“Starship Verdugo” destined to crash?

Known by some as Starship Verdugo due to its futuristic design, this medical building is in foreclosure and reportedly due to be sold at auction on Aug. 2.


The problems surrounding the development project at 3600 N. Verdugo Road have reached a boiling point as the property has entered bank foreclosure. The medical building, which has struggled to find tenants since reopening, is easily recognizable in Montrose mostly because of the stark architectural contrasts to its surroundings. It is reportedly scheduled for auction on Aug. 2.
“It’s an interesting building but the Crescenta Valley is a very conservative neighborhood from an architecture standpoint,” said president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley Mike Lawler. “This is especially true in Montrose. The building just doesn’t fit in.”
In the project’s meetings with the Glendale Design Review Board, the development was greeted with optimism and fanfare. However it has not lived up to its commercial expectations, remaining vacant since reopening.
“It might be more appropriate on Foothill or Brand boulevards, but certainly not on Honolulu,” said Lawler. “Honestly, I would argue that it is not that visually pleasing anyway.”
The 31,760 square foot building is listed in foreclosure at $10,594,212.27. The issues surrounding the property serve as a valid example of an increase in local development projects that have gone against the wishes of the community. Lawler has a strong belief in the correlation between community appropriate design and commercial success in the Crescenta Valley.
“This just shows that good design equals good business. Architecture that fits into the community is going to draw tenants and customers. Buildings like this won’t,” he remarked. “The design is out of place, so it makes sense that it is not drawing any tenants in the area.”
Lawler has voiced concern lately regarding new projects currently in the works in the unincorporated portion of La Crescenta despite the high number of commercial vacancies.
“This is a good example of why architecture should be placed within the context of the community,” he noted.