Questions Remain for Millennium Tower’s Tilting Problem

Category: Industry News

Nearly a year after residents learned their luxury condominium high-rise in San Francisco was sinking and tilting, big questions remain unanswered, reports Bloomberg. Residents of the Millennium Tower in the city’s South of Market district still don’t know who is responsible for the problem and how much it will cost to fix, assuming it’s fixable.

Residents of $750 million tower distressed

“You can imagine how distressed we were to know that, for one, our lifetime investment and savings are at risk,” Nina Agabian, a retired director of global health science research, told the news outlet. Completed in 2008, the 58-story residential tower had reportedly sold out by 2013 to the tune of $750 million.

Valuation of units unclear

The article reports the current value for condo units, which had sold for as much as $13 million, is no longer clear. A lack of sales means a lack of comparables, noted Gregg Lynn, a Sotheby’s broker who has worked with clients in the building. While Millennium Tower property owners await the fate of their investment, neighboring luxury developments like the St. Regis, Four Seasons, and 181 Fremont reportedly sold units in December at prices of $2.5 million to as much as $11.7 million.

Soil, foundation issues lead to complex problem

The problems with Millennium Tower are complicated. Residents were told in May 2016 that the building had sunk 16 inches. The building also has reportedly tilted to the northwest by 15 inches at the top and two inches at the base. According to the article, the underground parking garage walls have cracked and marble lobby floors are beginning to buckle. The article details how soft soil problems and unique foundation issues may have caused the problem, but solutions are not yet known.

Who will pay for repairs or compensation is also unknown. Lynn told the news outlet litigation could take five to 10 years to determine an answer. Residents have reportedly filed lawsuits against the building’s developer, the city of San Francisco, and a local transit authority.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2017