Hines highrise springs second leak in SoMa

Flood from 36th floor prompts another evacuation of red-tagged building

Hines’ Jeffrey Hines and Laura Hines-Pierce with 33 Tehama (Hines, 33tehama)
Hines’ Jeffrey Hines and Laura Hines-Pierce with 33 Tehama (Hines, 33tehama)

Hines is in high water in San Francisco.

Another water leak in the 403-unit luxury apartment highrise owned by the Texas developer again forced the evacuation of residents and construction workers at 33 Tehama in South of Market, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The San Francisco Fire Department responded to the 36-story tower at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, largely unoccupied since a burst pipe on its top floor prompted hundreds of residents to scurry from the building on June 3.

The second leak resulted in the second evacuation in nine weeks.

The flood streamed from the same burst pipe, according to a Hines spokesperson, who said “everyone exited safely.” Fewer than 10 residents fled the building, along with about 15 construction workers. It’s unclear when they’ll be able to return.

“We are in the process of assessing the extent of the damage and cause,” the Hines representative said. “At this time, we are not able to allow residents access to the building to pick up mail, retrieve items from their homes or proceed with moving out.”

The June 3 flood sent an estimated 20,000 gallons of water cascading to lower floors, according to the landlord. Houston-based Hines, the co-developer and landlord of the recently built tower, offered residents $300 stipends for lodging in lieu of hotel rooms it had booked. The support is set to end Aug. 17.

The company didn’t furnish a cost estimate for damage from the first leak or the second.

While meeting with residents and city officials in June, Hines Senior Managing Director Paul Paradi blamed a failed sprinkler main for the first leak – which he said was fixed.

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The city red-tagged the building as unsafe for occupancy. A building inspector’s report in early June said 93 units sustained water damage, along with common areas.

Hines had hired Turner Construction, based in New York, to fix the leak.

The company initially told residents they could return to their flats between August and October. But last month it told them 33 Tehama would be uninhabitable through the end of the year, and maybe into early 2023.

It told the Business Times the construction delay was caused by “substantial water damage to the elevator shaft serving the fire safety elevators of the building.”

Hines, a global real estate powerhouse, and Atlanta-based Investco, developed 33 Tehama in 2018. The green glass tower, scored with balconies on either side, was designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, with Lendlease Group serving as general contractor.

The building has been beset with problems from the beginning. In February 2017, a construction failure at the partially built skyscraper forced the evacuation of a dozen nearby buildings when a 2,000-pound slab attached to a failed crane threatened to fall hundreds of feet, according to fire officials.

Hines denied that the crane had malfunctioned and said a hydraulic lift
between floors 35 and 36 had failed.

— Dana Bartholomew

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