UPDATE: Sinking San Francisco Tower “Safe to Occupy,” Per Building Inspector

The saga continues in one of the biggest construction stories of 2016, the sinking and tilting Millennium Tower of San Francisco.  When we last updated readers in December, satellite images from the European Space Agency had not only confirmed that the tower has sunken considerably, but that it also hasn’t stopped sinking yet.  Meanwhile, residents living in the tower are worried about their safety and the value of their homes.

According to the San Francisco Gate, the Department of Building Inspection has recently completed their inspection of the tower and they have found that even though there are signs of strain on the electrical systems and the building’s foundation system, the Millennium Tower is still safe to occupy.  The inspector’s report specifically called out “evidence of water intrusion” affecting the electrical system on the fifth level basement, but the systems were still “working adequately.”

The Department of Building Inspection told the SF Gate that multiple permits have been pulled in order to fix many of the issues found during a December 2, 2016 inspection and the recent January 11, 2017 inspection.

While this is good news for the developer of the property, the residents aren’t completely satisfied.  They’re awaiting results of the geotechnical study ordered by the homeowner’s association before getting excited about any good news. Jerry Dodson, a resident of the building and attorney who represents some of the homeowners in a lawsuit, said “The building is continuing to sink and tilt at a rate of 2 inches per year, according to the European Space Agency,” which examined the building from orbit. “This will quickly overstress the building and take its toll on the plumbing and utility systems if it hasn't already.”

As the results of independent studies and inspections are being determined, there are still many questions surrounding how the necessary repairs will be paid for.  According to Bloomberg, the developer has an insurance policy that will cover $100 million of construction defects or damages caused by settlement. Other entities involved with the project, such as the architect and general contractor also hold an additional $50 million to $100 million in insurance.  Even if repairs cost less than the insurance policies cover, it’s not even a sure thing that the insurance companies will even cover the issues this building is facing.  The worst case scenario for the homeowners is that they may need to shell out additional cash in order to complete the repairs.

Full Story: Sinking Millennium Tower safe to live in, city report concludes | SF Gate

Full Story: Who Will Pay for San Francisco's $750 Million Tilting Tower? | Bloomberg