I have been working with clients who own apartment buildings with tuck under parking for a few years. Many Bay Area cities are implementing a soft story ordinance required for buildings with 5 or more units in order to prevent them from “pancaking” during an earthquake.
The seismic upgrades are only a basic measure, designed to prevent catastrophic collapse, and are not guaranteed to keep a building standing. We have first hand experience assisting our clients with seismic upgrades in Oakland and Alameda.
Each city has their own ordinance and you may review the Oakland Soft-Story ordinance here. Additionally we have a video of our friend and adviser Homy Sikaroudi speaking on the soft-story ordinance (click on Guest Speaker Homy Sikaroudi). He holds a Ph.D in engineering and has completed numerous seismic upgrades in Oakland and Alameda.
Please call Nick at 415-812-4450 if you have tuck under parking or if you have received a notice from the city of Alameda or Oakland indicating that a report is necessary. I can advise you as to the necessary steps, who to talk to and what you can expect in terms of cost. I have recently submitted a report on my own 18 unit building and advised many owners who have Soft-stories.