SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
San Francisco’s $750 million Millennium Tower is tilting and sinking. The building opened in 2008 as the most luxurious tower in the city, attracting tech millionaires, venture capitalists, and even football great Joe Montana. But on May 10, 2016, at a homeowners association meeting, residents learned the building had sunk 16 inches and was tilting 15 inches at the top. The building is constructed on filled marshland in proximity to the San Andreas and Hayward faults.
At least twenty residents have filed lawsuits against the developer, the City of San Francisco, and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Some believe construction of the transit station next-door, with the underground tunnels it collects, could be at fault. The developer is insured for $100 million in damages, and policies held by ancillary contractors might be able to double that amount; but renters will need a lot more to be made whole. What’s more, structural flaws could void the insurance coverage. To date, there is no easy way to stabilize and straighten the building.