Soma luxury apartment building was completely flooded on Friday, displaced all residents in hotels

    Tenants in the luxurious 33 Tihama apartment complex will not be able to return to their homes for at least the rest of the week, as a rooftop pipe burst on each floor below and forced the evacuation of all 383 rental units of the building.

    It was a rough weekend for the tenants of a four-year-old luxury apartment complex on Tihama Street near First Street, with the Chronicle reporting that a rooftop water pipe had forced the evacuation of all 383 housing units in the building. The explosion appears to have happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. Friday, and after engineers, water experts and PG&E were unable to stop the flow, residents were evacuated due to electrical water hazards, and they have no timetable for when to return.

    “The elevators are out of order beyond repair, and the firefighter is not going to let anyone back in,” resident Austin Caldwell told the Chronicle. (Caldwell and his partner, Per the Chron, pay $3,330 for a one-bedroom in the complex.) All the tenants were put into Union Square hotels, which is great and all, and Chronicle reports they were told “their hotel reservations have been extended through Friday,” which is the diplomatic way of saying they can’t go home all week.


    Above we see the building in question 33 Tihama (far right with lighting details). It opened in 2018, and according to the property’s website, it is described as “a brand new residence with a range of modern apartments and penthouses that offer truly cosmopolitan living, cutting-edge design and unparalleled amenities in the stunning SoMa location.”

    A San Francisco Fire Department report says, according to Chron, that a six-inch pipe exploded in an apartment on the 36th floor of the building on Friday afternoon. But there is no 36th floor and residents say the explosion occurred on the roof. This is verified with Yelp photos, which indicate that the 35th floor has a rooftop lounge, and therefore the upper floor is accessible to residents – but the Social Fund for Development may also have mistaken the floor.

    New district superintendent Matt Dorsey tweeted Sunday that he had “finished on-site check-in,” but mostly praised the fire department’s reverence. When the Chronicle asked Dorsey for comment on the situation, he only said, “I don’t have my arms around it.”

    “At this time, the team is working hard to fix the problem and restore security systems and facilities,” the real estate company that manages 33 Tihama said in a statement Sunday night. “We will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the property’s water leak,” the company added.

    The tenants were at least allowed to collect their pets (but can they keep their pets at Union Square hotels?). So things are settled for now meaning everyone is safe and moved, but it wouldn’t be so shocking if they were late back to their apartments. Furthermore, there are likely to be disputes over the property and property of affected tenants, and the flood of 33 tihams may be more than a one-week story.

    In fact, the Chronicle reported moments ago that the Building Inspection Department is now sending inspectors “to determine if there is water damage or other code issues,” and “if there are any building code violations.”

    Related: 15 people rescued from a single alarm fire in Soma; At least 8 people were injured, 7 pets rescued [SFist]

    Photo: Andrew D. via Yelp