Former St. Anthony’s Seminary Listed for $50 Million to be Auctioned Off Next Month

A historic Santa Barbara property is set to make its way to the auction block this June.

The former St. Anthony’s Seminary, located at 2300 Garden Street directly behind Old Mission Santa Barbara, has been designated a Santa Barbara City historical landmark in 2012 having once served as a theological college and various private schools dating back to the early 1900s.

Originally on Mission Santa Barbara land, it was the home to St. Anthony’s Seminary from 1899 to 1987 and served as a Franciscan boys seminary school for most of that time.

Most recently the building housed the Garden Street Academy, an independent K-12 school, that permanently closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center structure was built in 1899 and designed by Brother Adrian Wewer while several additions were designed and restored by architect Ross Montgomery after the 1925 earthquake. The complex includes historical archaeological structures including an aqueduct system.

While the property has deep historical significance it’s also the place where decades of child sexual abuse were perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church.

The Boston Globe published a series of investigative articles beginning in 2002 of the Catholic Church’s pervasive child molestation accusations against clergy members in the United States and the church’s repeated pattern of cover-ups, with some reports stating it continues to happen to this day.

In 2019, the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara publicly identified for the first time, 50 priests accused of sexually abusing children in its ministries since 1950. Of the fifty names revealed, 26 were assigned to St. Anthony’s Seminary or Old Mission Santa Barbara during their careers, often after they’d been accused of molestation in another ministry, then reassigned to the Santa Barbara area. The Franciscan Friars stated there were more than 120 victims identified, reports Tyler Hayden of the Santa Barbara Independent.

The building has been previously listed for sale for $50 million.

The property, which spans an expansive 11.37 acres, is set to be auctioned via Concierge Auctions, in partnership with Timothy Di Prizito of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate, Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Realty, and Kyle Barratt & Mark Perry of CBRE.

Chad Roffers, co-founder and CEO of Concierge Auctions, expressed excitement about the upcoming auction.

“This is a property offering with arguably some of the most significant investment potential in Southern California, due to its landmarked status, recent renovations, and best-in-class amenities suitable for a variety of uses. I’m thrilled our sellers of this magnificent asset have once again chosen to partner with Concierge Auctions to help them achieve their goals of identifying market value on their timeline alongside some of the most reputable listing agents in the industry,” said Roffers.

The auction, which opens on June 12 and concludes on June 26, will take place online through conciergeauctions.com, with starting bids expected to be up to $25 million.

The property features six institutionally-sized building structures, including a multipurpose sports field, tennis and basketball courts, gardens, classroom and office portables, several parking lots, and 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains. With its zoning allowing for residential and potential commercial opportunities, the property presents a range of possibilities, from a hotel to a wellness center, a private school or a family compound.

For more details on the auction and the property, interested parties can visit conciergeauctions.com.


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