Aaron Peskin

‘Nobody is Taking Responsibility': Frustration Builds as Investigation Into Millennium Tower Prolongs

One of the two outside engineers who reviewed the now sinking Millennium Tower’s foundation testified Friday that he repeatedly stressed that his analysis left out the massive nearby Transbay project because he “had no idea” about its potential impact.

“We knew there was a big project and it was next door to this building, and I had no idea, you know, what kind of influence it might have on this kind of building, so it was important to mention that,” Hardip Pannu testified at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing.

Millennium Partners now blames the transit terminal for destabilizing the tower foundation. Transbay officials counter that Millennium’s foundation was already doomed to failure because it was not rooted in bedrock.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin wanted to know why Pannu stressed in multiple letters why Transbay was not considered.

NBC Bay Area’s review of documents shows that back in early 2006, city building inspection department engineer Hanson Tom declared it was “not the responsibility” of the two-member peer review team to consider the Transbay project.

It appears, based on minutes of a project meeting in February 2006, that Tom dismissed the need for such a review after one of his colleagues raised the issue.

Peskin said after the hearing that he wanted to ask Tom about that decision. But Tom failed to show up and the building inspection official who stood in could not address the issue.

“Nobody is taking responsibility,” Peskin said after the hearing. “Not the peer reviewers, not the Department of Building Inspection, not Millennium. It’s quite frustrating.”

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