The Leaning Tower Of San Francisco


Litigation = cash only buyers. You usually get a 30-40% discount on HOA litigation.


Oh come on guys!
Do what Trump does. File for BK, problem solved. :laughing:


I am sure they did more than min required. .Many times bedrock depth pier option is not available, I am actually not alllwed to criticize other engineers without following protocol. …due to professional ethics. …but engineers fuck up like everyone else…Let the lawyers settle it…An be rest assured there are armies of forensic engineers, aka plaintiffs whores, frothing at the mouth to get on board…I worked on buildings to 15 stories…


The airport was my first job…We drove 200 kip capacity piles up to 120’ to refusal …which meant 40 blows per ft…much more than that the pile breaks…you can only drive a pile to its capacity. .I was personally responsible fro breaking 3 out of hundreds driven. …Driving piles to bedrock may not be practical. … normally you drill and pour piles to bedrock…dont know know if that is feasible at 200’


The first 40’ was bay mud…Couldn’t even walk in it…we had to put down 2’of gravel for a work surface. .With one blow the pile would drop 40’…then we punched through layers of sand and silt…thousands of years worth of bay deposits…hundres of blows per pile…my job was to log the blows and to tell the pile butts when to stop…



You are the experienced builder. I am not. But again, the facts apparently are not in dispute:

  1. Their lame advisors (architects, geologists, soil experts, swamis, palm readers, feng shui experts) did not advise them to go down to bedrock, even though apparently, other buildings in the area did and knowing this is earthquake country. STRIKE 1!
  2. One reason why they may not have gone to bedrock, only 200 more feet, was to save costs. STRIKE 2!
  3. Then the geniuses decide to build using old concrete technology that is heavier instead of steel. My god, must we bring in Sir Isaac Newton to explain what happens next??? STRIKE 3!!! YOU’RE OUT!!! PLEASE PROCEED TO SINK LIKE THE TITANIC!!!


As anticipated, the homeowners are furious…


The mentality exihibted here is why I no longer practice engineering. …everyone has an Opinion, but no one has the facts…I will reserve judgement. …But this is one of many reasons why I wont work or in invest in SF…


I like this comment…!


What do you mean??? I guess, sinking 16 inches is an opinion, right? It is an illusion, right? Maybe its the darn salt air or fog that caused the drop, yeah yeah

First of all, as a builder (hopefully a reputable one), if you are presented going into the job knowing sure as heck well that (A) it is earthquake country, and soil sucks in general around here, (B) going to bedrock, which is not far down and it is as solid as it gets, and © make sure you build with steel since that is lighter and really more common for high rises, why wouldn’t you follow suit, @Elt1??? I mean, you really can’t get it simpler than that, can you? Let’s face it, the developer F’d up big time… really big time

This is a classic case of a developer CUTTING CORNERS and unfortunately will pay dearly for it. Who doesn’t know contractors that cut corners thinking oh the owner won’t see or feel it? Well, karma is a b*tch. This developer is finished. God, if you really think the developer did not do his due diligence please give me a list of the places you have built. I will remember to avoid all as much as possible…


After just working on a simple SFH remodel in SF with various contractors - all I can say is that at every stage there are missed or ignore setup per instruction or design. So from design to build - there could be lots of “loose” ends. I guess they are not the critical “bearing wall or column” which takes a few more due diligence.

With a tall building project - I can only guess how many screws are missing or “off marked”…


Thanks for chiming in, @BAzx. Contractors/developers are notorious for cutting corners. You almost have to be there, watching them in order to make sure things are done thoroughly and according to your requests.

Yes, I don’t have a dog in the fight with this Milennium mess but imagine if you owned a unit there. You are essentially screwed and wondering if this mess will ever go away. Hopefully, it can be fixed but imagine the bad reputation the building has now. Who will willingly buy there now?

I forgot that my poker buddy was a senior lead architect for an internationally known architect firm before he decided to retire at the ripe old age of 50. I want his opinion since this building would be something he would have designed and built in Asia.


