Part I: Unraveling a sky-high construction defect dispute

There is no doubt that the Millennium Tower is sinking and tilting. What is in doubt is who is responsible for the construction defect plaguing San Francisco’s blue-gray skyscraper. Since the primarily residential 58-story Millennium opened nearly a decade ago, it has sunk 17 inches and is leaning 14 inches to the northwest.

It is not yet known why the structure is sinking and tilting, but owners of luxury condos are pointing fingers at the tower’s developer, Millennium Partners. While it might be easy to jump to the conclusion that the developer is at fault, there is good reason to look deeper into the alleged construction defects.

San Francisco’s tallest residential building opened downtown nearly a decade ago, with more than $100 million in sales of its opulent condos in just five weeks, with prices ranging from $1.6 million to $10 million. Buyers included San Francisco 49ers and Notre Dame legend Joe Montana and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence.

Everyone appeared satisfied with their purchase until 2010, when construction began on the Salesforce Transit Center next door. A consulting firm for the agency in charge of the bus and train terminal construction project found that the Millennium had sunk 10 inches into the ground, which was 4 inches more than had been estimated for the structure’s lifetime.

While some had kneejerk reactions to the news by blaming the developer, Millennium Partners argued that construction of the next-door transit center caused the sinking.

We will have more about the ongoing disputes over the tower in an upcoming blog post. While it’s not yet clear how the issues will be sorted out, it’s important to note that defect disputes can be litigated and resolved with the help of a skilled construction defect defense attorney.

At MacDonald Law Group, we handle a broad array of construction claims and litigation. Should you have any questions on construction litigation topics, please contact us using the email or phone contacts found on our website at

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