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Imprisoned developer selling his mansion

Burl Rolett May 6, 2014 11
jefferson Monument Ave

Jefferson’s 8,300-square-foot mansion on the corner of Boulevard and Monument Ave. is for sale for $2.4 million. (Photo by Burl Rolett.)

One of the flashiest pieces of Billy G. Jefferson Jr.’s real estate empire is now up for grabs.

Jefferson’s mansion at 2718 Monument Ave. was put up for sale on May 3. The six-bedroom, six-bath, 8,300-square-foot home has an asking price of $2.4 million.

It’s a “singular opportunity to own an elegant, one of a kind, 2004 mansion on Historic Monument Avenue,” the listing states. Jefferson is a well-known local landlord and developer now awaiting sentencing for orchestrating a multimillion dollar tax credit scheme.

Ceci Amrhein, an agent with Historic Richmond Homes, is handling the sale of his home. She declined to comment Monday.

The residence is co-owned by Jefferson and his now ex-wife Leslie, according to city records. It sits on a 0.27-acre lot at the corner of the Boulevard and Monument Avenue. The 2.5-story colonial features a basement exercise room, a rec room complete with an antique pool table, a mahogany library and a solarium.

It’s the second Jefferson-owned home to hit the residential market since his April 2013 arrest. A home he owned next to the mansion sold last September for $1.08 million.

Billy G. Jefferson Jr.

Billy G. Jefferson Jr.

Jefferson pleaded guilty in December to charges of historic tax credit fraud and agreed to pay $13 million in restitution. He was initially set free on bond to sell off some of his real estate holdings to meet the restitution requirement, only to be sent back to prison for allegedly violating his bond agreement.

No Jefferson-owned properties have sold since his guilty plea.

All of his income-producing properties, which consist mostly of apartment buildings in the Fan and in Manchester, have been taken over by receivers. The Monument Avenue mansion is the only substantial piece of real estate in the city that Jefferson still personally maintains control over. It’s most recent city assessment values the property at $1.5 million.

In an April search of the premises, investigators for the prosecution found in the home nearly $50,000 in cash and tools they allege Jefferson planned to use to bury a hoard of cash.

Jefferson prior to that search had tried putting the home up for sale, according to federal court filings, but prosecutors in his criminal case objected at the time because they did not want a real estate agent entering the structure.

The mansion’s listing also comes just days ahead of Jefferson’s sentencing hearing scheduled for May 9. Prosecutors initially asked for a 6 1/2-year sentence but have since said they will push for 20 years based on new alleged findings and potential new criminal charges in the case.

A separate hearing is set for Wednesday at which a federal judge will consider whether either the prosecution or Jefferson’s defense team are in violation of the December plea agreement.

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11 Comments »

  1. Jay Rich May 6, 2014 at 7:56 am - Reply

    That house is incredibly tacky both inside and out.

    • Jay Rich May 6, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Does anyone know what stood on the plot of land before this McMansion was built? It’d be a shame if he tore down one of Monument Ave’s historic homes to build this.

      I hope it was just a clear plot of land.

      • andrew cosby May 6, 2014 at 8:31 am - Reply

        He didn’t tear anything down to build this house it was a dog park before he built. Also great care was taken in design and materials used to try and match the area.

        • Vince Noir May 6, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

          Which explains why it’s a well-proportioned red-brick building with high-quality detailing and plausible cornices and is free of cheesy precast (bondo?) lintels.

    • William F.Carlyle Lipps June 15, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      I agree wholeheartedly. Looks like its made from molded cardboard.

  2. Julie Young May 6, 2014 at 8:27 am - Reply

    It was a dog park — a wonderful open piece of land.

  3. Andrew Cosby May 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    I agree that the dog park was a great part of the area and used by many but the materials that went into this house are not cheap and most of it was custom. I worked on some of it during construction and while it is absurd in my opinion and I would prefer to have the dog park left the house is nice and fits when you look at the board area and designs of Monument Ave.

  4. Kathleen Graf May 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    If we get all of the dog people to chip in, perhaps we can purchase and demolish this Monument-al nightmare and build the best Dog Park ever!

  5. Chris Francoise June 4, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I felt obliged to respond to these comments. I’m not sure that I would say that it is “tacky both inside and out.” It is not a McMansion…McMansions are built primarily in the suburbs and tend to have crappy architecture styles that are unassociated with the area. This house is a mansion or large house squeezed onto a 1/4 acre lot in the city where every other lot near there has been built in the first half of the 20th century. Masonry (Brick, stone or stucco) had to be the exterior building material.

    The “plot of land” was an empty lot that had a 3-foot metal fence wrapped around the boundary and the owner at the time allowed dog owners that lived in the Fan to bring their dogs to intermingle…it was not a “dog park” by any means. It was called “the dog lot” by the dog owners in the area that used it…”the dog lot” eventually was moved to behind the Virginia Historical Society until they created a bigger parking lot for themselves and that “dog lot” went away as well.

    Also, it would be absolutely moronic to demolish this existing house when this 0.25 acre lot is worth (maybe) $250,000. This house is within the Historic District and had to come under the oversight of the Commission for Architectural Review (CAR) which has more control over the materials used than the look (style) of the house.

    • Jay Rich June 5, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Chris,

      In this particular case, the term McMansion was used to refer to a new-build “luxury” home that “often mix a bewildering variety of architectural styles and elements… producing what some consider an unpleasant jumbled appearance”. I do think this house has “crappy architecture styles that are unassociated with the area.”

      I don’t think the failings of this house (architecturally) are a result of type or quality of materials used. It simply fails in it’s mix of architectural styles and proportions.

  6. Chris Francoise June 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Jay,

    I agree with your definition of McMansion entirely…I’m not sure that this house rises to the level of styles and elements to create the “jumbled appearance” that is seen in example after example in the suburbs. I think the owner (and architect) was trying to build two fascias due to the fact that they are on a corner lot with major (visible) roads…almost trying to create two fronts…of the house. Monument obviously but also giving a front look to the Boulevard side. You add the octagonal shaped corner, I see why it looks too busy. Jay…you an architect?

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