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East End News

The vacant house queen of Fairmount

Three companies, all managed by Stacy Martin of Hermitage Realty, own 15 vacant houses within 4 blocks of my house (including the 2 pictured above). These companies collectively have over 90 houses on the the city’s Vacant Property Registry, the vast majority of which are in the East End.

Inspired by the Richmond Slumlord Watch post on the city’s Vacant Property Registry, I started digging around the ownership of some vacants near by. I quickly ran across variations of the same name: some sort of investment group and “c/o Stacy Martin”.

Searching the city’s Parcel Mapper by name then turned up that both Premier Investment Properties Llc C/o Stacy Martin and Clayton Investment Group Llc C/o Stacy Martin each own over 50 houses across the city, many of them vacant. Stacy Martin also turns up on Tower Building Properties Llc C/o Stacy Martin, who own more than 30 houses across the city.

To state this directly: collectively these 3 companies c/o Stacy Martin own ~140 houses, 90+ of which are vacant, most of them in the East End.

2317 & 2315 Fairmount Avenue

2317 and 2315 Fairmount Avenue

As RSW points out, Stacy Martin is a real estate agent at West End real estate firm Hermitage Realty, Donald Lacey’s firm. Donald Lacey, you might recall, took a buch of invester money to fix up houses but instead apparently burned through millions on vacation homes, boats, and expensive cars.

2206 Fairmount Avenue

2206 Fairmount Avenue

Here is where it starts to feel kind of personal and a touch wicked: these companies own at least 15 vacant houses within 4 blocks of my house, including one directly behind me. They own 3 on the 2300 block of Fairmount Avenue and another in the 2200 block. They own 3 more vacants on the 1200 block of 24th Street and one each in the 1110 and 1300 blocks. They own vacants on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of 22nd Street and the 1300 block of 21st Street. None of these house are being renovated.

None of the houses are apparently for sale. Few if any have seen improvement in the past 5 years other than the boards that went up over the windows. These century-old frame houses are let to sit and age and slowly degrade.

2306 Fairmount Avenue

2306 Fairmount Avenue

These companies, together with the notorious Bayou Properties, easily own 80% of the vanant houses in almost a half-mile radius of my house. These 3 companies c/o Stacy Martin are the anti-BHC, if you will, single-handedly stalling any progress towards rebuilding the physical fabric of the community.

Unlike Lawrence Oliver’s Bayou Properties, these investment groups at least seem to have a handle on how to keep up with the basic maintence on the properties. None are outrageously overgrown, none are strewn with trash or appear to be the center of illicit activity. They are, though, dead spots in a neighborhood fighting to fight the good fight to reverse decades of decline and abandonment.

1207 North 24th Street

1207 North 24th Street

Beyond this pocket of vacancies in Fairmount, these three companies own almost 100 properties in the East End (many of which are vacant, of course).

Each marker on the map below represents a property owned by one of the 3 companies connected to Stacy Martin. Zoom in and scroll around to get the full effect or check out the big map

The yellow houses above are the vacants in Fairmount that initially caught my attention. The blue markers indicate properties in the East End listed to Premier Investment Properties Llc C/o Stacy Martin. The green markers indicate properties in the East End listed to Clayton Investment Group Llc C/o Stacy Martin. The red markers indicate properties in the East End listed to Tower Building Properties Llc C/o Stacy Martin.


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39 comments

Jones 11/17/2009 at 7:19 AM

Wow, great work! I wonder what they pay for taxes on all those properties.

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el 11/17/2009 at 8:42 AM

Including the (as far as we can tell) finally vacant Generator House, there are only four houses on my block that haven’t been restored or renovated in some way. We got an Oliver Lawrence house next door to a Stacy Martin house. I win! … wait … I think that’s more of … lose.

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Runcy 11/17/2009 at 9:21 AM

Why don’t you call Stacy and ask what’s going on?

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john_m 11/17/2009 at 9:28 AM

I did, she has yet to return my call.

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Bill Conkle 11/17/2009 at 9:31 AM

I’d be interested in what Stacy Martin has to say about this. I also wonder what the Times Dispatch and City Hall have to say on this matter.

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Lane 11/17/2009 at 10:00 AM

Since September, I’ve left 12 or 15 voicemails with her, sent emails, and mailed letters on behalf of the Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods and have yet to hear back from her. I’ve also spoken to Carol Hazard at the T-D (she wrote the Don Lacey pieces earlier this year) to she if she knew anything. It’s a frustrating situation.

