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Salesforce Tower, From Top To Bottom

San Francisco Office

This morning, the power players charged with building—and filling—the tallest office building West of the Mississippi filled us in on the latest developments during Bisnow's Transbay Boom! event at Hotel Nikko. 

Boston Properties senior project manager Michael Tymoff pinches himself, knowing that projects like these come around once in a lifetime. He reveals the newly branded address of Salesforce Tower is 415 Mission, as an ode to the area code and to christen Mission Street as the new downtown center. Construction started a little over a year ago, and they recently completed the installation of foundation piles, boasting the deepest system in S.F. that's over 300 feet down at the longest. That helps make it the most seismically safe and stable building in S.F., he says. (This is good news to hear, especially on the 25th anniversary date of our last big earthquake.)

Smith Currie & Hancock construction lawyer Ernie Brown (far left), who moderated, likens the 61-story building to a giant, beefy ship (we've learned from Titanic mistakes 100 years later). Given seismic issues in S.F., he wants to know what makes the building so strong and powerful. JD tells him the core is huge, like a massive spine, which helps support the bevy of elevators zipping people up and down. A neat design element is there are no crossover floors, meaning every elevator accessible from the front door takes you to work on any floor (each one stops on the 5th floor, which is connected to Transbay's park). 

Clark Construction SVP Steve Dell'Orto says making sure the highest quality subcontractors were on board was a priority. Salesforce Tower has generated thousands and thousands of craft labor and jobs. It was a rigorous qualification and procurement process to find the right subcontractors, and the good news was the high-profile nature of the project was an enormous draw that attracted the best of the best. Tenants will be able to start on TIs beginning some time in 2016 so they can be up and running for biz when the building debuts in Q1 2017.

Hines senior managing director Paul Paradis says from a light, air, and safety standpoint, it's a standout place to work. The building uniquely takes in air via 12-inch standard raised floors, allowing for the highest indoor air quality possible. A 10-foot high, continuous glass line floods offices with natural light. Another perk? The way it's being built makes it 25% safer than anything in the country, he says. If there's an earthquake, run there! 

With about half the tower up for grabs, Cushman & Wakefield exec director JD Lumpkin says people assume he's waiting for the next big tenant to sign—but that's not the tower's M.O. As we speak he's taking proposals for single- and two-floor leases, as well as for larger users. What's got potential tenants excited? Column-free floor plates that appeal to denser users. On this dream team, there's two of everything, he says (ex. the JV with Clark and Hathaway) and the leasing is no different; he's co-listing the building with CBRE's John Cecconi. Allen Matkins' Tony Natsis jokes there's just one attorney to deal with, however.

Given the years that went into the project to get it off the ground, Hathaway Dinwiddie CEO Greg Cosko jokes he's thankful to have joined the team once the project was all tee'd up to get going. Like the Giants winning the pennant every other year, Hathaway has also been continually involved with creating the hugest buildings on our skyline: the Bank of America Tower and Transamerica Pyramid, for starters. Now he's proud to have his name on the tallest building for many decades to come. (Ernie likens it to an Olympic athlete always trying to beat their own record.)

No longer will the city die down after 7pm; JD envisions a 24/7 work environment over the next decade surrounding the 1,070-foot tower. (Since 5,000 of the city's 9,500 units are getting under way in and around the Transbay district, that's likely.) Michael says the tower has taken five or six RFPs from lighting artists to adorn the top of the tower. The 150-foot crown perching on the highest office space will include a transparent system with LEDs, creating a glowing beacon. (Kind of like an urban lighthouse?)