The city of Santa Clarita confirmed Wednesday that planners are looking back, and to the future, with its plans in mind to save the iconic clock tower in Canyon Country.
While the structure adjacent to the digital clock and thermometer at Soledad and Whites canyon roads is now in ruins, the tower on the corner that’s been a fixture for nearly 50 years is, for now, safe.
Recognizing residents’ interest in the tower’s historical nature, the city of Santa Clarita worked with the developer, which is turning what was most recently a Realty Executives office into a drive-thru Starbucks, said Jason Crawford, director of community development for the city of Santa Clarita.
“We’ve known that the community likes that clock tower feature,” Crawford said Wednesday. “And so we wanted to do everything we could to make sure that it remains, so we worked with the developer to ensure that that happens.”
The plans are for the current Starbucks location across the street to move there when tenant improvements are completed.
As part of the renovations of the property to facilitate the new coffee shop, the clock will get a sprucing up, Crawford added.
Plans including painting the sign in earth tones that will match the color scheme of the new building, and Starbucks’ logo will replace the Realtors’, Crawford added.
“So, once we had agreement that it would remain,” he said, “we worked with the developer to look at ways to freshen it up, and give it a design that matches the other buildings a little bit better.”
The city didn’t always have plans to save the tower in perpetuity, according to Jim Tanner, who runs three other SCV Realty Executives locations, in Agua Dulce, Newhall and Valencia.
Tanner mentioned the realty firm was part of a conversation to help save the tower after the city passed a sign ordinance about nine years ago that could have seen the digital sign taken down.
“So, we saved that sign. Realty Executives went into meetings to save that sign because that wasn’t compliant with the city,” he said. “It’s a landmark out there.”
Tanner moved into the building on that corner in 2003, he said in a phone interview Wednesday, after having previously leased space behind it in the same shopping center. Prior to Realty Executives, the location was a Wells Fargo branch, and the vault remained while the Realtors were there, he said, although the door was removed.
He was made aware of plans for Starbucks to move into the location five years ago, and with that understanding, made plans to move out in 2020.
The property is currently registered to Brad Mindlin of 19310 Soledad Canyon Investments LLC, according to L.A. County Assessor’s Office records, which has a Wilshire Boulevard address. Mindlin is the founder and co-managing partner of Oro Capital Advisors, “a boutique real estate investor and investment management firm headquartered in Los Angeles which specializes in distressed and value-added real estate investments and real estate development in the middle market sector,” according to its website.
The property was transferred in September 2020 from Ivan Mindlin, who was the owner from at least 1977.
The Valley Federal Savings Bank opened a new building at 19310 Soledad Canyon Road on June 27, 1975, accompanied by fanfare and appearances by a handful of professional athletes, according to a Signal article from the time.
An advertisement about the opening touted appearances by baseball Hall of Famer and strikeout king Nolan Ryan, who then played for the California Angels; NBA Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich from the L.A. Lakers; Danny Maloney of the L.A. Kings; and Isiah Robertson of the L.A. Rams.