Oct 12, 2022 - Business

Luxury apartment developer sued after flooding

Ground view of 33 tehama

Window washers clean the outside of 33 Tehama in 2017. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Over 50 displaced residents from 33 Tehama St., a SoMa apartment building, are suing property management company Hines in light of flooding in June and August.

Details: The lawsuit alleges Hines knew about the building's plumbing issues prior to the leak, failed to properly maintain the building and, in some cases, did not follow through with compensating residents for their related expenses.

What they're saying: The tenants of 33 Tehama "were robbed" of their safety and comfort due to the leaks, Nazy Fahimi, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "Hines not only acted negligently in maintaining the building, but also knew that there was a problem before the June 2022 leak occurred, and kept it hidden."

  • D6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey, whose district includes SoMa, indicated in a statement the flood was "only the start of a cascading fiasco," and thinks litigation is "the appropriate next step to right the wrongs that emerged from this debacle."

The other side: Hines denies the allegations in the suit.

  • The company said its staff has "worked around the clock to assist the displaced residents with emergency and permanent relocation options," per an emailed statement to Axios.
  • The developer said, for example, it has paid for lodging, parking, per diems and other expenses that total about $13 million.

What's next: Hines said it's confident the court and members of the public "will understand the true extent of our efforts" in pretrial discovery.

  • Meanwhile, displaced residents might not be able to move back in until the second quarter of 2023, per Hines.

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