The long, strange, and controversy-riddled road of Matt Osgood’s development dream for the Naples property took yet another twist this week as a foreclosure sale for the historic Gaviota Coast parcel was announced. According to the notice filed with County late last month, some 1,035 acres of Osgood’s holdings are scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder next week, Thursday the 13th, at 1 p.m. in front of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. “There is no way to know with certainty what will happen next week,” said Naples Coalition lawyer Marc Chytilo before adding, “but it does seem like the walls are beginning to come down.”
With his 72-mansion plan narrowly approved by the County Supervisors in October of 2008, Osgood has had anything but an easy time moving forward with the vision in the 18 months since. First, a newly comprised Board of Supervisors, one with Doreen Farr presiding over the 3rd District rather than Brooks Firestone, has essentially worked to dismantle portions of the controversial approval and then, last May, Osgood defaulted on a multi-million dollar payment on his massive loans taken out to purchase the property. According to the notice of sale, it is the latter that are responsible for the tentative auction. Specifically, two loans - one for $63 million and the other for $18 million - and a failure to make proper payments, now have Osgood owing some $78.4 million. As per protocol on such things, Osgood must either come up with the dough or declare bankruptcy if he wants to stave off next week’s sale.
Despite the recent developments, Osgood, in an interview with the Independent on Thursday afternoon, said things are not as bad as they appear. Chalking the notice of sale up to “intramural sports” between him, his investors, and the banks that carry the loans, Osgood opined, “There is a whole bunch of behind the scenes workings that will make [the auction] irrelevant.” When pressed for details on the presumed financial developments betwixt himself and his lenders, Osgood declined to elaborate saying only that the public sale was “likely not to happen.”