"Curbed should get their facts straight before they sow more confusion. In the firstarticle on this they stated some of the reasons the building was sinking were because it was a concrete and not a steel-framed building, and that it was located on fill. Concrete or steel or wood or plastic doesn’t matter – all that matters is that the foundation be designed to carry the required load. And while the foundation design will change depending on the soil conditions where the building is located, in the end the only relevant item is the load of the building compared to the capacity of the design.

It’s easy to simplify this whole thing into “oh my god they didn’t drill into bedrock!” but that’s a very unsophisticated viewpoint. In Ye Olden Days of skyscrapers, say Manhattan c. 1900, sure, you had to reach bedrock because the building foundations were very simple and didn’t really have a way to deliver the load other than to sit on rock. But that is not the case these days. Piles can develop the necessary capacity via sitting on hard rock, but they can also do so via friction, or via giant concrete rafts that spread the load, or they can treat the soils to improve them via injection, etc. The question here is whether there was a mistake in calculating the loads or the foundation design?

As for TransBay, that’s really a question of timing and how deep their excavation was. If Millennium had piles that were 80 ft under a raft that was presumably under a couple basements, did TransBay really affect it if it was only excavating 65 ft deep? That’s not deep enough to affect the layer under all of those piles. The story doesn’t wash, and the timing really makes the excuse suspect.

Might be a good idea for Curbed to look up the Harmon in Las Vegas, because that is likely where we are headed – a fundamental design mistake that cannot be corrected."

This will be fun. …The lawyers and forensic engineers will make careers on this building…

Let the games begin…


Well, how come this developer of this building which is right next door practically felt it was necessary to go to bedrock?

The hardened slab, in all its mightiness, is but half of the tower’s earthquake protection. It will keep the building from toppling sideways, but what about sliding back and forth? In a big earthquake, the ground is actually trying to slip sideways underneath the building. “You need something to keep you from changing addresses,” says Joseph. Those somethings are called piles, in essence underground stilts connecting the building with the bedrock. In the lowlands of San Francisco’s Financial District, bedrock is 300 below street level. We have 42 piles that go all the way down and are socketed 15 to 25 foot deep into the rock,” says Tymoff.

Any developer, contractor, handyman worth his salt (and for selfish reasons) will plan to do enough or try to so that he doesn’t have to come back on a job. Makes sense, time is money and you ain’t getting paid to come back. And to be fair, we don’t know for sure the Transbay dig is not partially at fault for the leaning but the building did sink already more than it should have before the Tranbay project started. You said it yourself, the lawyers and forensic engineers will make CAREERS on this building. So, how can you honestly defend the developer then? It was a bad build, admit it.


Let’s not forget the city of SF signed off on all the plans Millennial gave them. So that must mean Millennial is within the bound of safety in the eyes of SF.

Accidents happen. Sh*t happens. Things don’t always go as planned. I don’t think there is any evidences of wrongdoing or corner cutting yet. There may very well be. But so far I haven’t seen any evidence.


Lol…Now you know why those who hate the government will be asking for its help coming the suing part of the project…:imp:

I am telling you guys, I have worked in construction and the hiding and the lying on the part of the general contractor or the flipper is very evident to those working there but not the inspectors. If they followed the rules, they wouldn’t make a dime. Maybe a quarter :laughing:


It would suck if bought within last year.

According to refin record the previously featured $7.5M unit 53c went into contingency in May but didn’t go through. I assume that not many people know about this tilting issue back then.

Well at least redfin estimates that it still worth 6.1M so the owner is still 2M in the green.


Redfin estimate is a bad joke. Even worse than zillow.


What? I have read the contrary actually…


I was the design Engineer on the Fluor building in 1980 in RWC…Now part of the Oracle campus…It was the largest building at the time in San Mateo county…280,000 sf…Survived the 1989 quake with no issues…Used piers driven to refusal and concrete shearwall construction. .still an acceptable way to build…Engineers used to have to stand under the Roman arches when the forms were stripped. …it fell they died…no kudos if it didn’t. .Same today…engineers get no recognition for great buildings. .just scorn for bad ones. …That is one reason, low pay being the other, why I retired in 2001…never got any recognition for being the youngest engineer to design the biggest building on the Peninsula …And that is why I give no acknowledgement to the peanut gallery of critics…