Part II: Unraveling a sky-high construction defect dispute

Regular readers of our blog know that we recently discussed some of the ongoing problems with San Francisco’s Millennium Tower. Two of the biggest problems: the 58-story residential scraper has sunk 17 inches in the past decade and the building is leaning 14 inches to the northwest.

No one yet knows exactly why the blue-gray building is sinking and tilting, but according to news sources, its developers believe the construction of a transportation hub next door is at the root of the Millennium’s problems rather than any alleged construction defects in their structure.

Developers Millennium Partners say that construction workers carrying out the excavation work for the neighboring Salesforce Transit Center pumped too much water into the ground. That caused subterranean sand to shift and the tower to tilt.

The agency responsible for the transit center – the Transbay Joint Powers Authority – argues that the Millennium’s foundation is unstable. Transbay officials say that the concrete tower “should have been anchored to bedrock to support its weight,” according to a recent news article on the dispute.

Unsurprisingly, litigation has begun, with some owners of the building’s luxury condos suing to recoup what they contend are substantial property value losses.

As experts sift through studies and data, other are working to fix what ails the Millennium. Engineers have proposed anchoring a side of the building to bedrock to stop the tilting and sinking. The estimated cost of the fix is from $200 million to $500 million. Other repair proposals are in the works, but the real question is who will pay for the fix?

Clearly, developers will require the services of skilled construction defect defense attorneys to protect their investment, business and reputation. 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

Leave a Comment