foot-tall Transbay Tower rising at 415 Mission Street, adding 714,000 square feet of space to their collective San Francisco “campus.”

The 61-story building will be renamed “Salesforce Tower” and be ready for occupancy in 2017, at which point Salesforce will control over 2 million square feet of office space in the city.

“Salesforce Tower represents an incredible milestone in our company’s history—it will be the heart of our global headquarters in San Francisco,” said Marc Benioff, the company chairman and CEO. “We founded in San Francisco 15 years ago and this expansion of our urban campus represents our commitment to growing in the city.”

Salesforce is paying $560 million for its 15-1/2 year lease and naming rights, with plans to move into the tower in early 2018. Salesforce will effectively occupy the bottom 30 floors of the tower along with the very top floor.

46 thoughts on “Transbay Tower To Become “Salesforce Tower” With Monster Lease”
  1. Sears Tower has a nice ring to it. Salesforce Tower not so much. At least the signage won’t be too visible. Nothing worse than logos on the tops of buildings. Look how it ruined LA’s skyline.
    It will always be Transbay Tower to me. Legally, the city could still add 70 more feet to the height, which could be about 4 more floors. I wonder if that’s possible at this point.

    1. 70 feet sounds just about right for the salesforce logo…wouldn’t want the hype factory (SFDC) to be overlooked.

  2. No matter what it is named, it is still a very unattractive building. Too bad one of the other designs were not chosen by Hines. a building this tall and dominating the skyline of any city should have some sense of design, instead we will be stuck with a 1000′ foot cone.

  3. Could this commitment lead to restoring the original height?
    I guess this means the building will finally be getting underway.
    The building name is interchangeable so I don’t care about the inelegant name; transbay is solidly dull anyway.

  4. Might as well call it Half A Salesforce Tower.
    I was hoping google would show some balls and take the whole thing on and call it 415 Mission.

  5. @sf – yes it’s curious; while a lot of great buildings don’t have company names (Empire State Building, World Trade Center, The Shard), there certainly can be great buildings that include company names (Chrysler Building, Transamerica Pyramid, Citibank Building).
    But overall, use of a company name seems to degrade, not add – a good example is US Bank Tower in L.A. (which will always be Library Tower to me). Or the same building can feel different with a different name – the PanAm building was a classic, the MetLife building, meh. Sears Tower sounds solid, Willis Tower, meh.
    In the end I suppose it’s all subjective; but for me “Salesforce Tower” just sounds silly – like something out of a coding-based MMO game or Sim City, not the name of a real-world, skyline-defining structure.

  6. It makes a strange kind of sense that the practice of giving buildings and infrastructure corporate names has taken off at the same time that corporate volatility has made it unlikely for those names to keep their meaning for the lifetime of the structures so graced. Look upon my works, ye mighty.

  7. Um, that trend really took off at least fifteen years ago, although it was primarily limited to ballparks back in the 2000’s. Obviously the greatest turnover was in stadiums named after banks or telephone companies, but even Enron had a stadium named after it.

  8. @ Sierrajeff – I think what’s most off-putting about the name in this particular case is that it’s a generic name made of real words with meanings (and the meaning is crassly commercial – selling stuff!), as opposed to something fanciful (Chrysler, to a lesser extent Transamerica) or a family name (Sears).

  9. There are no signs above the second floor in sf so this really amounts to a plaque on the ground floor and trying via brokers to get everyone trained to say the corp name.
    If you still say PAc bell park than it doesn’t work on you.
    Anyone know the rents ?
    I’m guessing 70 Psf for the bottom half of the bldg block and 110 Psf for the top floor.

  10. My thoughts:
    + win for the city, in that it keeps a HOME-GROWN company in SF (and a company that easily could relocate out of the city to find cheaper / easier leases)
    + win for transit. Folks on here always talk about how things need to be transit-first. You’ve now got a major/anchor tenant committing to central SF near transit. If that’s not a win, not sure what you’re waiting for??
    + win for employees I’d bet, what with transit options (in hindsight, I’m glad they didn’t build that huge campus in South Beach)
    I’m not a employee nor affiliated with them, but i’d sure rather have this company stay in SF than not. And while Benoiff can be hugely egotistical, he seems to be the only tech CEO to go on record saying how tech companies need to do more in SF (also doesn’t hurt that he’s donated $200M to hospitals plus addt’l $ to sf schools).

