San Francisco’s ‘Leaning Tower’ Residents Face Hefty Bills Amid Home Destruction

Residents of the infamous Millennium Tower in San Francisco, often referred to as the city’s ‘leaning tower,’ have been hit with staggering bills for the rectification of the building’s tilt. This comes despite the fact that the repair work resulted in their homes being flooded with raw sewage.

The luxury condominium, once a symbol of opulence and architectural prowess, has become a nightmare for its inhabitants. The residents, who invested their hard-earned money into what they believed was a secure and luxurious living space, are now facing bills as high as $14,000 each.

This is part of their contribution towards the $6.8 million of the total $120 million spent on correcting the 29-inch tilt of the building.

One such resident, Mehrdad Mostafavi, owner of a condo on the third floor, was shocked to receive a bill for $14,000. To add insult to injury, the work he was asked to pay for resulted in his home being ruined by a sewage backup.

“It’s a luxurious building and famous building, but unfortunately it is not like this for me as an owner,” Mostafavi told NBC Bay Area.

The residents had previously sued the developer and designers of the building. A confidential settlement reached several years ago included $100 million to install 52 concrete, 140,000-pound piles to anchor the building to bedrock located 250 feet below ground.

The idea was these piles would provide foundational support to the leaning, sinking tower.

However, during construction, the tower experienced more sinking and leaning. The Tower Owners’ Association sent bills to homeowners along with a letter stating that residents were being compensated for lost property value.

The association was allotted $150 million to secure the high-rise, pay for legal bills, restore reserves, and cover other expected costs. However, the project ended up costing more than that.

The Millennium Tower was designed by Gary Handel and Handel Architects. By 2016, the building had sunk nearly a foot-and-a-half into the soft soil and landfill upon which it was built in San Francisco’s financial district.

It was also leaning, creating a two-inch tilt at the base, and a 6-inch lean at the top.

Despite efforts to stop the building from sinking being successful, the tilt has not been fixed. According to Harry Poulos, a tall building expert, “Their objective of correcting that tilt to a significant extent – I fear that expectation has not been met.”

The residents of the Millennium Tower are facing a double whammy. Not only are they dealing with the physical damage to their homes caused by the repair work, but they are also grappling with the financial burden of paying for the rectification of the building’s tilt.