Is solution on the horizon for Sinking Millennium Tower Condo?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities



According to a recent report in Business Insider, homeowners are in mediation with developer Millennium Partners and “other parties,” discussing a possible fix to correct a noticeable tilt in San Francisco’s Millennium Tower Condominium.

That proposed fix involves driving dozens of structural piles through the tower’s foundation to bedrock 200 feet below ground. The project’s estimated cost: between $100-150 million.

No doubt, that is quite expensive. But consider that, according to previous reports, as of 2013, developer sales revenue from Millennium Towers totaled $750 million.

In the past few months, several sources have reported that attorneys for condo owners are pushing for a speedy resolution. Engineering experts say that the tower is continuing to lean at a faster pace, and could tilt another 8-10 inches by 2019.

While discussing a solution to reverse the tilting, Millennium Partners continues to shift blame to Transbay Joint Powers Authority, for dewatering of soil in connection with construction of its new bus transit station. The developer also points to construction of other tall buildings, including adjacent Salesforce Tower.

Meanwhile, legal bills for Transbay Joint Powers Authority has reached $3.5M so far, as it continues to defends its interests in the complicated legal battle. Attorneys for TJPA maintain that the sole cause of Millennium Towers structural deficiency is the failure of Millennium Partners to ensure its foundation was anchored to bedrock.

In the meantime, taxpayers foot the bill for mounting legal costs of the Authority.

So far, no offers to pay condo owners for the expensive fix – just finger pointing and blame shifting.

Regardless of who is responsible for San Francisco’s infamous leaning tower, it is abundantly clear that even multimillion dollar luxury condominiums are not immune to design and/or construction defects.

A fix for San Francisco’s sinking skyscraper could cost upwards of $100 million, and no one wants to foot the bill

Melia Robinson, Business Insider

Sep. 22, 2017, 12:49 PM

There may be a fix in the works for San Francisco’s very own “leaning tower.”

Millennium Tower has sunk 17 inches and tilted 14 inches since its completion in 2008. Satellite images suggest the residential high-rise — home to more than 200 multimillion-dollar condos — will continue to sink two inches per year.

In July, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross reported a bit of good news for the building’s wealthy residents.

A pair of engineering firms hired by developer Millennium Partners and other parties said they have a solution to stabilize the tower and “prop it back upright.”

The LERA firm and DeSimone Consulting Engineers want to drill 50 to 100 new piles (a type of foundation in the shape of a pillar) 200 feet down to bedrock from the building’s basement, according to the Chronicle. These piles would support the existing 900 piles in the ground.

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Additional References:

Millennium Tower legal costs mount as building continues to sink (San Francisco Business Times)

Lawyers Fear SF’s Millennium Tower Could Tilt 10 More Inches by 2019 (NBC Bay Area)

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