Pagoda Palace: Restaurant Owner Discovers Brick Fragments on Roof, Gets Angry

By Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

Yesterday we noted that the Piazza Pelligrini restaurant received a pair of unwelcome guests: Bricks, which fell from the Pagoda Palace demolition site next door.

Restaurateur Dario Hadjian was less than thrilled with the notion of construction debris coming to a rest next to his outdoor cafe tables (the bricks purportedly tumbled within the construction zone, then rolled beneath a fence). So, this morning, when he found more bricks, he was even less than less-than-thrilled.

And he called the cops… (more)

ASBESTOS AND LEAD:  SAFETY PRECAUTIONS IGNORED Despite many requests, SFMTA has not identified hazardous materials to neighbors nor divulged abatement procedures.  If any haz-mat removal has occurred, such work was done without any containment or protective barriers—throwing particulates into the air.  Nearby residences and restaurants with outdoor dining have been ignored.

The “Phase I Environmental Site Assessment” (by “Ceres Associates”, May 30, 2001) and “Asbestos and Lead Survey” (by “EnviroNova”, June 19, 2009) identify lead (paint, tiles, soldered plumbing connections….), asbestos (roofing, mastic, flashing, plaster, putty, tiles….) and mercury (thermostats).

The Pagoda site has saturated sandy soils, a high water table and underground streams.  Structural loads onto cavity-prone soils have high potential for soil subsidence and damage to adjacent buildings.  Independent Geotechnical Evaluations: “Karp Report 1, 2 and 3”.  

The demolition is being rushed for political reasons.  Internal SFMTA documents show that demolition is not necessary:  In SFMTA’s Risk Management Report No. 46, Risk Item 208 notes:  “March 2013:  2. If resolution of costs associated with the Pagoda option is not achieved, the TBMs will be buried to maintain budget requirements.”

TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) can be buried under Stockton Street or extracted in Chinatown, eliminating the empty 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square and the Pagoda Project.  Cost savings of up to $80 million can be used to quickly improve Muni throughout northern and western San Francisco.

RUSHED DEMOLTION  =  BAD CONSEQUENCES The Pagoda Theater’s rushed demolition is unwise and illegal.  At minimum, surrounding business/ property owners should be allowed to review engineering and demolition procedures.  Thus far, neighboring businesses and property owners have been left in the dark.

Some Say Signs of Trouble Apparent Days Before Building Collapse


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