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East End News

807 North 24th Street

For a little less than a year, Richmond Slumlord Watch dug into the ownership of vacant houses in the city (with a definite focus on the East End). This was one of my favorite sites to see pop up & would *love* to see someone take the idea and run with it.

In that vein, let’s look for a minute at 807 North 24th Street, perhaps the most iconic vacant house in Union Hill.

The house is owned by “TAYLOR WILLIE & ESTELLE B & ALMINTA S”, with no transfer date listed. A Willie Taylor also owns a vacant lot at 1436 Rogers Street in Brauers, though there is not clear if this is the same man.

The tangle of names on the ownership and the long-term vacancy indicate that this property is owned by an estate, if “owned” is really the correct word at this point.

The house is on an April 2014 list of properties facing seizure due to nonpayment of taxes, with owners given a public 30 day warning that “proceedings will be commenced […] to sell the following parcels.” Anyone know how to follow up on this or have more information?

The property was last assessed at $37,000, with a peak value of $73,000 as recently as 2011. It’s assessment jumped from $27,400 to $52,600 the great valuation increase of ’05.


807 North 24th Street


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807 North 24th Street-4

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Daniil Kleyman 06/24/2014 at 8:53 AM

I just hope it will be sold with a development agreement in place during the tax sale, so that the next owner doesn’t sit on it without renovating for the next 10 years.

Gordo 06/24/2014 at 9:28 AM

I have a friend who has been trying to buy the vacant lot next to him for 2 years. It is on the tax delenquint list and due to be sold, but the sale keeps being delayed for reason the city wont or cant explain.

Houdon 06/24/2014 at 5:19 PM

I’ve spoken to the City attorney’s office about this property as recently as 4 months ago. They assured me it was going on the tax sale list. It has been a nuisance as long as I have been in the neighborhood. Typically, I favor saving every building, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case.

Keith Wright 06/29/2014 at 10:07 AM

DC has had some success with charging an additional tax on vacant lots and buildings as a way to encourage occupancy. Richmond should start phasing in that policy in neighborhoods where it can be sure someone would buy the property at a reasonable enough price.

SueWho 06/29/2014 at 2:01 PM

Blighted or vacant properties and lots need to be given away or sold to people who will rehab them or build on the sites, not to those who hoard them or don’t have the money to fix/build on these lots. Toughen the laws and penalties to the owners/estates encouraging them to sell them instead of encouraging them to continue blighting neighborhoods around Richmond. There are plenty of people willing to build or fix up these properties.

Many of these vacant houses in Church Hill are owned by one well connected family who refuse to sell them or fix them up.

It’s time for an organized effort to aggressively change the way blighted properties are handled in this city.

P.Mayo 06/29/2014 at 4:47 PM

#1-The few tax auctions I’ve been to, few of the properties were sold with development agreements unfortunately.

crd 06/29/2014 at 8:44 PM

@7, the only agreement for rehab that I am aware of was for 11 1/2 North 29th St. Back in the late 1980s, it had deteriorated so much that the city condemned it, but it was considered a very important contributing structure to the historic district (St. John’s Old and Historic District) which was recognized by the city as well as feds (National Register). It was also tax delinquent. Title changed to APVA and they required evidence of financial ability to rehab as well as a timeline for rehab.when they auctioned it. In the past, I think HRF has required a time line but i’m not sure if they do that now when they sell a property in need of rehab. In short, I don’t think the gov’t (city) requires anything when they sell a tax delinquent property. Kind of a shame, really when you think about it – they really should require it. Just my opinion.

ann 06/30/2014 at 9:39 AM

“Development Agreements”? An issue to raise to Newbille at her meeting tonight…an opportunity to take the talk to a new level:

Houdon 06/30/2014 at 9:43 AM

We have had conversations with City Attorney’s office as well as Dan Cohen in Economic Development about always requiring a development agreement as part of a tax sale purchase/transfer. The City has included them in prior tax sale auctions, notably for a parcel in Union Hill on North 22nd Street. There is some arcane calculation that involves assessed value and percent tax delinquency when the City is deciding whether to require development.

If anyone has time to clarify that policy with the City, I recommend calling Dan Cohen or Bonnie Ashley. Please report back here if you can make sense of it.

Lane Pearson 06/30/2014 at 1:05 PM

Virginia Code Section 58.1-3970.1 allows the City, in limited circumstances, to acquire title to a tax delinquent property in lieu of a public auction. This section of the Code contains the calculation referred to by Houdon.

An amendment to this section of the Code, which goes into effect tomorrow (July 1), expands the criteria under which the City may take title to tax delinquent properties. On paper at least, this amendment should improve the City’s ability to address blighted properties through the tax sale process.

Melinda 07/01/2014 at 6:29 PM

Glad to see you’re still sayin’ it, Lane!


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