Rottman Group’s Annex property on the auction block

April 3, 2012

Atascadero’s plan to have a retail center, dubbed the Annex, across the street from an approved Wal-Mart appears to have ended, at least for now.

On April 24, as part of a bank foreclosure, five Rottman Group properties which are located in the area of Del Rio Road and El Camino Real, are scheduled to be sold at an auction to be held in the breezeway adjacent to the county general services building in San Luis Obispo.

In October, Montecito Bank & Trust filed a lawsuit in Santa Barbara Superior Court alleging the Rottman Group was in default for $6.2 million in interest, fees, a line of credit and several loans taken on its Atascadero properties.

In 2006, the Rottman Group and Wal-Mart submitted a joint application to build retail complexes at the city’s northern end. Wal-Mart is slated to build a 125,000 square-foot store.

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

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


WalMart is threatening Atrashcabamans with employment and must therefor be fought to the bitter end.


Arroyo Grande has a Wal-Mart. Yet despite the economy, their downtown area (aka: “The Village”) is booming. Not just the Village area, but all of Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande is plentiful with locally owned businesses. Where is the “Wal-Mart slum” in Arroyo Grande? Where is all the blight and trash strewn about in Arroyo Grande that “Mary Malone” tells us will happen when a Wal-Mart opens?

Anyone care to name one “mom & pop” business in Arroyo Grande that Wal-Mart put out of business?

If Wal-Mart is guilty of anything, it is taking advantage of opening up in cities that are allready failing. Like Atascadero.


First of all they are Principals, not Principles. (A journalist should concern themselves with such things)

This is all part of Walmarts and the Cities plan to get this development out of the way and levee more fees on this and every other project in the area and call it special traffic fees.

You know what Rottman should do …. sell to Target.


Interesting how no one talks about Target, their cheap China products, or their food department, or their “high paying” jobs. Yeap, let’s just keep shouting from the rooftop about horrible ole’ Wal Mart, how bad they are, how they destroy towns and businesses (what businesses in Atascadero?). Just look at how successful the Grocery Outlet is in Atascadero because people need to survive the best they can considered all the yaxes we pay and regulations we endure. Sorry, but the Wal Mart has “helped”, not hindered, Paso Robles. With Wal Mart came Kohl’s, JC Penny’s, Big Five, the eateries for the shoppers, and all the sales tax that has helped Paso. I don’t recall successful businesses boarding up, at least not without being replaced with a new business. The problem in Paso is not due to Wal Mart, it is reinventing yourself and using your money wisely. Paso did a good job reinventing itself and we don’t need to talk about spending the money wisely because they don’t.


Do you have any articles about Target?

Here are some about Wal-Mart:

New Study: Wal-Mart Means Fewer Jobs, Less Small Businesses, More Burden on Taxpayers (

Wal-Mart and Job Quality – What Do We Know, and Should We Care?


Wal-Mart’s Economic Footprint (

Top Reasons the Walton Family and Walmart are NOT “Job Creators”




I don’t live in Atascadero, but I live in a city that–one fracking month after I moved here–broke ground on a new Wal-Mart.

I really don’t see why anyone would want a Wal-Mart in their city. It guts the very heart from a region, and drives from town the mom-n-pop stores that are a big part of what defines the nature of a small city or town.

In addition, there have been many studies about how Wal-Mart has a negative impact, overall, on the region. I don’t know if they still do it, but Wal-Mart management used to give workshops for its workers on how to file for Medicaid/Medi-Cal and other “welfare” programs.

I was sorry for Atascadero to make the decision to embrace Wal-Mart because, IMO, with that decision it also decided it would no longer try to attract the affluent tourists.

Wal-Mart changes a city. I saw it happen where I live now. It trashifies it. It becomes almost impossible to find quality ANYTHING locally because those stores have been driven out of business. It just degrades the area in insidious ways. And so people start settling for less quality in what they buy because, although you may swear on a Bible you will drive the 20-60 miles to a city that has the kind of selection of quality items you believe is the best investment for your household, but you don’t do it all the time.

