News Tip

Catalina Yachts Building Sold

It has been well reported the Catalina Yachts building on Victory Blvd sold for $61 million. Owned by Catalina since 1978, the new buyer is vaguely identified as W-F Catalina Owner IX, a foreign limited partnership.  Nor have plans been announced for the property which ceased producing boats over a decade ago.

Interestingly there was a lawsuit concluded in 2017 between a potential buyer(s) and Butler/Catalina.  The 2010 purchaser Weintraub Financial Services (Sebitna was also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit and an additional player in the purchase was named as Hopactcong Developers) has similar nomenclature to the current W-F Catalina Owner IX.  While it is pure speculation if there will be a duplication of the 2010 purchase intent; the design to convert the property to apartments 12 years ago were halted when the toxicity of the land, attributed to original owner Rocketdyne, became a major financial and time factor for WFS to go forward with plans.

"In February 1, 2012, Weintraub Financial Services, Inc. assigned its rights under the purchase agreement to Sebitna, LLC for $215,000. Sebitna, LLC is a related entity to Weintraub Financial Services, Inc. and a California company. On April 13, 2012, Liane Weintraub, on behalf of Sebitna, LLC signed a letter of intent to sell its rights to the property to Hopactcong Developers for $40,125,000. There is no evidence this sale occurred or that Hopactcong Developers paid Sebitna, LLC any money regarding the property. No employee of Sebitna, LLC or Weintraub Financial Services, Inc. disclosed the existence of the April 13, 2012 letter of intent until after suit was filed in this action."

Time will tell, and curious researchers will undoubtedly aid the disclosure, who exactly has bought the property and for what purpose.  Meanwhile, another iconic building with amazing history will be razed.

The Catalina Yacht website announced the passing of owner Frank W. Butler; who was a California native, Glendale High School graduate, and U.S. Navy veteran.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Frank Willis Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catalina Yachts, passed away November 15, 2020 in Westlake Village, CA, due to unexpected complications from a recent illness...."Following his graduation from Glendale High School, he served in the US Navy. He met his wife, Jean, at a school dance; they recently celebrated their 71st anniversary." 

The article gave a brief history of Mr. Butler's entry into ship building in the 1960's based upon buying a boat which could not be completed and receiving the tools from the builder to finish it himself. He is attributed to his company making 85,000 Catalina boats as well as founder and lifelong member of the Westlake Yacht Club in Westlake, CA.

 

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