Another Sinking Building Saga Drops in S.F.

The discovery of another tilting downtown San Francisco building is unsettling news for the owners and the Department of Building Inspection.

Image: Foster + Partners

Let this sink in — Millennium Tower is not the only sinking building in San Francisco.  Yet another slight tilt has set in at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. building at 25 Jessie Street, though the cause appears to be an adjacent construction project, and not any structural flaws in the FDIC building itself.

This sinking is not as drastic as Millennium Tower’s 17-inch tilt. “The impact measured so far is less than an inch,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  But that tilt could accelerate, since the nearby construction responsible for the sinking is scheduled to continue until 2021.

NBC Bay Area first reported last week that 25 Jessie Street was beginning to tilt, and the cause appears to be the construction of the next-door Oceanwide Center (rendered above) that aspires to be the city’s second-tallest building once complete.

“Before and after images show new cracks that developed in the concrete wall that faces the Oceanwide project, began soon after crews started boring holes some 200 feet down to anchor the 900 foot tall tower to bedrock,” writes NBC Bay Area’s Jaxon Van Derbeken.

An anonymous tipster sounded the alarm in February, according to Department of Building Inspection complaints. “THIS BUILDING IS SINKING! LOOK AT IT!!! Construction next door,” the complaint read.

This anonymous tipster was very anonymous. They listed their phone number as (415) 777-7777, “which is the voice mail for the san francisco chronicals [sic] classified ads,” the building inspector report notes.

A March report shown on the building inspection website said that found that 25 Jessie has only sunk about an eighth of an inch, which they say “is small in comparison with previous evaluation and will not have significant distress or life safety concerns on the building.”

But the discovery of sinking at the Millennium Tower led to more safety hazard revelations at that building, so city officials are likely to keep a close eye on this construction site.

“In this instance the building has not yet been built, so they need to take immediate steps to ensure the building ten feet away is not going to suffer the same fate as Millennium Tower,” Sup. Aaron Peskin tells NBC Bay Area.

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