People learn to accept less quality, and it spreads, in small ways, throughout their life.

You will also notice more trash thrown on the side of the road, and an uptick in the amount of solid-waste collected on trash day, because most of what Wal-Mart sells is meant to last a very short period of time, and then be replaced by more Wal-Mart crap that won’t last.

This is just my own reaction and opinion here.


I would also add that wineries, illegal aliens, gangs, an incompetent city manager, and an ineffective police chief can cause all the same problems in a city as Mary Malone has solely blamed Wal-Mart for. Wal-Mart is a convenient target to blame when the city officials you voted for have failed.

Sorry to those who moved here from L.A., and believed everything the realtors told you about how “quaint” this area is, and all the B.S. they told you about “slow growth.” You should have known better when you moved here that we weren’t just gonna close the gate behind you. If everyone was moving north, you should have know that all of the problems you and other people were escaping would eventually move here too.

Before Wal-Mart was even proposed, Atascadero’s “downtown” comprised of gas stations, bars, fast food, liquor stores, a carwash, and Diamond Adult World. A city really needs to have a “real” downtown area before you can blame Wal-Mart for ruining it.

Of course this is just my own reaction and opinion.


An old boss of mine said “the most vocal local is the most recent arrival”.


That was not true in my case. I was very politically active in Santa Barbara (where I used to live). As such, I had experienced brand-new arrivals showing up at city council meetings, telling us all how things would be improved if things were done like they were in the city they had just moved from.

So I specifically did not get involved in local politics for YEARS. My focus was on national politics.

Many don’t realize the impact on humanity of ubiquity in city planning. When there are no real differences and quirks (good and bad) that define a region, there is no region. There is just one mass sea of humans living with the same stores, the same looks, the same food choices, the same TV programming, that encompass what was once individual regions with their own individual look, feel, and reality.

Wal-Mart promotes the ubiquity of city planning by carrying much of the same $hit in all of their stores. I about puke when Wal-Mart decides to featuring a new type of plant, because you are going to see it on every fracking corner, lot and driveway. Of course, many of them will die, because Wal-Mart doesn’t sell plants that will necessarily do well in the area where people live. Bu then, that is how Wal-Mart makes money–selling cheap crap that ends up being basically disposible–like toiletpaper.

Like mindless elois, customers dutifully march into Wal-Marts, across the land, and purchase the bright-shiny object in the front display.

I want “home” to feel like “home” and not just where the elois are programmed to support the Wal-Marts. I want to have a real choice of quality merchandise, sold by sales reps who actually know about the product and can actually help me make an informed decision.


I would think the middle aged “affluent” would embrace Wal-Mart. Where else can you buy wine and have your Xanax prescription filled under on roof?

If Atascadero could only get Trader Joe’s to open it’s first store with a pharmacy there, I think it would be a much bigger hit than Wal-Mart would be. Having a Trader Joe’s with a pharmacy would certainly attract more “affluent” tourists.


“Of course, many of them will die, because Wal-Mart doesn’t sell plants that will necessarily do well in the area where people live. Bu then, that is how Wal-Mart makes money” thisis a great example of the type of statements that i expect to see. Oleanders, photonias, pansies, daisies, geraniums, lavender, tomatoes, on and on…these are the types of plants that walmart sells in paso Robles. Considering lowes, home depot, even nurseries sell these exact same plants…I think it is fair to say that you are basically spewing out anything you can to arty and make Walmart look bad. Bottom line: make points that are founded on something quantifiable, and not based on the fact that you can’t manage to keep your plants alive. Oh, and since Walmart wants you to buy plants every time you kill yours, then why do they have a one year guarantee on the plants they sell (annuals excluded) ? and I bet you blame walmart for annuals not living longer that a year? You hear things, and you repeat them without ever knowing the facts. Walmart is so bad? Let me ask you this…who ever said people have to work at walmart? And what mom and pop shop doesn’t sell merchandise that comes from China?


