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City cites Millennium Tower for repair violations

San Francisco sets your expectations askew once again

Patricia Chang

It was only a matter of time before the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection brought the hammer down on someone over the Millennium Tower mess, right? And now that day has come.

The catch is, the citations leveled at the building last week are not because of its by-now famous sinking and tilting. Rather, DBI is actually miffed about attempts to fix some problems.

The Yerba Buena building’s unsettling settlement trends cause any number of woes, like burst plumbing and cracking in the lowermost areas. These issues have been patched as they go—in fact, one tower resident tells Curbed SF that excess marble used in lobby repairs is still stacked up in storage, waiting for the next fix.

But some of those repairs, included shoring up cracks in the garage and resurfacing wheelchair ramps that had become too steep thanks to building settlement, were done without permits. (So says the San Francisco Chronicle.) Whoops.

Patricia Chang

Apparently there was some confusion over who was supposed to file the paperwork. The building’s homeowner’s association thought that developer Millennium Partners took care of such things.

But when we asked, Millennium Partners spokesman PJ Johnston said that those common areas are “within the purview of the homeowner’s association.”

In fact, people in the building appear uncertain who precisely employed the repairs in the first place, HOA or developer.

Now the city has cleared up this little mystery by serving notice to the homeowners. The penalties aren’t particularly severe: Building owners must simply secure their tardy permits and make sure that all of the fixes they employed are up to code.

Patricia Chang

So “bringing down the hammer” is more of a firm tap in this case. Still, it probably smarts a little knowing that the first and so far only official chastisement meted out over the whole affair is for trying to fix something.