Auction sale on 2 Catlin properties in default | TheUnion.com
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Auction sale on 2 Catlin properties in default

Two Nevada County parcels owned by the now-defunct Catlin Properties Inc. will be auctioned off later this month after the Sacramento-based company defaulted on its loans.

Catlin owes Guaranty Bank about $9.5 million on the properties, which include the 65-acre SouthHill Village development in Grass Valley and the former Indian Springs Vineyard.

A number of liens were issued against the company in 2009, and Catlin also defaulted on properties in Rancho Cordova and Novato.



Catlin Properties had properties elsewhere in the West; the office of then-owner Ben Catlin is now with Bluemont Properties, but the nature of the relationship between the two firms could not be ascertained. Officials of Bluemont Properties did not return a telephone call asking for comment.

SouthHill Village was one of four special development areas slated in the last decade for development and annexation into Grass Valley. The property, mined decades ago by the owners of the Idaho Maryland Mine and later the site of the Bear River Mill, is near Highway 49 at La Barr Meadows Road.




The SouthHill Village project originally proposed a mixture of commercial and residential development: 122 single-family and multi-family residences; 151,000 square feet of retail or commercial space; 192,000 square feet of business park, and 13 acres of open space on about 65 acres. Early drawings of the project envisioned a Safeway store anchoring the commercial area.

But years of public concern over growth, city-funded studies and public hearings delayed the project, until the real estate collapse that started in 2007 caught up with Catlin Properties.

Catlin defaulted on the SouthHill Village property in November 2009, owing about $4.3 million. The company was to pay for a $320,000 environmental impact report, which was never completed due to its financial woes.

Despite its problems, the company has not withdrawn its application to develop SouthHill Village, said Grass Valley Community Development Director Joe Heckel.

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that’s forced the developer to shut the project down,” said Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout. She said the company doesn’t owe any funds to the city.

The Penn Valley Vineyards is the former Indian Springs Vineyards in Penn Valley. Catlin defaulted on that property in July 2009 and owes about $5.2 million on it.

Purchased by Catlin in 2006, the grapes on 240 acres of the property went unharvested last year, halving Nevada County’s annual wine-grape production. The firm had planned to subdivide the property’s 447 acres into 89 residential lots, plus a clubhouse and wine-tasting room for a development called Pendagio Vineyard Estates, according to documents filed with Nevada County in January 2008.

Both properties go up for a trustee sale at 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 19, on the steps of the Nevada County Courthouse at 201 Church St., downtown Nevada City.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.


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