Dilip Ram speaks to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Paul Wellman (file)

Dilip Ram speaks to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Would-Be Naples Developer Backs Out

Dilip Ram Hits Road After Getting Cold Shoulder from County Supervisors

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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The century-old dream of developing the blufftop stretch of the Gaviota Coast known as Naples got yet another rude awakening this week, when the would-be developer, Dilip Ram, and his associated companies, Spectra America and Cerebus Capital Management, officially walked away from a pending deal to take over the property from First Bank. The move, which was not unexpected, came a couple weeks after the Santa Barbara County Supervisors voted against transferring the existing development agreement to Ram, whose reputation, financial resources, and previous line of bankrupt projects was called into question.

The news was greeted with applause from the environmental community, which has cast any development of Naples as a nightmare, but saw Ram as the worst possible outcome. “He was coming with a mercenary development that was going to squeeze in as much development on the property as he possibly could in order to satisfy his funders and make it work financially,” said Marc Chytilo, attorney for the Naples Coalition. “I didn’t think he had the capacity, and I don’t think that the project that was approved in 2008 can pencil today. It probably didn’t pencil back then.”

Ram is the second developer to walk away from the deal since the days of Matt Osgood, the Orange County developer who worked for many years to achieve the 2008 approval before being unable to pay his bills, eventually losing the property to First Bank. “We’re going to save this property — that’s the bottom line,” said Chytilo. “This is a test of wills, and this is an expression of our community’s determination.”

All eyes are now on the Seattle-based Freestone Capital Management, which nearly inked a deal for the property in February before Ram showed up and has pledged a “heavy emphasis on preservation.” Chytilo has heard the rumors too, but said that there is nothing “tangible” on the table yet from Freestone. “Our goal is to preserve the property,” said Chytilo. “If that’s what they want to do, that would be great. But they have to be willing to lose a bunch of money.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

I have to say, ever since Cerebrus took over Albertson's the stores have improved.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2013 at 6:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Which has what all to do with the "development" and destruction of Naples, Ken?

truth_machine (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Dilip Ram, and his associated companies, Spectra America and Cerebus Capital Management,"

Little things like reading the article and being informed on the topic.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know what this means: "...I don’t think that the project that was approved in 2008 can pencil today. It probably didn’t pencil back then."

I can make up what he means by "pencil" in this context, but does anyone know for sure?

jenniferholland (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 2:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Forget it Jennifer, it's "Bureaucratese".

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 2:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Does the lead just refuse to mark the writing surface ??!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe now one of the enviro groups will start an actual legal trust fund to buy the land??? Surfrider and other groups have tried to buy the land before, but so far have refused to segregate (attention K_V: this is not a racist term in this usage) donations intended for land purchase from funds used for political activities. If they set up a trust, I'll donate the first $1000.

BTW, "pencil out" is used by financial types to indicate whether a profit makes financial sense, generally to an investor. E.g. in a possible purchase of rental property, if rent and expected capital gains do not exceed forecasted expenses, the property does not "pencil out".

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well gosh darn JL thank you for reminding us of your defense the use of racial epithets, must be bothering you.

What "political activities" is SurfRider engaged in that you could possibly disagree with, oh dear friend of Naples?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So much for private property rights. I agree with JohnLocke. If surfriders and EDC are serious. Buy it and dedication all donations straight to the purchase of the property. Knowing these groups however, they like to keep a piece of the pie for their political activities (lobbying).

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2013 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just pointing out the childishness of your attacks, Ken. Must be embarassing, eh? Nothing like screaming "racist" to deflect from the real issues. Reference the Trayvon Martin case. And remember Tawana Brawley.

Surfrider's political activities regarding Naples are to use every political trick to block any development as opposed to making a serious effort to raise enough money (in trust) to buy the property. As I already said. That is my objection. Not so hard to understand now, was it.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Freestone sounds good at this point. Keep Mark Lloyd out of it. No more cheesee idiots please

hoofarted (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 9:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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