A 24-story luxury condominium, once touted as a symbol of a taller, more glamorous downtown skyline, has been redesigned as a six-story apartment complex under the pressures of tight financial markets.
“My dream had become a nightmare for this site,” said Marc Nathanson — chairman of Mapleton Investments, which with Urban Partners LLC is developing the project — in describing the economic collapse after the original high rise was approved in 2008.
Verdugo Gardens was to feature skygardens built into the facade on the 18th floor, each with a different theme. But with the economic recession making financing nearly impossible, developers had to significantly scale back the design.
On Tuesday, the City Council, acting in its dual role as Redevelopment Agency, unanimously approved the new design.
When the council approved the original design, officials described it as one of the most significant developments for the city since the Americana at Brand. The city's General Plan — a blueprint for the future — points to high rises as a way to rejuvenate downtown.