Bank sues Rottman Group over Atascadero projects

October 31, 2011

A Central Coast bank filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the Rottman Group for defaulting on a $6.2 million debt related to the Atascadero Annex project. [PacificCoastBusinessTimes]

On Oct. 18, Montecito Bank & Trust filed a lawsuit in Santa Barbara Superior Court alleging the Rottman Group is in default for $6.2 million in interest, fees, a line of credit and several loans taken on the Atascadero projects.

In 2006, the Rottman Group and Wal-Mart submitted a joint application to build retail complexes at the corner of El Camino Real and Del Rio Road where Wal-Mart is slated to build a 125,000 square-foot store.

Compass Real Estate, an arm of the Rottman Group, is planning to build a 116,000 square-foot retail center known as the Annex. In addition, the group is also slated to construct a work-force housing development, according to the group’s website.

The principles of Compass Real Estate are Steven Rottman, Maury Froman, and Keith Mathias.

Nevertheless, the Rottman Group and Wal-Mart are at an impasse over who will pay the $3 million to $4.5 million needed to build a freeway interchange required by the project’s environmental review.

In Oct. 2007, Wal-Mart agreed to pay for an environmental review and any improvements the EIR determined were necessary. Now, both developers are asking Atascadero to pay a portion of the required traffic mitigation costs.

This summer, both developers said they wanted a portion of the funding for the interchange to be taken from traffic impact fees the developers owe the city. City officials are expected to come to a decision over funding before the end of the year.

In its lawsuit, Montecito Bank & Trust contends the Rottman Group deceived them by using some of the same assets to secure loans for the Atascadero projects the group used as collateral for a $15.3 million loan from City National Bank, for a project called Oak Canyon Ranch in Calaveras County.

The lawsuit also alleges City National Bank foreclosed on the property further diminishing the Rottman Group’s creditworthiness.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The thing that I just find so amusing is how the voices against WalMart are so loud, but there has been no mention of the staggering amounts of money that WalMart donates each and every year to communities and causes. There seldom is mention of the programs like “feeding the hungry” that WalMart initiated so thousands of families can eat a meal consisting of meat, fruits, and vegetables, each night. The part that is lost through all this is the very mission WalMart was founded on, and continues to operate under today. Every day low cost for the organization, so they may pass on savings to the consumer…”saving people money, so they can live better”. The amount of money DONATED in relationship to it’s revenue is three times that of Lowes, ten times that of Home Depot, and in fact, vastly higher than 25 of the “local” companies that I was able to find that would give me the information, or the public information I could find through filings, and through research. Why is it that these facts are never revealed? I don’t recall this much rukuss when Home Depot planned to open. And, no one bothers to mention that the Kmart in Atascadero stopped local donations years ago, only an occasional good deed from a kind manager now and then is ever given back to the community from them, so where is the uproar? The last thing I will point to is the tremendous amount of money that Paso Robles receives from all the residents of Atascadero who purchase their goods from WalMart. At the very least, the tax revenue would return to the city in some manner, because those who buy at WalMart will continue whether or not Atascadero WalMart opens. If WalMart is so bad, so horrible, then why are you, and your neighbors buying from them on a regular basis? I think some people use any activism to share their ignorance. It’s sad…because if you researched much of your hatred against WalMart, you may find that much of what you believe was fed to you through propaganda, and incorrect “facts” by people with hidden interests. Those “documentaries” many of you probably saw, and believed without question were so far off base that I wasn’t even offended. They were tabloid news, and WalMart shouldn’t, and didn’t, bother to react with any real emotion. Everything in perspective, show me examples of better companies that sell over 400 billion dollars in merchandise…oh, that’s right…there aren’t any. Gee, I wonder where all the buyers of that merchandise are? Oh, that’s right…they are every day Americans who keep buying from WalMart because they out competed the other businesses and succeeded. If local companies can’t differentiate themselves and compete against WalMart, then I guess they just won’t survive. Many businesses do, many thrive…right along side WalMart. The retail world evolves and changes, those who don’t, perish, and those who do thrive. Consumers vote with dollars, not voices. And I for one am happy free market exists. Choose your store, if it closes up, then you chose wrong. The ones who can operate on low cost are better served to survive. It doesn’t matter what the economy brings. WalMart started in what? 1963? How many downturns in the economy have happened since then, and yet they still out competed everyone else to reach the #1 spot by a mile! So, fight it all you want, I hope you win! That way, the great city you prevented WalMart from opening in will watch all those tax dollars go to other cities. I think you should continue your fight. It’s better for my city in the long run anyway. Yes, I’m pro WalMart, yes, I’m a proud shopper. Yes, go ahead and take your shots, I already know what they will be anyway. So predictable are the sheep, so simple are those who live in the yesterday. WalMart didn’t ruin the country, it was so many that wanted lower prices at the expense of labor. You want only local business? Great…the same box of cereal at scolaris is half the price at WalMart. I guess you just have money to burn. I make 80,000 a year, and my wife still has to work. Yeah, I think I’ll keep buying at WalMart, it’s the only way I can afford to eat out at a local restaurant! And that is fact. Enjoy…

It is astounding to me the vile hatred that people have for those they have never even met, just because they have been successful in the past or because they want something different than you do.. Some people are not happy unless they are not happy. It is truly sad.

I hope that Rottman gets this figured out with the bank because I want Rottman AND the bank to succeed, especially when all we ever hear about on the news is how bad the economy is. In my opinion the biggest problem with the economy has become the fact that we have to constantly hear about how bad it is. Who would spend or invest any money after listening to the news? I wouldn’t.

As far as the Walmart hatred spewed regularly, most of that has unfortunately become emotional, and when emotions are introduced there is no point in even having the discussion. I even wish well on Walmart, just not at others expense.

Would it kill some of you to try to find something good in each and every situation you encounter. It might make the world a little less miserable for you.