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Housing & Development

SF Luxury Tower Floods for 2nd Time in 3 Months. And Residents Don’t Know When They Can Move Back In

Written by Garrett LeahyPublished Aug. 11, 2022 • 2:56pm
Daniel Dahan, a resident of 33 Tehama, attempts to retrieve a package from the building. Residents of 33 Tehama were supposed to move back in after flooding, but the building has closed again and residents are unable to access their belongings. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard


Residents of a luxury apartment tower are worried that their property will be damaged beyond repair after it flooded for a second time.

SoMa’s 33 Tehama first flooded back in early June, forcing all residents to be temporarily relocated. Due to projected repairs to elevator shafts, the earliest residents may be able to move back is late 2022 to early 2023.

But Wednesday evening, the 35-floor tower flooded again, with dramatic videos of water gushing out of the ground floor exits surfacing on social media.

This puts four-year resident of the posh apartment block Caterina Vernieri in a tough position, wondering when she’ll be able to move back in and what state her furniture will be in.

The Stanford physics professor pays $3,700 per month for her one-bedroom home at 33 Tehama. But hasn’t lived there since the first flooding, when a six-inch water pipe burst on the 36th floor and water gushed down the elevator shafts.

Vernieri arrived home in San Francisco Wednesday after three weeks of travel in Seattle and Europe. But when she went back to the tower to grab documents for a DMV appointment the following day, she was told that she could not enter the building.

Vernieri recently signed a lease on a new apartment to live in until repairs from the last bout of flooding in June are completed. Now, she’s unable to move her furniture, clothing and other belongings to her new place—assuming much of her property is not already a write-off.

“We would like to have more support and more understanding in trying to await a new solution since Tehama is not coming back until 2023, and no one wants to live like this for six months,” Vernieri said.

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Developer Hines, which also manages 33 Tehama, is putting an end to living expense allowance payments by Aug. 17, which included costs of hotels for displaced residents.

Vernieri believes that Hines should be additionally accountable for any delays to moving back in past Aug. 17, and cover the cost of any damaged furniture or belongings.

In an email, Hines’ spokesperson Marisa Monte said the flooding occurred at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and that they are unsure when repairs will be completed or when residents will be able to move back in as they are still assessing what caused the flooding and what damage may have occurred.


Garrett Leahy can be reached at [email protected]

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