As Millennium Tower Sinks, Mayor Eyes High-Rise Task Force

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said if it takes investigating all buildings near the sinking Millennium Tower to make sure people are safe, he will make that happen.

“For all the other buildings that we permitted and gotten up, I want to make sure they are part of the modern-day structural integrity that we know we’ve had in the past,” the mayor told KPIX 5.

Lee said he is taking steps to make sure the problems with the sinking tower stop there.

“Safety will trump everything and I want to make sure that we have the best out there to assure that the people are not only safe but these are viable buildings,” he said.

The mayor said he is putting together a task force composed of city leaders and academics to review existing high-rise building codes for current and future buildings.

Earlier on Thursday, Supervisor Aaron Peskin grilled building inspectors over the sinking 58-story luxury condo building.

“In this particular case, we knew it was sinking, except for our inspectors couldn’t figure it out,” Peskin said.

The two-hour audit revealed a timeline almost difficult to believe.

The city first voiced its concerns a decade ago, in 2006, worried the Millennium Tower foundation design wouldn’t support the weight of the concrete tower. But the city allowed construction to continue.

Three years later, in 2009, the Department of Building Inspection sent a letter to the builder explicitly asking about the sinking foundation and what was being done about it. Only the man who sent that letter can’t say why he started asking those questions.

“I do not recall where exactly I got that information,” said Raymond Lui of the Department of Building Inspection.

And yet again, nothing was done.

In August of this year, KPIX 5, KCBS and Chronicle insider Phil Matier broke the story about the now infamous leaning tower. But still, the city did nothing until a 311 call was made.


One Comment

  1. It’s sinking, *without* an earthquake. Like so much of S.F. you’re on a weak base, made worse by a lazy, cheap builder who didn’t anchor into bedrock.
    Imagine what will happen when the Big One hits…even a quake along the Hayward fault/East Bay will probably topple this tower into the neighboring buildings. If you live in this disaster, you are in a deathtrap.

  2. fiftyville says:

    “But the city allowed construction to continue.”

    That means San Francisco politics were in play. Enough said.

  3. Ethel says:

    You’re taking your life in your hands living there.

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