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Salesforce Tower opens at Chicago's Wolf Point

Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Five years in the works, Salesforce celebrated the grand opening of its 57-story, 1.2 million-square-foot Chicago tower Tuesday, a bold new addition to the city’s skyline rising up amid a slumping office market.

Located along the Chicago River at the Wolf Point site near the Merchandise Mart, Salesforce Tower features a shimmering glass facade with 16,000 individual panes, and is one of the few major office buildings to be developed in the city during the pandemic.

The San Francisco-based software giant occupies about 360,000 square feet of the tower across more than a dozen floors, with collaborative and social spaces designed to lure employees back to the office. Amenities include communal kitchens, expanded lounges, hybrid meeting spaces and glassed-in focus pods for one-on-one time and phone calls.

The top two floors of Salesforce Tower are dedicated ‘Ohana floors, where employees can enjoy the views from the city’s 14th-tallest skyscraper and unwind during the day. At night, the space will be available for nonprofit events and other activities.

 

Salesforce leases 500,000 square feet of the building, but put more than 25% of the space up for sublease before employees began working there in May. The company has nearly 2,200 employees based in Chicago and has “always had a hybrid work environment,” a Salesforce spokesperson said Tuesday.

Salesforce Tower’s grand opening comes as the broader Chicago office market remains in a deep slump, with companies continuing to shed space in the post-pandemic hybrid work environment. Vacancy in the city’s central business district, including direct and sublease availability, hit a record 28.2% during the third quarter, according to data from real estate services firm Avison Young.

Chicago office buildings are at 52.5% of pre-pandemic occupancy levels, according to the latest weekly report by Kastle Systems.


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