The homeowners association at San Francisco’s Millennium Tower, a 58-story luxury high-rise embroiled in a debate concerning its unprecedented settling, will sue developer Millennium Partners and a neighboring transit project, according to a report on NBC Bay Area.
This follows months of mediation talks between the tower’s condo owners and the developer. A group of 20 owners filed their own lawsuit against the developer in January alleging that it knew in early 2009 that the tower had sunk faster — and further — than expected and failed to inform buyers.
In the latest suit, the HOA will ask that the two parties pay for the building’s repair. Homeowners will meet on March 6 to discuss potential civil action as well as alternative methods to legal action.
The two instances of legal action taken on behalf of some or all of the tower’s condo owners join a civil suit filed against the developer in November by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleging that it knew the tower was sinking but sold units anyway, failing to let buyers know of the structural concerns.
City officials began investigating the tower this summer and amped up their efforts following an anonymous citizen call to the city’s 311 line in August. Initially, the developer claimed the settling was due to water drainage from construction activity on a neighboring $4.5 billion transit center project site. Transit officials, however, have since said that the sinking is due to foundation piles failing to reach bedrock.
Homeowners likely face a protracted battle to resolve the issue after it emerged earlier this month that the insurance policies held by the developer and other project team members may not fully cover the cost to remedy damages caused by the sinking in addition to the measures required to prevent further settling.
So far, the tower has settled 16 inches and could nearly double that mark – as much as five times original projections. The building also tilts two inches from it base, with further shifting anticipated.
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