It’s fitting that the building that most symbolizes San Francisco’s recent relationship with the tech industry is owned neither by a tech company, nor even a company in San Francisco. Salesforce Tower, the second-tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi at 1,070 feet, is owned by Boston Properties. Yet ever since the skyline-altering tower opened in 2018, it has served as a projection screen for critiques of big tech’s place in San Francisco, however exaggerated some of those may be.
Now that metaphorical stature takes on a new dimension, with Salesforce.com Inc. — the anchor tenant of the 61-story building’s Class A office space — announcing a permanent “work from anywhere” policy that lets employees remain on remote or flexible schedules after the pandemic ends. As San Francisco’s largest private employer, the customer-management software giant is a heavy hitter on the list of companies with similar plans set to affect downtown office spaces, including Twitter, Facebook and Square, prompting tough questions about the vitality of the city’s core and overall economy.