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Shannon 11/17/2009 at 11:09 AM

From a business standpoint, I wonder what the payoff is. Seems more like an ego trip than anything that makes any financial sense. The amount of work that each appears to need seems like it would effectively cancel out any equity that these folks might be building by holding on and letting the buildings deteriorate, remain without climate control, etc. – which is damaging in and of itself. Not to mention the effect on the actual humans that are the neighbors.

Good work in exposing this silliness, John.

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katzenjaammer 11/17/2009 at 12:13 PM

If I may play devil’s advocate; if the houses, which are rundown and boarded up but if not particularly overgrown or crackhouses…what can be done to compel them to fix them up? Anything? What are they in violation of?

I’m trying to compare this to how they prosecuted O.L. and Bayou. Are there parallels?

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john_m 11/17/2009 at 12:30 PM

That is the problem. They don’t seem to be in violation, but are still a huge negative drag on the community.

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alison 11/17/2009 at 1:25 PM

interesting john! it doesnt seem like martin et. al. are concerned with maintaining the integrity of these old homes or the community. buying up houses in bulk? obviously that leaves little room for devoting much time, concern, or money into each one individually.

lane: thanks for all your work with the a.c.o.r.n.

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j 11/17/2009 at 2:33 PM

Just because a home is boarded up and the grass is cut doesn’t mean that it is immune to public nuisance laws. It would require extra burden of proof however that it is unsafe or unhealthy for the public. But if the properties have been vacant for a long time and there has been no effort to sell or repair, and given the large number of properties, it doesn’t seem that that should be a problem. The city just needs to be aggressive against these slumlords.

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Guest 12/08/2009 at 11:10 AM

Any new updates on the situation involving Stacy Martin and that Don Lacey person?

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Church Hill People's News » So fresh and so clean! - Richmond, Virginia 04/24/2010 at 1:10 PM

[…] 1322 North 22nd Street (a Donald Lacey/Stacy Martin […]

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Church Hill People's News » Eleven houses under $30K - Richmond, Virginia 05/23/2010 at 10:41 AM

[…] the 11 houses, only 1409 Mechanicsville Tpke was part of any of the slumlord empires responsible for so many of the vacant houses, having recently been owned by Oliver […]

Reply
Cadeho 03/22/2011 at 4:34 PM

I actually one day will show up at that address and ask her about that house in my block.

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Riga 03/22/2011 at 8:45 PM

This is an excellent story. One of those properties is right by my house!

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Under the Radar: 417 North 33rd Street ‹ Church Hill People's News 05/05/2011 at 7:07 AM

[…] The Historic Richmond Foundations’s weekly Under the Radar spotlights 417 North 33rd Street in the Oakwood-Chimborazo National Historic District. This is one of the Donald Lacey/Stacey Martin houses. […]

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JessOfRVA 05/07/2011 at 6:24 PM

I’ve got a house next to me that I need to find out who owns it. The windows aren’t boarded up, so there’s broken glass everywhere, and rats coming and going through them. That’s got to be a health hazard, right?

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Alex 05/08/2011 at 7:30 AM

Jess, do a google search for Richmond Parcel Mapper. Assuming you live in city limits, this will tell you what you need to know.

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chpnfan 05/08/2011 at 9:06 AM Reply
Patrick 05/08/2011 at 11:36 AM

Report it as a Open and Vacant property on seeclickfix

http://seeclickfix.com/richmond

The city will email you status updates regularly and they’ll get the house boarded up, although in my case it took a few weeks.

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Cadeho 06/02/2011 at 9:05 PM

I went to make a visit to her address yesterday… they’ve moved… but I see it took them a month to cut the grass on the house on my block… or maybe the city did it? Where oh where is Stacy Martin???

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Cadeho 08/01/2011 at 12:13 AM

She really makes me mad… how can you buy all these places then disappear???! She’s not even getting the citations from the city.

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Cadeho 08/01/2011 at 12:15 AM

Ah never mind I see… I may have found her… duuuh if I had read the info above…

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Douglas 10/26/2016 at 9:46 AM

It would be interesting to see how much debt has been leveraged against these properties. I imagine they have taken a lot of money out.

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This moment in Fairmount - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 04/29/2017 at 6:45 PM

[…] Work in the area peaked in 2009 with BHC’s award-winning rehab at 2008 Fairmount Avenue, and soon after hit a pause until a year or so ago. The area was especially hard-hit during the economic problems of the late 2000s, with both multiple foreclosures on almost every block and an alarming amount of housing stock being held vacant by speculators. […]

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Demolished on 30th Street - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 06/28/2017 at 7:30 AM

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