Parachute Factory sold at auction – again

The Parachute Factory, an apartment redevelopment project by Billy Jefferson and Justin French, is nearing an auction. Photo by Katie Demeria.

The Parachute Factory was developed by Billy Jefferson and Justin French using historic tax credits. Photo by Katie Demeria.

A foreclosed Manchester apartment complex with ties to two of Richmond’s most notorious developers is set to change hands for the second time in six months.

The 95-unit Parachute Factory apartment complex at 300 Decatur St. in Manchester was sold in a live bid event through online real estate site Ten-X, formerly known as Auction.com.

The bidding ended April 21, according to Mike Besack, a spokesman with Ten-X’s commercial division. Besack said the company could not disclose the buyer or the sale price until after the deal closes, typically a 30-day process.

Parachute Factory was sold by U.S. Bank, which took control of the property at foreclosure auction last November when no other bidders followed its $6.6 million opening offer. That auction, held on the circuit court steps, was the lender’s third attempt at foreclosure that year.

U.S. Bank was the most recent noteholder of the development. Wachovia was the original lender on the Parachute Factory loan, which had a $13.6 million balance at the time of foreclosure.

CompassRock Real Estate had been managing the property as part of a court order, but was discharged from further responsibility in an April 12 filing in Richmond Circuit Court prior to the auction.

The 2-acre property was most recently assessed at $10.03 million, according to city records.

Built in 1937, the Parachute Factory was renovated using historic tax credits in 2006 by Jefferson and fellow Richmond developer Justin French, who is likewise serving a lengthy federal prison sentence for tax credit schemes.

In 2013, a Jefferson-controlled entity defaulted on a $15.2 million loan secured by the property, prompting last year’s round of auctions.

U.S. Bank had also pushed for the foreclosure of Jefferson’s River City Renaissance portfolios and the Tobacco Factory Lofts, another Jefferson-French collaboration. Those properties have since been sold.

Parachute Factory is located a few blocks east from Thalhimer Realty Partners’ City View Landing development, as well as the riverfront site of two 16-story towers proposed by Fountainhead Properties.

The Parachute Factory, an apartment redevelopment project by Billy Jefferson and Justin French, is nearing an auction. Photo by Katie Demeria.

The Parachute Factory was developed by Billy Jefferson and Justin French using historic tax credits. Photo by Katie Demeria.

A foreclosed Manchester apartment complex with ties to two of Richmond’s most notorious developers is set to change hands for the second time in six months.

The 95-unit Parachute Factory apartment complex at 300 Decatur St. in Manchester was sold in a live bid event through online real estate site Ten-X, formerly known as Auction.com.

The bidding ended April 21, according to Mike Besack, a spokesman with Ten-X’s commercial division. Besack said the company could not disclose the buyer or the sale price until after the deal closes, typically a 30-day process.

Parachute Factory was sold by U.S. Bank, which took control of the property at foreclosure auction last November when no other bidders followed its $6.6 million opening offer. That auction, held on the circuit court steps, was the lender’s third attempt at foreclosure that year.

U.S. Bank was the most recent noteholder of the development. Wachovia was the original lender on the Parachute Factory loan, which had a $13.6 million balance at the time of foreclosure.

CompassRock Real Estate had been managing the property as part of a court order, but was discharged from further responsibility in an April 12 filing in Richmond Circuit Court prior to the auction.

The 2-acre property was most recently assessed at $10.03 million, according to city records.

Built in 1937, the Parachute Factory was renovated using historic tax credits in 2006 by Jefferson and fellow Richmond developer Justin French, who is likewise serving a lengthy federal prison sentence for tax credit schemes.

In 2013, a Jefferson-controlled entity defaulted on a $15.2 million loan secured by the property, prompting last year’s round of auctions.

U.S. Bank had also pushed for the foreclosure of Jefferson’s River City Renaissance portfolios and the Tobacco Factory Lofts, another Jefferson-French collaboration. Those properties have since been sold.

Parachute Factory is located a few blocks east from Thalhimer Realty Partners’ City View Landing development, as well as the riverfront site of two 16-story towers proposed by Fountainhead Properties.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
8 years ago

There’s a lot of local sentiment that the building should be razed but I suspect that will not be the case. It should be eligible for another round of major historic renovation and a second round of real estate tax abatements. Jefferson could never figure out what to did with the the large first floor space which is street level. Perhaps now that the MD has grown up around the building with more than 1200 occupied residences, the new owner will find a mini- mart or a restaurant or collaborative office space for it. Hopefully they’ll bring that building around… Read more »

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
8 years ago

Bruce;

Why would the locals want the building torn down?

Also, sounds like a great spot for a brewery, the way you describe the space.

With Legend in the area, you could easily have the same effect that Scott’s Addition had. would this area be cheaper than Scott’s Addition still?

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
8 years ago

Ed, theirs is more a result of dealing with French and Jefferson over the years than disgust with the building. Those two smudged an industry of honest, hardworking small builders. Most of these guys are friendly competitors working as a team to improve Manchester but that was not the case with the two currently behind bars.

Jessica Halasz
Jessica Halasz
7 years ago

I currently live in this building and had I know about all of the ongoing court proceedings I would never have moved in. Not to mention the renovations done by these shady partners were skimped on just about everywhere. The building is a really neat building and that’s why I was originally attracted to this apartment but now I can’t wait until my lease is up. It would seem the problems have simply been passed on to the current management group and show no signs of improving. I’ll say as far as the first floor goes it would hold a… Read more »