Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has warned that San Francisco’s Downtown will “never” recover after a series of Democrat policies have driven business away from the area.
In a recent interview, Benioff offered a dire outlook of the city, saying that San Francisco and the Bay Area are in trouble following crippling Covid restrictions and soaring crime rates.
He said the downtown area is “never going back to the way it was” before the pandemic when workers commuted to San Francisco’s offices on a daily basis.
“We need to rebalance downtown,” said Benioff.
Benioff, whose company is the largest employer in San Francisco and an anchor tenant, said the mayor’s office needs to come up with a program to turn dormant office space into housing.
He is also calling on the Democrat-led city to hire additional police officers to deal with a surge in crime.
Last month, San Francisco’s Democrat Mayor London Breed proposed putting city workers into empty downtown buildings in a bid to revive the city’s downtown area.
In a letter, Breed said that some city agencies can “lead on recovery by investing in high-quality office space for workers.”
She also admitted that work-from-home orders during the pandemic created a shift to hybrid work that “resulted in an overall reduced demand for office space and correspondingly lower rents for high-quality buildings.”
“While this poses a challenge to the City’s finances and its overall economic recovery, it also presents a critical opportunity for the City government to be strategic about its own use of office space,” Breed claims.
“The City alone cannot fix all of the problems impacting downtown San Francisco; however, we can lead the path toward recovery.”
In recent years, San Francisco’s crime has been soaring out of control, leaving many too afraid to walk the streets.
The level of violent crime was perhaps punctuated by the shocking murder of Cash App co-creator Bob Lee in April.
Lee was stabbed to death in a wealthy area of the city.
The incident drew a reaction from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco.
Earlier this year, Musk said the murder of Mr. Lee was emblematic of San Francisco’s “violent crime” problem, which has been “horrific” in recent years.
“So many stores shuttered in downtown SF. Feels post-apocalyptic,” he also wrote around the same time in response to another user’s comment about the declining state of the city.
“The philosophy that led to this bleak outcome will be the end of civilization if extended to the world,” Musk wrote on Twitter/X.
Musk has signaled in the past that he may not keep Twitter’s headquarters in downtown San Francisco due to crime and other problems.
Twitter has also not paid rent, which has reportedly caused problems for Goldman Sachs’ commercial mortgage portfolio, according to reports.
San Francisco, however, still has a long way to go to catch up with other major American cities for murders.
The city still has a far lower homicide rate than places like St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, and Philadelphia, according to reports.
However, one analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation noted that crime in San Francisco is likely worse than what the police report.
“Crime is worse than the data shows,” Charles Stimson, with the group, told Fox News earlier this year, referring to San Francisco.
“People do not report these crimes because when you have a DA who’s pro-criminal and not going to enforce the law, the cops aren’t going to go out and arrest somebody when they know the case is going to be no papered.”
Aside from violent crime, viral videos have emerged in recent years showing how common household items like toothpaste, razors, and soap are locked up in pharmacies in downtown San Francisco amid rampant theft.
Over the past few months, retailers like Whole Foods, T-Mobile, Walgreens, and others have closed up.
A report from the Associated Press also notes that there are large “going out of business” signs hanging up at many downtown businesses’ windows.
In June, the Westfield San Francisco Centre’s owner announced that it would hand the mall to its lender due to foot traffic and lower sales.
Daud Shuja, owner and designer of Franco Uomo, a luxury clothier based in San Jose, told the AP that new customers who live in San Francisco drive at least an hour to the store.
He plans to open a shop in a more convenient location in suburban Palo Alto next year.
“They just don’t want to deal with the homelessness, with the environment, with the ambiance,” he said, referring to problems plaguing San Francisco.