More than a sinking feeling

There’s a sinking feeling at Alexander Station Apartments. City inspectors say up to 162 of 262 units in the buildings at Alexander and 10th Streets are sinking one-fourth to one-half inches and repairs will be necessary before they approve the apartments for occupancy.

“The excessive rains from the prior year produced some settling in one of the buildings,” said Denise Carter, vice chief portfolio officer with the Pacific Companies. “The repairs are well underway and will not affect the project.”

To correct the settling in the affected units, the city has endorsed actions by the contractor, Pacific West Builders, to use jacks to adjust and raise the wood posts that inspectors say were “negatively affected by moisture.”

The contractors will remove the compressed flooring to allow the installation of replacement posts to support the flooring. The new posts will correct the settlement issue in all affected units, according to the city.

With the newest revelation of structural problems, the project’s completion date, which was expected to be finished by the end of the year, has been cast in doubt.

“The engineer is not sure as to what has caused this problem and is working on a solution to get it resolved,” said City of Gilroy Community Development Director Kristi Abrams.

“There has been some speculation that the dampness from last winter’s storms could be a contributing factor. They are currently trying to jack up the units in the areas affected by the by the settling to shore the building and correct the issue.”

“In the areas which have deflection, which is in the center of the unit, there is a four-by-six or four-by-eight post and that post carries loads from the top all the way down,” said Abrams.

The construction project has been under construction for more than 18 months. The two towers are the tallest buildings in Gilroy.

The Pacific Companies and its contractors will continue work to stucco and paint the unaffected exterior walls, said Abrams. The outer walls, along with the central interior walls, have not been compromised even though they carry the majority of the load-bearing members, according to Abrams.

Noah Concrete of Gilroy began pouring the foundation over a year and a half ago and encountered several delays as the contractor changed the framing of the building. Despite the four-month delay for pouring the 3,000 to 4,000 yards of concrete for the project, Don Alvarez Sr., owner of Noah Concrete, finished the job well before the recent heavy winter rains.

As the weather alternated between wet and dry, various construction delays occurred.

US Residential, of Dallas, Texas, which has been contracted by The Pacific Companies to manage the properties, was aware of delays due to the weather, but said it did not know of any structural problems with the buildings.

A US Residential spokesperson said the expected move-in date of January is now expected to be later in the first quarter of 2018. US Residential is currently processing applications for the Harvest Park apartments in north Gilroy, and expects to move residents in by January.