New Salesforce Tower high-rise will alter San Francisco skyline

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SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The story of the San Francisco skyline is turning a new page. Unchanged for decades there is a new look, a new building on the block -- the Salesforce Tower.

"I've been dreaming about this building since I was four years old," said Mirjam Link, senior project manager for Boston Properties, the company that owns a majority share of the tower. "Even as a kid I was drawing tall buildings and high rise towers. No one in my family is in architecture or real estate or anything like that. Thirty-plus years later, here I am."

When the Salesforce Tower, currently under construction, is completed later this year it will stand at 1,070 feet tall. 

"It's very powerful. It will be here for the next how many decades [and] generations," Link said. "This is changing the skyline, there's nothing similar."

The tower at 415 Mission Street is 61 stories and has 1.4 million square feet for commercial lease. Boston Properties says companies will start to move and work in the building this coming fall. The anchor tenant is Salesforce. Workers for the cloud computing company will occupy the lower 30 floors and the building's top two floors.

"Salesforce Tower embodies Salesforce's commitment to San Francisco as the city's largest technology employer, and will serve as a hub for the community, as well as for employees, customers and partners," said Elizabeth Pinkham, Executive Vice-President Global Real Estate for Salesforce.

"The building will be the heart of our global headquarters and represents an incredible milestone in Salesforce's history as we continue to grow at an unprecedented rate," Pinkham said.

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San Francisco is known as being located in the heart of earthquake country, but Link says she's not concerned about earthquakes.

"This is the safest building in the entire city. This is the building you want to be in," Link said, adding that she is not concerned about the building sinking.

A neighboring residential tower has reportedly dropped 16 inches into the soil below.

"We're going into bedrock (so) unless bedrock sinks there is no way our building settles or sinks or moves," Link said.

San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King says the Salesforce Tower has grown on him. King describes it as tasteful, well-tailored, refined and a well-built corporate office tower in a high rise neighborhood.

But King also says he believes the new tower will not be embraced the way many San Franciscans embrace the neat, old ramshackle neighbors.

"My guess is it will never say ‘San Francisco’ the way the Transamerica Pyramid does, or Coit Tower does, or the Ferry Building," King said.

Link disagrees, "Cities evolve, cities change. You should preserve heritage listed buildings, and you shouldn't say no to new development, new technology. This is one of the most efficient buildings out there."

The Salesforce Tower just needs to breathe, needs to be lived in, and then San Francisco will know more about its character and personality. What is known now is that it's a new landmark for a new generation finding its way into the story of the San Francisco skyline.

By KTVU anchor Mike Mibach.