Documents obtained Tuesday by NBC Bay Area show that the developer of the Millennium Tower is balking at turning over any plans of a fix for the sinking and leaning structure, claiming such information is secret as part of ongoing mediation talks with the tower’s homeowners association.
The city Department of Building Inspection gave Millennium Partners until last Friday to reveal how it plans to stabilize the 58-story building, which is sinking and tilting to the north and west.
But in his two-page response sent last Friday and disclosed Tuesday, Millennium’s Sean Jeffries informed the head of Building Inspection, Tom Hui, about its refusal to comply with that request.
“These efforts are part of the pending confidential mediation process,” Jeffries wrote.
Jeffries told Hui that a three-member expert panel of soil and structural engineers will review the building’s condition as part of the mediation effort with the homeowners association.
The mediation is being overseen by retired Judge Ronald Sabraw. Jeffries cited confidential mediation as well in refusing to turn over any prediction about the continued settlement of the building, calling it “information that is subject to a pending confidential mediation process.”
But Millennium’s response left Supervisor Aaron Peskin fuming.
“It is as though 850,000 San Franciscans and their Board of Supervisors don’t have a high enough security clearance to know what’s happening with what could be an imminent threat to safety in the middle of our downtown core,” Peskin said.
“This letter, sent under the guise of ongoing litigation, really says nothing about when they are going to attempt to fix it,” Peskin concluded.
Peskin says he now intends to get the plans, even if it means meeting in closed session, away from the public.
“As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I think we deserve to know what the fixes are going to be and when they are going to be implemented,” Peskin said. He added that he hopes to convene the closed-door session on the matter “as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, Jerry Dodson, a lawyer who lives in the building and is currently suing Millennium, called the developer’s claim of confidentiality “outrageous.” He said the city should demand that any planned fix should be turned over to officials, and Millennium should be ordered to carry it out.
“Twelve-hundred homeowners live in this building, and we have a right to know what the facts are about the sinking and tilting of the building," he said. "Mediation can’t be the excuse to keep that information from homeowners.”