To power its cloud-oriented operation, Salesforce wants to be closer to the clouds. On Friday, the company announced it is leasing half the to-be-built Transbay Tower in San Francisco, the tallest building on the West Coast.
The 61-story skyscraper will be renamed Salesforce Tower for its new anchor tenant and will open in 2017. It is expected that the Salesforce cloud logo will adorn the building. The company will pay $560 million over 15-1/2 years to Boston Properties, the lead developer, and will get 30 floors of office space totaling 714,000 square feet. The total cost of the building's construction is budgeted at $1.1 billion.
The move means a major increase in the amount of San Francisco office space that Salesforce, already that city's largest tech employer, will have. The company currently leases a half-million square feet at another building a block away, which it will maintain, and it will occupy every one of the 30 floors in another building under construction. The three buildings are all located near the intersection of Fremont and Mission streets.
In a statement, Boston Properties' Executive Chairman Mortimer Zuckerman said the 1,070-foot-tall tower "will have a transformative impact on the San Francisco skyline." Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff told news media that the "expansion of our urban campus represents our commitment to growing in the city."
Previously, Salesforce had been considering the construction of a 2-million-square-foot facility in Mission Bay, but abandoned those plans in 2012.
Last week, the company announced a new strategy which it said was designed to transform how specific industries interacted with their customers.
Cloud solutions are being packaged for six global industries: financial services and insurance, health care and life sciences, retail and consumer products, communications and media, public sector, and automotive/manufacturing.
The solutions involve teams of experts in those industries, the development of an ecosystem of preferred partners, and the utilization of the Salesforce 1 Platform. In each case, the idea is to use customer relationship management to increase customer trust, loyalty and engagement.
In financial services and insurance, for instance, the company's offered solution is designed to go beyond transactional relationships with customers and create what it describes as "lasting trust through personalized engagement."
For health care and life sciences, the objective is to improve the patient experience, outcomes and cost. And, for retail and consumer products, it's to "transform the shopping experience" by increasing brand loyalty and engagement for customers wherever they shop.
Salesforce has started hiring executives in each of the verticals, such as former Comcast Cable CIO Andy Baer to lead the communications and media effort, and former Gap executive Shelley Bransten for the retail and consumer segment. Additionally, the company has indicated it may make acquisitions or partner with other companies in each of the verticals, if those routes would be more beneficial than building the necessary functionality itself.