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Will Salesforce.com's new corporate headquarters be underwater someday?

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Will Salesforce.com's new corporate headquarters be underwater someday?
Will Salesforce.com's new corporate headquarters be underwater someday?

The year just keeps on getting better for Salesforce.com and its employees. Perhaps.

The San Francisco-based provider of CRM technology unveiled preliminary plans for its new global headquarters on June 6. The eight building Mission Bay campus was designed by architecture firm Legorreta & Legorreta and will span 14 acres and approximately 2 million square feet of office space. The headquarters will also feature shops, restaurants, plazas and parks. Salesforce.com paid $278 million for the land, the company said in November.

Sounds lovely. However, reports around the Web paint a picture of the headquarters as a cross between a post-apocalyptic wasteland and Stalin's utopian office environment.

The Bay Citizen reports that the area was a bay filled in during the 19th and early 20th centuries to make room for rail yards and slaughterhouses. Because the area is one of the lowest-lying in the city “it will likely be inundated once again by the year 2100, as sea levels rise in response to global warming.”

An XConomy blog post describes the area as “blank spaces on the map between the UCSF facilities and the waterfront — blocks currently given over to dusty, windswept parking areas and a cement plant.” 

Perhaps the tropical pink-purple-yellow color scheme Salesforce.com chose for the site was meant to offset the soon-to-be underwater campus?  

One TechCrunch reader named David White describes the design as “the world's ugliest color scheme.” Another reader named Philip Lindblom likens the site to “some east European communist project.”

For images of the headquarters design, click here.

Who are we to doubt Salesforce.com though?

In the past several months the company disclosed plans to develop a private social network for Toyota customers and the technology to send a live feed of the social network directly to drivers' dashboards. It reported that its revenue increased 35% to $504.3 million in fiscal Q1 2012. It signed 5,400 new clients. It acquired social listening company, Radian6, for $276 million, purchased two Super Bowl spots, and made Chatter, its private social network for enterprises free to the public.

The site might appear to be a mess on paper, but I doubt the whole “cloud computing” idea drew rave responses on message boards back when Salesforce.com launched the idea in 1999.

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