SAN FRANCISCO - The managers of the tilting and troubled Millennium Tower in San Francisco are hard at work trying to avoid having the property “yellow tagged.” City officials have mandated certain safety upgrades be completed by Friday afternoon.
Millennium Tower work crews are constructing a canopy outside the beleaguered property to protect people from possible falling debris. They started before sunrise Friday, and will be done by Friday afternoon. The new canopy will go around all sides of this 645 foot tall structure, which has seen a crack appear in one of the upper floor windows.
“Everybody’s concerned about, is this a structural effect? Or is this an isolated issue. And we just don’t know. That’s why we’re gonna begin a deeper investigation on Monday starting at nine in the morning, from the interior of several units,” said Rachel Miller, an attorney for the Millennium Towers Homeowners Association.
There are a total of 419 units, but over the Labour Day weekend, a crack was discovery in a window on the 36th floor. Thursday, officials with the city’s Department of Building Inspection or DBI threatened to yellow tag the 58-story building. Yellow tagging means residents could still occupy the structure, but there would be restricted use due to the safety concerns. However, DBI officials have since moderated their views, saying they’re willing to be flexible, as long as the building is safe.
“Protection of the public. That is the paramount and most important to this department. That the public is protected, from any falling objects, such as glass or debris,” said Ronald Tom, assistant director for the SF Department of Building Inspection.
Homeowner association lawyers say the immediate work will be completed this afternoon – including taping of the cracked window on the 36th floor. After that, they’ll need to repair type of crane used to access the window from the outside. But the part needs to be ordered from Germany, and that’ll take five weeks.
This is the latest spate of trouble for Millennium, which started sinking soon after opening in 2009, and is now down 18-inches. The depression into the earth below has also caused the structure to tilt.