San Francisco’s ultimate symbol of decadence and luxury is sinking, horrifying well-heeled tenants and laying the foundation for a costly legal battle. With bold-name residents such as Joe Montana and SF Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Millennium Tower was hailed as one of the world’s top 10 residential buildings when it opened in 2009, notes SF Gate. Since then, the gleaming skyscraper has sunk 16 inches and tilted 2 inches, reports KGO. Despite assurances the 58-story high-rise is safe, furious owners who paid as much as $10 million for their condos have complained that walls are cracked, and windows and dishwashers are harder to open. An engineer in July confirmed the owners’ worst fears.
"All buildings settle over time," says a spokesman for the tower operator, Millennium Partners, but he adds that the tower “settled more than originally anticipated” after heavy construction next door for the new Transbay Transit Center. The transit authority, however, points blame at the tower’s construction of concrete rather than steel and says engineers made a mistake by not drilling the building's piles into bedrock. Homeowners, meanwhile, have hired their own engineering consultants and are threatening to sue. The tower in the "SoMa"—South of Market—district boasts 419 apartments, a fitness center, lap pool, terrace, wine cellar, notes Worth magazine, which rated it one of the world’s best addresses. It's also home to star chef Michael Mina's RN74 restaurant. (Read more Millennium Tower stories.)