Developer says Salesforce plans for Chicago tower are solid

The business software provider is due to occupy 500,000 square feet in a new tower at Wolf Point but reportedly wants to reduce its property costs.

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Salesforce Tower is under construction on Wolf Point.

Salesforce Tower is under construction on Wolf Point.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Salesforce is committed to anchoring a new office tower on Wolf Point despite the company’s desire to trim real estate costs because many employees will work from home, the building’s developer said Wednesday.

Greg Van Schaack, senior managing director at Hines, said Salesforce is enthusiastically proceeding with its plan to occupy 500,000 square feet in the 60-story building. The last of three towers on Wolf Point, where the Chicago River splits into north and south branches, is under construction and due to welcome tenants in mid-2023.

“They have a fixed amount of space they have signed up for. Their design is evolving. Collaboration will be a bigger part of that, along with more flexible work areas,” Van Schaack said. The changes reflect how companies are trying to rethink workspaces in light of the pandemic.

The new building, called Salesforce Tower or 333 Wolf Point Plaza, will total 1.2 million square feet. Van Schaack said the pandemic has set back leasing efforts “a good 18 months,” but he expects the space will be in demand. “For the schedule we have, there’s still time for the world to start spinning again,” he said.

Salesforce’s chief people officer, Brent Hyder, told the Wall Street Journal the company intends to cut real-estate costs because most employees will work remotely part- or full-time after the pandemic. “We’re not going back to the way things were,” he told the Journal. “I don’t believe that we’ll keep every space in every city that we’re in, including San Francisco.” The business software provider is based in San Francisco.

The Journal article offered no specifics about space cutbacks. The company did not immediately answer a request for comment.

Moving to Wolf Point would allow Salesforce to consolidate space it has elsewhere in Chicago, including at 111 W. Illinois St. and 20 W. Kinzie St. When it announced its Chicago plans in 2018, the company said it would add up to 1,000 local jobs by 2023.

Van Schaack said that while Salesforce is adapting to remote work, it values its offices. “Salesforce is grounded in culture. They are passionate about making customers happy and their office space has been foundational in that,” he said.

The Wolf Point building is a venture of Hines in partnership with the Kennedy family, former owners of the Merchandise Mart and surrounding property. The architecture is by Pelli Clarke Pelli.

A rendering of Salesforce Tower in Chicago.

A rendering of Salesforce Tower in Chicago.


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