SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Contractors are rushing to make safety improvements at the Millennium Tower after the city’s Department of Building Inspection (DBI) threatened to yellow tag the building on Thursday.
After a cracked window prompted safety concerns in early September, contractors began installing scaffolding around the tower to protect pedestrians from falling debris.
City inspectors had threatened to yellow tag the tower if the installation wasn’t finished by 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Inspectors also demanded that building management inspect all 416 units’ windows and fix a broken swing stage.
Attorneys for the building said it would be impossible for two of those demands to be satisfied by Friday.
“Because the Association doesn’t have the right to enter people’s units without proper notice and permission,” said Tom Miller, an attorney for the Homeowners’ Association.
The DBI said they believe the Millennium Tower is currently safe and that they don’t think the cracked window on the 36th floor will fall down by week’s end, but they want to ensure the public’s safety.
“Protection of the public, that’s the paramount and the most important thing for this department,” said Ron Tom, the Assistant Director of the DBI.
Though not an imminent danger, if the window were to come down, building inspectors said the existing overhead protection is not long enough; they want it wrapped around the entire perimeter of the 58-story building.
“We are erring on the side of caution,” said Tom.
Building management is waiting for parts for the swing stage and plans to have it repaired in five weeks.
Since news of the cracked window surfaced, building management has been working to investigate the cause of the cracked window and determine if it was caused by the sinking and tilting of the building. They even sent a drone up to the 36th floor window over the weekend to take photos, but it crashed.
The city also wants the building to cover up the cracked window from the exterior as well, and building management said they plan to have that done in the coming days.