Employees settle into new Salesforce tower

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It's the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. At 62 stories high, the Salesforce tower in downtown San Francisco has finally opened up for business.

At 1,070 feet tall the city's newest skyscraper on Mission and Fremont Streets is an architectural marvel of concrete and glass.

The uniquely-shaped building is visible from just about anywhere in the Bay Area and KTVU was the first station to receive a behind-the-scenes look.

"This is the very first team that has moved into Salesforce Tower," said Salesforce's Director of Corporate Communications, Cheryl Sanclemente, as she led reporter Tara Moriarty on a tour of the ninth floor.

"Our entire design is inspired by nature," said Sanclemente, pointing to carpets that mimic grass and cushions that look like boulders.

Windows abound. "We want it to feel light and airy and inspire employee wellness so… it's a very happy space," said Sanclemente.

"This is the project," said Steve Colvin of Boston Properties, which owns and manages the building. "This is our really our new flagship building in the Bay Area."

Sixty percent of the building is occupied by Salesforce. Consulting firms and law firms make up most of the rest. Staff is just starting to move into offices this week.

Sanclemente showed our KTVU crew the "social lounge," which she likens to a kitchen.

Large orange couches with throw pillows adorn the lounge area complete with an enormous flat screen TV. Behind the kitchen island, lies rows of Salesforce coffee mugs, a Peet’s coffee maker, and drawers and canisters chock full of everything from chocolate-covered pretzels and peanuts to granola bars and potato chips. Inside the see-through refrigerator are various sodas, yogurt, veggie sticks and hummus dip. All of the snacks are free, but workers are encouraged to grab lunch elsewhere.

"We actually don't offer free lunch as a company and that again is part of our culture. We think it's really important to go out in downtown San Francisco and be good patrons of local businesses," said Sanclemente.

Currently Salesforce employees can gaze at panoramic views of the 5.4 acre park under construction above the new Transbay terminal. After its completion this spring, they and the public will be able to take a free gondola ride to the park, dotted with palm trees as well as maple and pine.

A walkway and path for joggers circles the lush space. Back inside Salesforce offices, if you need to make a private phone call there's a huddle room. If you need to squeeze in a quick workout, there's a treadmill. 

The 61st floor boasts no offices and panoramic views of the entire city. At the end of spring, Salesforce is opening up the space to non-profits and charitable organizations that wish to throw parties for free.

Up one more floor is a restricted space completely engulfed by windows that looks and feels like an outdoor patio. 

"We're about 950 feet up in the air," said Colvin. "And you hear a noise behind me, those are cooling towers which is removing the latent heat of evaporation out of the building- part of our air conditioning system." 

Everything in the building is high-tech from the indoor air quality system to security, to the building's outdoor public art exhibit visible at the building's tip-top.

"There's 11,000 LED watt bulbs here," said Colvin, standing on the 62nd floor, pointing above to array of steel girders. The LED art display, commissioned by Jim Campbell, is the highest public art installation in the United States.

The Salesforce Tower should be about 60 percent occupied by the end of this year and fully occupied by the end of 2019.