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TROTS: Those Jefferson St. condemned apartments

Editor’s note: The Register & Bee has now disabled their comment section on the story I referenced in this article. Gee, wonder why?

Let’s do another “The Rest Of The Story” to get you more information than a Register & Bee story gives you. I’ve been working on this story for a few days but taking a different angle on it. I’m trying to follow the money and see where that leads me. In the meantime, the newspaper gets an interview with the owners, tosses some softballs and swallows everything given to them making these “property owners” look like people who aren’t that bad after all.

Let’s see some photos of the apartments for another look at the issue…

Here’s the article for you to get the R&B’s reporting on the issue (and the single photo from the street).

‘We just waited too long, fought too much’

We’re at 205 Jefferson Avenue. That’s the recently condemned Jefferson Court Apartments. You can judge for yourself on the condition of the building without even going inside.

The Rest Of The Story means that Jim & Cristina Thomas don’t get much sympathy from me. There’s also more to this issue and that’s still developing.

24 comments to TROTS: Those Jefferson St. condemned apartments

  • Jim Alderson

    Bruce, property owners don’t buy units to run them into the ground. I suspect this was a story,as it often is, of tenants not paying rent and trashing the property. That is often the rest of the story.

  • Megan

    Cristina Thomas (wife of James Thomas-Thomas Realty) is a payee for many of the residents that are on SSI; no reason rent wouldn’t be paid. In fact, she is being investigated by the social security administration for fraud. THAT is the rest of the story.

  • Sheila B

    I imagine there is a rest of the story. These renters were getting money from somewhere, likely disability. I have heard that the rent here was not cheap!

  • Scott

    (Editor’s Note: I’m not sure what this comment is all about yet.)

    USA Home Inspection

    June 1993 – Present (21 years 3 months)

    I Inspect, Consult, and wrtie a Report on the condition of Residential, Commercial, and other Real Property and Structures. Safety is my first concern followed by problems that may cost money in the short term. All Properties require steady routine maintenance but are unique. I Identify issues realated to the particular Property so that my clients understand the nature of future safety, maintenance, and upcoming expenses possible. Buyers and a growing number of sellers are my main clients and I receive most of my business by referal from satisfied past clients and Real Estate Professionals.


    Thomas Rental Management

    1980 – Present (34 years) Danville VA

    During 15 + years as owners of a Residential and Commercial Construction Company, my wife, Cristina, and I purchased distrtessed homes and renovated them. I renovated the homes while she managed the marketing, renting, and finances (We have a division of labor- I do the work; she gets the money 🙂 What we wanted the worst house in the best neighborhoods possible. Some home needed everything and some only a little. Many homes we sold to happy buyers and some we rented. We now rent and manage 64 units. In between Home Inspetions, I maintain our homes as needed. I persued Home Inspecting as a way to serve our community and locality using the invaluable Knowlege, Skill, and Education I have accumulated with years of working with homes. I love meeting my clients and inspecting homes but you have to pay me to write that term paper.

  • working for a living

    I am not defending the people that own the bldg. or any of the tenants. But I can tell you some people live in filth and they don’t care. I work for a company that offers a service to people . Our employees have to go into their homes to put the service in. I have my employees calling me on the phone barfing cause they have gone to a home where dogs and cats have crapped on the floors and the people don’t bother cleaning it up. Or they go to a home and the people are drunks and belligerent. Or they rent equipment from us and we go get it and roaches come out of it when the guys pick it up or they come out of it when they return them to the office. We have one house where the house is cleaner underneath than the part they lives in. They return stuff to the office thinking we are not going to charge them for the damage… Think again. or return half of it. Bring us stuff that the dogs have chewed on wanting a replacement thinking we don’t care…

  • trevoe

    these apartments have so much potential. what a shame someone won’t make them liveable. if the apartments were in the river district they’d be fixed yesterday !!!

  • Centurian

    Where was the city before now? This did not happen overnite? They are less then three blocks from city hall!

  • Harold Garrison

    Bruce, thanks for the close-up of the notice from the city. The letter is written to United Investment Group LLC with a post office address. This property is on the Delinquent RE tax list on the city’s website with an outstanding balance of $1,512.96. This LLC has four other properties on the Delinquent RE tax list. The total outstanding RE tax bill for the five properties is $8,604.45. They have not paid their RE taxes and done nothing to keep the building up, however they were still collecting rent from somewhere!

  • Buddy

    When they were putting homeless folks into apts, as described in the DRB story, the landlords were surely being paid by one of the countless free-money welfare agencies. DRB made it sound like the landlord was being charitable. Sounds like they were gaming the system–and in so doing let the whole place fall apart. Also sounds like a microcosm of Detroit.

  • Jerry

    For those who wonder about Danville and what seems like such a long decline, this story should provide some food for thought. These were nice apartments when they were constructed. It’s not like the typical “really shoddy construction” apartment story where they’re on the decline within 10 years that you find in other areas. I knew one of the original renters of these apartments and he was very satisfied.

    That’s what I don’t get about Danville. Is there a single “nice” apartment complex that has stayed nice? Lynchburg, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, Virginia Beach, etc. Go to these other cities and there are plenty of nice apartment complexes that have stayed nice for quite a while. Why in the world can’t Danville support ONE nice complex for more than a couple of years b/f it goes down the tubes? All of them seem to fall by the wayside in less than a decade. I think some deeper digging into this issue is warranted.

    • I don’t think that there’s any chance of the downtown apartments going in the toilet because the renters will have to be pretty well off to pay the expensive rents.

      “Ruxton” was the fanciest place in town back in the 80’s-90’s?

      • Jerry

        I will be interested (and hopeful) about the downtown apartments. I do remember “Ruxton” over there near Shadow Wood.

        What were those apartments near River Oak Church that were “hot” for a while?

    • Harold Garrison

      Jerry,perhaps this will help – information is 2012 numbers from
      City Per Capia Median HH
      Income Income
      Danville $18,829 $29,597
      Lynchburg $20,406 $36,912
      Richmond $24,973 $38,185
      Roanoke $23,179 $37,890
      Norfolk $24,191 $42,644
      Virginia Beach $30,924 $61,626
      Newport News $24,310 $47,476
      Hampton $25,056 $47,472
      Martinsville $19,642 $27,981
      Charlottesville $25,417 $43,209

      I did not look at the cities in NOVA.
      The above numbers indicate that of the listed cities, Danville is the most poor. Danville is in the midst of purchasing blighted housing, removing the housing and holding the land for redevelopment. Trust me, there is not enough money to purchase all the blighted property, it is being created faster than it can be cleaned up.

  • Buddy

    Incredible that Danville is worse than Martinsville. Danville’s leadership is aimed directly at making things better for the “haves” and to hell with the rest of us. In most places free public money goes to helping the poor. Here it goes to helping the rich. I think it’s hopeless.

  • […] SouthsideCentral has shown you a lot of details from the outside, and we’ve been working with the Inspections department of the city to show you more of the unlivable conditions. […]

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