50 Fremont Plaza 2016

As we first reported last year, Salesforce.com is planning to convert 13,000 square feet of its existing office and restaurant space at 50 Fremont Street and 8,900 square feet of the building’s publicly accessible open space into a childcare center with private outdoor play areas for up to 116 children of Salesforce employees.

The open space to be converted includes the entirety of 50 Fremont’s existing 7,500-square-foot pedestrian plaza, which fronts First Street as pictured and rendered above, and 1,400 square feet of 50 Fremont’s mid-block pedestrian mall which connects the plaza to Mission Street.

SFDC 50 Fremont Plan Side Plaza

While the existing outdoor space to be converted is technically privately-owned public open space, the construction of 50 Fremont was approved prior to the implementation of San Francisco’s Downtown Plan in 1985 which created the requirement that developers specifically provide (Privately-Owned Public Open Space (POPOS) when building.

As such, 50 Fremont is not subject to the minimum requirements for the provision of POPOS as prescribed by San Francisco’s Planning Code and the City has just granted the proposed conversion an exemption from having to complete an environmental review. The five-month project is now two permits away from breaking ground. Two feet of excavation will be required.

29 thoughts on “Privatization of Open Space for Salesforce Closer to Reality”
  1. While some will lament the loss of the open space, arguably it will be dwarfed by new City Park and probably very underutilized once that park opens. Further, child care is sorely needed and if it provides avenues for families to stay in SF and increase the diversity of residents, I think that is terrific. More plus here than minus, but I am sure there will be countless posts saying how horrible it is.

    Salesforce is in many ways an extraordinary company that has chosen SF as its HQ and created many high quality jobs – and, by the way they have the legal right to do this.

    1. So the open space was not created as a separate condition for the original approvals to construct the tower? That’s usually how these things work.

  2. This kind of stinks, that is a very busy area for people to gather in the sun and eat lunch. Too bad they can’t make the walkway wider so more people can sit there. So much for the farmer’s market and a sunny place to eat outside. I’d be worried if I had one of those lunch places nearby as business will dry up pretty quickly without any places to sit.

    1. Right, if only there were multiple plazas in the area to choose from. Like something just a block away might do it, but we don’t have anything even remotely like that.

      1. I’m curious – what is currently a block away (not in the works for a 2018 opening) ? The closest spot on Market between the Chevron Building & Chipotle has been closed for about the last 9 months to a year. The spot in the Citibank building at One Sansome across from Etrade is now enclosed in glass without a direct street entrance.

      1. Well, would having young kids around a gas-powered generator for 3-4 hours a day be healthy for them? I think the alley location is horrible idea. At the same time, they have the right to do what they want as its legal. But still, bad idea for the alley.

      2. You can see from the photos that there is no room for the 3 trucks that use the space now, and it wouldn’t be smart to have truck generators next to a kids playground.

  3. Salesforce has legal right to do this…. sounds like.

    But its a bad trend.

    Maybe they will get some payback next exception they need from planning.

    Nothing to do with how many jobs they create, etc.

    1. Why is this a bad trend? They were voluntarily making this space available to the public, and now they are changing this to permit a large child care center there. Good child care is sorely needed in SF, particularly in the financial district. To me, this is a great development and a welcome change from the usual profit-maximizing first, foremost, and only. To the extent planning cares at all, I hope planning rewards them for this should they ever need something.

  4. My only wish is Safesforce opens up some childcare spaces to downtown residents. Most downtown families do not have access to childcare because companies and government agencies snap up all the spot with exclusive agreements.

  5. In a few years, when we’re saying, “remember when Salesforce was a thing?” the plaza will revert to its original use.

      1. One isn’t based on San Francisco while the other has been reducing head count, subleasing space and is currently trading near an all-time low of $15.91 per share (39 percent below the $26 price at which it went public in 2013)?

    1. Salesforce has been around 17 years and is showing no signs of slowing its growth. I think this is wishful thinking on your part, even if seeing 15k+ employees out of work is a slightly weird wish to have

  6. Salesforce being a horrible neighbor yet again. I wish Beniof was blowing his daddy’s money on the Peninsula instead of in the City.

    1. Wait, how does this make Salesforce a horrible neighbor? When did we become entitled to their plaza?

    2. “I wish Beniof was blowing his daddy’s money” – you have been misinformed about the source of his money.

  7. SPUR has a brochure listing all the POPOS in the downtown area. There are 68. “Of those 68 spaces — which include parks, plazas, terraces and snippets — 45 were created between 1959 and 1985. The remaining 23 were created under the requirements of the 1985 Downtown Plan, a set of zoning regulations adopted to control growth, and which included guidelines for the creation of more publicly accessible open space in downtown San Francisco.” It sounds like socketsite commenters are just fine with the potential of losing all 45 created before 1985.

  8. What a detriment this will be to the area. Day care is great, but is Salesforce’s best option to close off a plaza open to, and used by, the public? Its not day care for anyone who can afford it, it’s daycare for Salesforce’s employees only. If/when the parkbin the sky opens is not relevant. People don’t really walk a lot of blocks and go up two stories to sit down and have a sandwich or to enjoy the sun for a few minutes. Salesforce’s and Benioff are generous, but this action is just selfish and thoughtless .

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