  11. Ugly name for a tower, if you ask me. But it’s a pretty uninteresting tower, too. I wish we’d settled on a more interesting design for the tallest building in the west…

  12. That’s not a 1000′ foot cone. It’s a ginormous vibrator. What an uninteresting/embarrassing building to be penetrating our skyline.

  13. They’re only leasing half the tower and they get naming rights and signage? What happens to whoever leases the other half?

  14. They pay 50% more for their lease, don’t get the top floor, and don’t get their name on the building.
    You snooze, you lose.

  15. I agree completely with DanRH: Great comments, and thank you!
    I wonder really though with is with all the vitriol and dislike over the SIMPLE naming of a building. Why does it get so many commenters here in a heated state? Why does it bother you?
    The comments here on SS lately are getting more and more negative with every subject matter. It’s like a constant bitch fight.
    More like a bunch of Real Housewives/husbands of SS.
    [Editor’s Note: Feel free to lead by example rather than kvetching about kvetching.]

  16. Salesforce signing this presumably long lease in a boom market? Can they afford to keep this much office space in downtown SF in the long run? They also have half of my building across the st. 50 fremont st., and they are building another one kitty corner from the Salesforce Tower, which will be entirely salesforce (unless they reneged on that one in exchange for this).

  17. as for the name of the tower..yeah, i’m not hugely a fan of that (salesforce tower). but like folks say, you’d probably get used to it. we’re used to transamerica building…at&t park (i know I hated ‘pacbell park’ when it first came out but for some reason now I miss that name…why? it was still a company name). Woolworth building. Sears Tower. Levi plaza. Levi stadium…
    i think you have to do what they did here or you have to come up with some city-approved name great name (“esseff tower”?). I know I really didn’t like ‘transbay tower’.

  18. Based on those numbers, i calc’d an average rent of $50 psf. Is that possibly correct?
    Remarkably, Salesforce has LOST money the last four quarters as it attempts to grow revenue. $4billion in annual revenue. $100mm+ in quarterly losses. This lease might signal market peak.
    Meanwhile our other homegrown juggernaut Wells Fargo books $5billion in quarterly Income this quarter and won’t touch new office space.

  19. Salesforce has acquired Edifice Complex; when a company is big and important enough to spend a ginormous amount of money on a non-earning asset to show how big and important they are. Usually, this heralds their downfall. In ten years, when it is acquired by the next big thing for a song, people will be saying “Remember when everyone thought Salesforce was a big deal?”

  20. From what I’ve heard the Saleforce signage will not be located on the top of the tower but only 100′ off the gourd. Also, I hope they push up the tower a few more floors.
    [Editor’s Note: See our comment below.]

  21. Thanks editor for that wonderful advice.
    I’m a big booster of SF in general. I embrace change, growth, gentrification and all that is good about our city.
    But you know as well as many of that too often, there is nothing but negativity here on ANY given subject or building or topic. That’s not my style.
    I would really enjoy more acceptance and embracement of processes that are in place and have gone thru years of reviews and community input, rather than endless whining about what has been approved and put in place. As an architect, I took time and interest to attend community meetings, planning commission meetings and developer presentations. Quite frankly I would more people did the same in SF.
    Being involved is real knowledge and real power of reality.
    [Editor’s Note: Yes, it’s hard to believe there’s so much negativity considering there are so few issues and conflicts with respect to housing, development, and the economics of real estate in San Francisco these days. And of course, plans that were made in the past have no right to be challenged today, even if they completely failed to account for the city’s future needs as a whole.]

  22. john wrote:

    Ugly name for a tower, if you ask me. But it’s a pretty uninteresting tower, too. I wish we’d settled on a more interesting design for the tallest building in the west…

    I agree that it’s a sorry name for a tower, but I also agree with Patrick (at 12:15 PM) that the name is transitory at best because Salesforce probably isn’t going to be around for more than fifteen more years as a distinct company. And whoever takes over Salesforce will rename it.
    Sybase, PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, and so on. They didn’t lease out huge buildings, but still ask yourself: Where are they now?
    As far as “the tallest building in the west” title, that’s temporary until the 73-story Wilshire Grand, at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles gets completed in 2017.

