Tuesday’s auction for land where The Annex shopping center is proposed to be built in Atascadero has been postponed to May 8, according to an automated phone report through Asset Foreclosure Services Inc.
The landowner, The Rottman Group out of Santa Barbara, faces a $4.2 million default on the plots deeded under its subsidiary, Atascadero North LLC.
The auction would include four empty parcels along El Camino Real and another vacant parcel along Del Rio Road currently marked by a faded sign advertising the future home of a new place to live, shop anddine.
For about seven years, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and The Annex have planned separate shopping centers across from each other in a largely rural area at Del Rio Road and El Camino Real, on the north end of town.
The controversial projects are currently in a stage of environmental review and are expected to go before the Atascadero City Council for approval or denial this summer.
The city has not heard from Rottman on the status of the Annex project, Community Development Director Warren Frace said.
“The city will continue to process the project with the Annex unless the Annex property owner withdrawals the project application,” he added.
Meanwhile, the auction is slated to go forward until Rottman takes action to save the property.
Last year, Rottman senior vice president Keith Mathias said his group was working out a deal with the bank and didn't expect to lose the land.
It's not clear where those negotiations stand today or what action Rottman must take to save the property from the auction block.
The Annex parcels are tied up in a larger lawsuit filed in October 2011 by Rottman lender Montecito Bank and Trust for the developer's default on $6.2 million in loans for various assets in and outside of the county, according to files from Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
The new auction date is 11 a.m. May 8 set to take place in the breezeway adjacent to the county general services building at 1087 Santa Rosa St. in San Luis Obispo. No minimum starting bid has been specified.