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Millennium Tower settles hundreds of lawsuits

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Long-awaited fix for faulty luxury building still being awaited

A glass-encased, 58-level tower, with a smaller podium building in the foreground.
Millennium Tower.
Photo by Patricia Chang

When Millennium Tower at 301 Mission Street first made international headlines in 2016 with the news that it had sunk more than a foot into the ground and begun to lean in one direction, it started to seem like the word “millennium” indicated how long the resulting litigation would last.

But now literally hundreds of suits relevant to the troubled big-ticket building are over, with Niall McCarthy, lead attorney for Millennium Tower homeowners, telling the San Francisco Examiner that they had reached an elaborate settlement between developer Millennium Parters, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), and roughly 400 building residents.

Details are scant—nobody is saying how much money any party is paying to finally bury the grudge once and for all, for example.

TJPA is among the settling parties because Millennium Partners insists that construction of the nearby Transbay Transit Center is what caused the luxury tower’s foundations to buckle, a charge TJPA denies.

In December 2018, the Millennium Tower Homeowners Association announced that it asked the city for permits on a proposed fix for the building, to “install 52 concrete piles that will transfer a portion of the building’s weight from its existing foundation system to bedrock about 250 feet below.”

At the beginning of March, a member of the association’s “center board”—one of several bodies representing building residents—told Curbed SF, “We’re going through the permitting process and hoping that by early summer should have a go-ahead,” adding that March represented the “we really hope date” but that permits had yet to materialize.

The summer ambitions were a wash too, as nearly six months later the city still ponders that $100 million proposal, which hit a significant milestone Tuesday when a four-person engineering panel hired to evaluate the design gave the thumbs up.

The board rep tells Curbed SF that construction on the foundation fix should take “about a year” once it actually starts. Required environmental review is still ongoing.