  23. Sybase resided in a showy modern campus with a view of the city and the golden gate. Siebel Systems had a big campus in Santa Clara near where the ballpark is being built. PeopleSoft may not have had any notable structures, but then they got bought by Oracle which has showy set of towers.
    The point still stands: Where are they now? Does having buildings that make a statement do anything for companies, either externally or internally?

  24. TransAmerica Pyramid, Crown-Zellerbach Building, Shaklee Terraces, Citicorp Center, First Interstate Center, PG&E, Southern Pacific Building, Standard Oil Building, Shell Building, Bank of American Tower, Pacific Telesis Building, McKesson Plaza, Wells Fargo Building, the Schwab Building, Royal Insurance Building, Home Savings and Loan Building…. All were the common names of some of the downtown skyscrapers once upon a time. San Francisco will surely survive “Salesforce Tower”.

  25. ^Thank you! This is hardly some brand new trend, and Salesforce isn’t close to the worst name out there. All this hysteria over something so trivial is comical.

  26. According to Futurist, you have to be a professional architect and involved with community meetings about proposed developments and land use in order to offer an opinion. Otherwise, he will simply poo-poo your thoughts as drivel. That’s his style, folks. We simple people just aren’t at his level. Sniff. Sob.
    As for the building, the naming rights will eventually change. My concern is the camel toe on top that was approved not too long ago, as well as the absence of the Caltrain extension. Sigh.

  27. Didn’t mean to imply any vitriol with my comments, though I can’t speak for others. Just sparking and engaging in dialogue… otherwise a lot of comments on here would be limited to “good”, “plus good” and “doubleplus good”.
    … as for bad naming situations, there are not just one but two classic ones coming out of Phoenix:
    1) the “University of Phoenix Stadium” – for a professional football stadium constructed specifically to get the Arizona Cardinals *out* of a university stadium setting (in that case, ASU).
    2) the former FBR Open [golf tourney], now known as the Waste Management Open. ‘Nuf said.

  28. Oh, I’m quite fine with others have opinions Mark, on the future and changes in our city. All voices are welcome. I never poo-poo any thoughts as “drivel”, but I do think some people feel intimidated and angry when they call a building “fugly”, and then are upset when I take the time to write and offer a more detailed opinion, from an architectural point of view on my take as to the merits, strengths and weaknesses of a particular building or project.
    As one of the few architects here, I understand that I write and think in a particular way: the way I was trained and taught to think as an architect. No apologies here, but others (at times) probably resent that. And being involved (even a small amount) in community planning meetings goes a long way to really learning how the process evolved and how and why decisions were made. Being vocal at an actual meeting is powerful and can make a difference, even if some of those changes don’t happen. ( I advocated for much wider sidewalks in part of the Western Soma plan and a LOT more trees: I’m not sure how much of that will happen.)
    To the Editor: I agree there is much negativity HERE regarding the future growth and development of SF with regards to housing, displacement, gentrification, etc. But there are others who agree with me that the city is moving in the right direction; That’s how I feel.
    And yes, plans CAN be challenged that were put in place. Contacting supervisors and planning commissioners probably is much more effective than complaining here on SS.
    In general, I don’t support the “socialist/communist” ideology of supporting anyone and everyone who wishes to live here. Many of our city leaders are wrong, IMO, with regards to that. And, they still can’t solve the terrible drug/homeless problems, yet craft legislation effectively enabling renters to engage in extortion with landlords.
    I believe in responsible, well planned growth. I believe in gentrification. I believe in making the city a safer, cleaner, more vibrant place to live for those who want to participate and contribute.

  29. “As one of the few architects here, I understand that I write and think in a particular way: the way I was trained and taught to think as an architect.”
    My opinion is that far from trying to elevate the level of SF architecture, you’re most often on here cheerleading for the bland and the uninspired. I may not be a French trained chef, but I know a Burger King from a Benu. And I find you’re most likely to be found singing the praises of the Burger King.
    Personally, I understand that for some segment of the market any supply (of homes or of food) is better then no supply at all. But SF is a wealthy city and we should also be able to have nice things. Both market segments can coexist, but I think it is disingenuous to talk up a Burger King as something it isn’t.

