Jefferson Scholars buys property slated for 64 apartments near UVA

An entity associated with the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has spent $4.3 million to buy six properties near Scott Stadium that had been planned for construction of a 64 unit apartment complex on 1.59 acres. 

Maury Holdings LLC paid 253.8 percent over the 2022 assessment to buy the properties, five of which are undeveloped. A historic structure built in 1911 is on the fifth. 

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is located across the street about a tenth of the mile from the site. Directly across Maury Avenue from this site is the Cavalier Court Apartment complex that was built in 1963. 

An image from a 1982 historic survey of 209 Maury Avenue (view the survey) (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

Southern Development sought and won a rezoning for the property in 2019 when the classification was changed to R-3. An original plan would have seen 33 units, but a special use permit was granted earlier this year to increase that to 64 units. The Future Land Use Map in the Comprehensive Plan designates this property at High Intensity Residential. 

Activity on the site appeared headed toward construction. City Council agreed in October to relocate a sewer line in order to facilitate redevelopment.  Southern Development declined to comment for this story. 

James H. Wright, the president of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, is a party to a lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville for granting a special use permit in September for a 119-unit apartment complex at 2005 Jefferson park Avenue. Wright owns a property on Observatory Avenue according to the complaint

The home at 209 Maury Avenue was designed by architect Eugene Bradbury in 1911, according to a 1982 historic survey which refers to the two story building as the Walsh-McShane House. 

The current home of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is on the site of a former structure also designed by Eugene Bradbury on property purchased by the Foundation for $3 million. At the time the property was assessed at nearly $1.1 million. 

In June 2007, City Council endorsed an $18 million bond package financed by what was then called the Charlottesville Industrial Development Authority. That September, the Foundation sought to increase that amount to $21 million. 

At the time, members of the group Preservation Piedmont appealed to Council to require the Foundation to keep what’s known as the Compton House as part of their redevelopment plans. When it appeared Council was set to require that as a condition for the increase, the Foundation opted to proceed with the lower amount and the project went ahead. 

A request for comment from the Foundation was not received in time for publication of this story. 

Entities related to the University of Virginia have resources to pay well over the usual assessment. On October 19, an entity associated with the University of Virginia Foundation purchased 2119 Ivy Road for $2.575 million. That’s 177.66 percent over the 2022 assessment of $927,400. 

The 0.46 acre site is between Copeley Road and the section of the Ivy Square Shopping Center the Foundation purchased last December for $20 million. The Foundation has been slowly assembling properties on Ivy Road for many years. The property remains on the tax rolls until transferred to the Board of Visitors. RMD Properties continues to own 2117 Ivy Road.

The City Assessor has determined that the transaction at 2119 Ivy Road is an invalid sales, which means it will not factor into the calculation of fair market value in the 2023 assessments.

The University of Virginia Foundation has purchased another section of Ivy Road (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the November 21, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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