By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
According to a report in the NY Times, the City of San Francisco is suing developer, Mission Street Development, for failure to disclose material defects to condominiums in a multimillion dollar luxury high-rise that is sinking into the clay soil beneath its foundation.
Millennium Tower consists of more than 400 units, that collectively sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. The tower is less than a decade old, completed in 2009, yet it has sunk 16 inches, and engineers say the building could continue to sink a total of 31 inches.
Of course, that much settlement and tilting of a 58-story tower is likely to put enormous strain on its structure. Yet no one is willing to openly admit the huge potential for damage.
The most ironic part of the NYTimes article is a quote from one of the residents, Dr. Andrew Faulk, who refers to condo owners as “the little guy,” fearing that, despite the apparent wealth he and his husband share, it pales by comparison to the developer being sued.
But I wonder: under what circumstances would the City be willing to sue a developer of a privately owned and managed condominium building inhabited by owners and residents of middle or low-income classes?
Perhaps the City is now proactively suing Millennium Partners as a diversion tactic, to cover up its own role in approving construction permits and issuing certificates of occupancy for the gleaming tower built on an fault line (prone to earthquakes) with an inadequate foundation?
Condo owners face uncertainty
To get a better idea of the problems facing owners in Millennium Tower, read the following article in SFGATE. Engineers hired by the Condo Association blame developer, Millennium Partners, for not creating support posts down to bedrock. The developer blames the Transbay Joint Powers Authority for disturbing the soil during construction of an underground transportation hub.
In the meantime, the City has issued violation notices to the Condo Association because two ramps connecting the main tower with its podium and parking area are too steep. The City says repairs have been made without proper construction permits. The Association claims they were unaware that the developer was making repairs without permits, and surmise that it was part of a cover-up to avoid disclosing the fact that the tower is sinking and tilting so badly.
Violations found in repairs to sinking, tilting luxury high-rise
By J.K. Dineen Updated 6:57 am, Saturday, October 29, 2016
Sinking Millennium Tower puts building agency on the spot