Some owners in “The Leaning Tower of San Francisco” say their condos are worthless https://t.co/x0rKRoqBPP— The Real Deal (@trdny) October 9, 2016
Despite a host of bad press and impending lawsuits surrounding the sinking and tilting Millennium Tower, the owner of a top-floor, two-bedroom penthouse said to be a private trust is looking to cash out for just under $9 million, or $900,000 more than they paid in early 2015. Matier & Ross report over at the Chronicle that the unit just hit the market, but the sellers are hedging a bit in light of the problematic situation, with the agent saying in a posting that "all reasonable offers will be considered" for the unoccupied unit. The seller is likely hoping just to take as little of a loss as possible, even though bankers are reportedly refusing to finance loans for purchases in the building and no unit on the market has sold since the damning reports about the tower's excess "settlement" emerged in early August.*
The unit, said to have a design where "no expense has been spared," is being advertised with "seller financing possible."
Agent Bryant Kowalczyk of GPK Luxury Real Estate a firm that's also handling the sale of this 6th story two-bedroom (asking $1.65 million), and this 41st floor two-bedroom (asking $3.995 million) recently sold a 49th floor three-bedroom unit in the tower for $8 million, though that was likely before the sinking scandal broke.
And this is not to imply that no unit is going to sell, but such sales may take some fancy footwork on the part of realtors. As one anonymous realtor told Curbed back in August, "I’ve been selling for 14 years, I’ve dealt with homes with much bigger problems than this."
Even so, as Business Insider recently reported on what's now dubbed "The Leaning Tower of San Francisco," some homeowners are making claims particularly related to property taxes that their units should be considered worthless right now.
Though reportedly still structurally and seismically sound, the 58-story tower has sunk 16 inches into the mud since construction was completed in 2009, and experts say it could settle another 15 inches, or a total of nearly three feet, in the next few years. The developer of the tower, Millennium Partners, is blaming nearby excavation and construction activities at the Transbay Transit Center and Salesforce Tower for the excessive settlement and tilting of the tower, which is said to be off its axis by two inches.
Tall buildings are expected to settle a couple of inches over time, and perhaps to tilt slightly off center, but as an expert pointed out earlier, the 88-story Petronas Towers in Malaysia have sunk less than three inches since construction was completed 18 years ago, and tilted only half an inch. While not affecting the building's safety, such settlement and tilting can cause cracking in foundations and upper-story walls, and lead to problems with elevator systems.
A special city investigation by the Department of Building Inspection and a hired consultant is set to take place soon, prompted by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and a hearing held in late September.
*Update: Curbed reports on the sale of one unit, recorded on September 8, that never hit MLS and therefore flew on the radar: Unit 18F, which sold for a half million dollars more than it sold for in 2012, selling for $2.3 million.