Photo: Flickr/Daniel Ramirez
It’s been a controversial whirlwind of a week for those connected with San Francisco’s leaning and sinking Millennium Tower. New testimony regarding the building’s structural review came to light on Thursday, February 2nd at a City Hall meeting. This latest development follows a lawsuit brought forth by the Millennium Towers’ homeowners, in which both the developer of the skyscraper, Millennium Partners, and the Transbay Joint Powers Association were named.
During Thursday’s City Hall meeting, the Government Audit and Oversight Committee grilled Jack Moehle about exactly how the structural review passed. Prior to construction, Millennium Partners hired Moehle, a professor of structural engineering at UC Berkeley, to conduct an independent peer review of the building design. However, he admitted to only investigating as far as the concrete, and did not check the soil. Moehle explained that job should have been assigned to a geotechnical engineer with a seismology background, but no such person was ever hired by the developer.
The soil underneath the Tower is of great concern because the building sits on hundreds of giant concrete blocks that rely on the soil’s friction to stay put.
In response to this new evidence, the homeowners behind the lawsuit have hired celebrity lawyer Dan Petrocelli, who was made famous after winning the $33.5 million civil judgement case against O.J. Simpson in 1997. Petrocelli also represented President Trump during the case that saw former students filing against his for-profit Trump University.
Petrocelli told SF Gate on Monday, “The homeowners association and its residents who purchased the units are the innocent victims. And the people who built the building and were involved in this project — as well as other who contributed to its problems — all have to pay their fair share.”