There’s no point in trying to compare the past with the present when it comes to construction activity in the Financial District South. The fact that it is even called Financial District South speaks to the situation. I saw the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” tonight for the first time, thanks to a movie channel. In the timeframe of the film, Dean Witter Reynolds was an independent brokerage with offices in the Bank Of America World Headquarters building on California Street. The Pacific Stock Exchange was four blocks down and one over, a granite edifice with guards patrolling the entrances.
Today, B of A’s headquarters are in Manhattan.Dean Witter is long gone. The PSEX is patrolled by impossibly toned women and men in Fabletics and Lululemon wear. The building is now a health club; the halls that once echoed with calls to buy and sell now replaced with exhortation to push and feel the burn.
In the South of Market we now have Black Rock, Morgan Stanley, and Charles Schwab. And Salesforce, which is its own kind of financial juggernaut. The new tower rising in the midst of the terminal project will eventually house some of their employees, offices for other companies, and residences in its one thousand feet of rise. And they will look down onto a huge urban park that will be greater than the sum of all the greenspace in SOMA today.
It’s all a changed world under construction for us, but for them it will be just a new world.