Mattsons continue Sonoma Valley buying spree
Real estate investors Ken and Stacy Mattson’s buying spree in Sonoma Valley now totals at least $120 million, including $15 million in new purchases in the last six months.
In total, the Piedmont couple’s name now appears on the deeds of almost 50 local properties, a total that doesn’t include any that might have been purchased using a blind trust.
Two recent real estate filings are particularly notable: the Mattsons’ purchase of a key Springs commercial building and the disclosure that in summer 2020 they paid less than half of the listed price to acquire the Sonoma Cheese Factory building at 2 W. Spain St.
In December 2020, in an off-market sale, the Mattsons quietly purchased 22 Boyes Blvd., the location of the long-vacant former Church Mouse thrift storefront and an active U.S. post office on Highway 12 in the center of Sonoma’s Springs neighborhood.
As for Sonoma’s iconic Cheese Factory building on the Plaza, the Viviani family listed the 7,100-square-foot Plaza building for sale for $4.28 million in May 2020 and the Mattsons paid $1.88 million in a transaction that closed in late August 2020, according to real estate documents obtained by the Index-Tribune.
An email request for comment from the sellers, the Viviani family trust, was not returned by press time.
Key commercial holdings
Some of the most notable purchases since that time, either by Ken and Stacy Mattson - under the name KS Mattson Trust - or through the real estate company LeFever Mattson, include Cornerstone Sonoma marketplace, Ramekins culinary school and the General's Daughter event space, the Leland Fishing Ranch property on Arnold Drive, the former Cocoa Planet building on Broadway, Cottage Inn & Spa in the downtown, the Mercado building on the Plaza, the Sojourn tasting room building on East Napa Street, the old Ravenswood Winery property, the Sonoma Cheese Factory and, most recently, the former Church Mouse building in the Springs.
Most of the properties were purchased off-market, meaning that the properties were not publicly listed for sale at the time. For the one property that was actively listed, Sonoma real estate agent Gina Clyde represented the Mattsons in the sale.
Once purchased, most of the Mattson commercial properties are overseen by an umbrella company called Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group, named after their first local commercial business purchase in 2016, Sonoma’s Best deli and cottages on East Napa Street. Story continues below map.
Mattson buying history
The Mattsons first began buying properties in Sonoma Valley in 2015. After visiting Sonoma for years as tourists, the Piedmont residents bought two 7,000-square-foot abandoned houses under construction on Moon Mountain Road. Mattson snapped up the property for just under $1 million and agreed to raze the site to improve the aesthetics of Highway 12. Six years later, two large new residences on the same site are still under construction but near completion.
In 2016, the KS Mattson Trust purchased Sonoma's Best deli and cottages on East Napa Street and Boyes Food Market and the so-called Lanning Structures on Highway 12.
The Mattsons community profile took a turn in 2018, when old social media posts of Stacy Mattson - since deleted - surfaced outraging the community over their anti-gay tenor.
Their pace of acquisitions picked up in 2019, with the Mattsons continuing to purchase residential and commercial properties, both inside the city limits and around the Valley.
As of press time, according to CoreLogic real estate reports, the Mattson name now appears on 48 Valley residential and commercial deeds totaling more than $120 million in acquisitions.
Two real estate agents familiar with the local market agreed that the Mattsons are now the largest, non-vineyard property owners in the Valley.
When asked In a 2018 interview with the Index-Tribune about the source of his deep well of real-estate finances, Ken Mattson merely described himself as a self-made man.
Plans for the properties
City of Sonoma planning Director David Storer told the Index-Tribune that he was not aware of any buildings permits with the Mattson name as applicant on them, approved or in process.
At the time of their purchase of the Cheese Factory in August, a representative for the Mattsons told the Index-Tribune that their Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group plans to keep the Sonoma Cheese Factory name and “there are no significant changes planned to the building.”