We’re huge fans of watching San Francisco get destroyed in Hollywood disaster films here at SFist, and I'd bet there are some people who'd pay good money to see a movie where the scorned and sinking Millennium Tower came crashing to the ground. But destruction fantasy aside, a three-member panel of leading engineers has concluded that MIllennium Tower could withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, despite all its recently revealed problems. That assessment was first reported by Matier and Ross in this morning’s Chronicle, and is backed up by a report released later this morning by the city administrator’s office.
“We are pleased to release a report that independently confirms Millennium Tower is safe for the time being in the event of a major earthquake,” city administrator Naomi Kelly says in the report’s press release. “As recommended by the independent engineering experts, the City will continue to closely monitor the building.”
Millennium Partners, the developers of the Millennium Tower commissioned a 2016 study that determined the sinking tower was indeed earthquake-proof. That assessment was immediately disputed by third-party engineers. But this new analysis by city-commissioned engineers Greg Deierlein, Marko Schotanus and Craig Shields claims that “the building is safe at this time in the event of a major earthquake.”
If you’re still unconvinced that a leaning tower is earthquake-safe (and who wouldn’t be?) the assessment also comes with a 14-page structural safety review detailing the processes and materials used to conduct the analysis. Millennium Partners claims to have a $100 to $150 million solution that would prop the tower back upright by drilling new piles of bedrock into the building’s basement.
Needless to say, this “all clear on the earthquake front” won’t do anything to affect the $500 million class action lawsuit brought by Millennium Towers buyers, nor the additional wall gaps that pose a significant fire risk discovered earlier this month. But for a 58-story tower with that produces so many negative stories, it must be a relief to get the occasional piece of not-disastrous news.