For me, a “real downtown area” is one that has evolved over years and decades, based on the decisions of the people who live in that region, where people shop, eat and sometimes hangout.

A “real downtown area” is different from other “real downtown areas,” and specifically reflects the reality and day-to-day living of the locals.

To me, “ruining it” means a big store coming in and running out the competition, greatly increasing the amount of solid waste that is produced (the disposal of which the residents pay for), under the guise of “saving people money” when, in fact, studies have repeatedly shown that taxpayers end up paying more in taxes to pay for the food-stamps and other types of “welfare” that Wal-Mart workers, and the newly unemployed mom-and-pop-store workers, need thanks to Wal-Mart.


Any civil planner worth salt would tell you that you don’t build a downtown from the outside in. The difference between Walmarts going in AG and Paso is that those two cities had established downtowns and Atascadero did not. Put a Walmart on the north edge of town, and it never will. aTRASHcadero it will remain.


“I was sorry for Atascadero to make the decision to embrace Wal-Mart because, IMO, with that decision it also decided it would no longer try to attract the affluent tourists.”

Attract affluent tourists? TO WHAT?? The Carlton Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to abandoned gas stations, a used car lot, a pawn shop, and a consignment store? The Carlton can’t even keep it’s employees paid, or a restaurant open.

Maybe the “affluent” will be attracted to Atascadero’s many “lakeside” properties located adjacent to it’s zoo and central park, with restrooms that double as gender-neutral social clubs for the bi-curious.

I think Atascadero finally came to the realization that it would never be Aspen, and settled for Wal-Mart and a huge theatre instead.


None of this would have occurred if the damn opponents (Tom Comar – aka union activiist) did not fight the Wal Mart/Rottman Project, the economy tanked and we did not have to have an election deciding the size of the project involving food (union), required all the special studies, delays, etc. This is too bad because this project could be complete by now, Rothman would have paid their share of costs, people would be employed and working, sales tax dollars would be available to pay for the $8 M fraud due FEMA and we would now be Paradise Town.


The initiative that was placed on the ballot was only to uphold the general plan that was in place and only restricted the size of the Wal-Mart that had been presented. Even though the initiative was shot down, WM decided to scale down the size of their project to less than what the initiative would have restricted it to. It is WM that has stalled their own project by constantly changing plans, they could easily have completed the project by now if they had wanted to and it is WM who is “jacking everybody” around with NOT doing what they promised to do in the beginning and that is to pay for the access upgrades. WM is BAD NEWS.


I also blame Tom Comar for the collapse of the economy.

In addition, I believe he’s responsible for the melting of the ice caps, sun spots, email scams and foot odor.


I knew it!


And they call us “paranoid”….


Sorry, only Wal Mart produces non-union jobs. WELCOME WAL MART – BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!!! (Tom will probably be the first in line with his senior job saying “Welcome to Wal Mart”… Kodak moment!!!


Don’t worry the city managers will tell the feds its our other “youth center” and baam, a new federal bailout loan.


Have you read the OIG’s report?

I think Atascadero is in their crosshairs now, which means they are in the crosshairs of the FBI, too.

I know the WalMart boondoggle has been going south since inception, but the timing of the Annex’s development plans being jettisoned to the FEMA report on how “Atascadero Filched FEMA Funds” ( can’t be a coincidence, IMO.


How long until the city of Atascadero files bankruptcy from the implosion of it’s own government?


Nice… wonder how long before the entire city of Atrashcadero is offered on the auction yard chopping block yard. You know the auction yard that was once the corrupt Ford dealer that was run out of business.


Were they really corrupt or was it their bookkeeper?


If the bookkeeper is the only one who profited from corruption, chances are the bookkeeper was a “rogue.”

In city governments and developments that depend on the cooperation of city management, it is very seldom (that I can remember) a “rogue bookkeeper.”