Construction Work Resumes on Office Tower Near Montgomery Field Airport

Sat May 12, 2007 - West Edition
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SAN DIEGO (AP) Construction resumed on the high floors of an office tower near the Montgomery Field airport, even though the city ordered the developer to stop work until a dispute is settled with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said the 180-ft.-tall (54.8 m) building is a hazard to small planes because it exceeds FAA height limits by 20 ft. (6 m). The small airport is located in the central part of the city.

The city had allowed Sunroad Enterprises to roof the 12-story building to protect it from rain. But when City Attorney Michael Aguirre learned March 20 that glass walls were going up, he revoked permission to weatherproof or do any other work on the top of the $45 million building.

Marcela Escobar-Eck, the city’s director of Development Services, said the city is walking a “fine line.” If it doesn’t allow some construction, she said the city could be held financially liable for delaying the project too long.

The city has sued Sunroad, seeking a court order to force the company to tear down the top two floors. Sunroad, arguing that the city issued permits for a 180-ft. building, has sued the city for $40 million.

The FAA is not budging.

“As far as the FAA is concerned it is a hazard,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. “The construction issues are a local matter and not something the FAA would get involved in.”