  30. We just have to agree that “bland and uninspired” is very subjective, and pure opinion.
    I’m really trying to think of a new building that I would find bland and inspiring. None come to mind. Granted some are subtle and quiet, and simply detailed; one of the hall marks of modernism. I like that. I also think it’s fine to have background buildings.
    I think we do have nice things. I’m assuming, and correct me if I’m wrong that you want what you see happening in, say, Amsterdam or Copenhagen? Maybe? Different culture, different architects, different desires. We’re not them.
    Take for example some of the newer residential buildings in the Upper Market corridor: VanNess to Castro. Most are interesting, varied, modern, livable. Even Saitowitz, whose work I generally don’t like, does produce some interesting façades, albeit with harsh living spaces.
    Again, as I’ve said before, not every building has to be a star.

  31. I’m still unclear on what the problem is. Aside from, of course, “ugh”.
    Newsflash: buildings are expensive. One way they are paid for is by their tenants. If this sort of thing really bothers you, you should probably avoid any city on earth. Or make yourself a billionaire and buy a building, then you can name it whatever you want.
    Newsflash #2: companies sometimes go out of business or change their name. If that happens–and stay with me here–the name on the building can change.

  32. @ SFRealist: You hit the nail on the head! BP has every legal right to sell naming rights to the highest bidder. And make no mistake: this news is good, as it helps ensure this expensive tower will be built.
    And to those who cringe at the new official name, take heart that things don’t always have to be popularly referred to by their “official” name. Think “The Campanile,” officially “Sather Tower.” Or our beloved “coast redwood” trees, officially “Sequoia sempevirens.” These are just a couple official names that you won’t often hear in everyday conversation.
    In that spirit, I propose—with all due respect to SalesForce as the main tenant and new, legal owner of official naming rights—that we popularly christen the city’s new tallest building, and instant skyline landmark, something more reflective of this great city. In homage to the official name “SalesForce Tower,” let’s take the initials “SF” and repurpose them for a popular name: meet the “Saint Francis Tower*”!
    Win, win, and more win!
    Salesforce, Inc. gets the space they need for growth, not to mention their logo prominently displayed on the side of the building as well as everything else that goes with their fully legal right to purchase “official” naming rights. Meanwhile, the city keeps a major, homegrown (and rapidly growing) business (and jobs!) right here in town. The skyline gets a beautiful new landmark. And we all get a new urban icon that will henceforth and forever more—surviving the inevitable corporate mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, rebrandings, etc.—be popularly named for our great city’s patron saint. Even the media is under no obligation to stick with an “official” name when a popular alternative has taken firm hold.
    *P.S. I can’t claim to have come up with that name; I believe I saw it mentioned briefly in some online comments somewhere else, but can’t remember where. I think it was more of a passing comment than a proposal, but I’m happy to relinquish any and all credit, if this idea takes hold.

  33. Will Salesforce even show profit by 2017, if ever?
    I guess profits just aren’t necessary anymore. This time it really is different! /s

  34. Two Beers:
    I don’t know. But if you’re so positive Salesforce is going down the tubes, you shouldn’t complain here–you should short the stock. Put your money where your mouth is! If you’re right, you’ll be rich enough to buy the building yourself and name it whatever you want. Good luck!

  35. @two beers, Salesforce currently doesn’t show a profit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t show a profit. From Reuters – Salesforce has $4.5 billion in unbilled deferred revenue from closed contracts with businesses that currently don’t show up on the balance sheet. Why are they unbilled, yet closed contracts? Don’t know, you’d have to ask them. Their net loss as of last quarter (ended 1/31/14) was $116 million. I’d guess if they put that deferred revenue on the balance sheet, they’d probably show a profit. But, just my guess.

  36. They are focused on growth over profit at this point as is much of tech/biotech. They could easily turn a profit if they weren’t spending so much on growth. Trying to slow down mass investment to turn a profit would be really dumb, but I doubt 2 beers has ever run a business.

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