Manchester lots headed for court-ordered auction

True North held liens on six Manchester parking lots and an empty lot.

Richmond Circuit Court ordered the sale of six Manchester parking lots and an empty lot.

Small slices of Manchester will be up for grabs later this month as the leftover scraps of an imprisoned local developer’s holdings are being forced to the auction block.

The Richmond Circuit Court has ordered the sale of seven small parcels just south of the river, consisting of six parking lots and an undeveloped plot owned by a now defunct TABAC LC, tied to Billy G. Jefferson Jr.

The properties dot the blocks surrounding the former Tobacco Factory Lofts, a large apartment complex developed by Jefferson that is now under new ownership and known as the Lofts at Commerce. Jefferson is now serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for historic tax credit fraud.

The pending auction is the result of a lawsuit filed by True North Management, a New York-based real estate firm that bought the Lofts at Commerce through foreclosure in 2014.

That foreclosure was the result of True North’s purchase of a $25 million loan secured in part by the apartment building. Taking the complex in foreclosure recouped $15.5 million on paper for True North, leaving a balance of around $11 million.

It filed suit late last year against TABAC and Jefferson arguing that the forced sale of Jefferson’s remaining Manchester plots, on which True North has judgements and liens, would allow the company first rights to any proceeds and get it closer to being made whole.

The court agreed and ruled in favor of the company last month.

The properties set to be auctioned Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Richmond Circuit Court building are: 810 Decatur St., 801 Stockton St., 209 Commerce Road, 807 Everett St., 716 Decatur, 615 Stockton St. and 600 Stockton St.

Six of the seven properties are small, narrow strips of surface parking that front Commerce Road and E. Sixth St.  615 Stockton St. is a 1/3-acre undeveloped plot.

City records assess the properties at a combined $550,000. A private appraisal conducted as part of the lawsuit valued the properties at a combined $650,000.

Hirschler Fleischer attorney Courtney Paulk has been appointed special commissioner to oversee the auction process. Any sale at auction would need to be approved by the court.

True North is represented in the case by Hirschler Fleischer attorneys Franklin Cragle and Robbie Westermann.

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