About a dozen properties in the Manchester neighborhood of South Richmond owned by entities controlled by Laura Dyer Hild and her husband, the former Live Well Financial CEO Michael C. Hild, are to be sold at auction next month.
The properties include a former bank branch turned banquet hall at the northeast corner of Hull and West 12th streets that the Hilds had planned to turn into a boutique hotel. Another building is at the southeast corner of that same intersection where the couple had planned to put Manastoh brewery-restaurant and apartments.
The offerings in and around the Hull Street corridor — some offerings consisting of multiple parcels — will be sold at auction beginning at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17 at The Westin Richmond hotel in Henrico County.
Real estate auction firm Tranzon Fox is handling the sale of the properties for Church Hill Ventures LLC, Kingfisher LLC, and Gardenia LLC, which own the properties. Laura Dyer Hild is listed as the registered agent for those limited liability companies.
Federal law enforcement officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of these properties, said Bill Londrey, a partner with Tranzon Fox.
The federal prosecutors “agreed that the owners could sell them themselves to maximize value,” Londrey said. “They have been authorized to move forward.”
In late August, federal law enforcement officials had obtained a restraining order prohibiting the Hilds from selling various real estate properties after Michael Hild, the founder and CEO of the now-defunct Chesterfield County-based Live Well Financial, was arrested and charged with five federal criminal counts in a $140 million bond fraud scheme.
Live Well Financial closed abruptly on May 3 and laid off its 103 employees, most of whom worked at the company’s corporate offices in the Boulders office complex.
Hild, 44, pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York City in September to the five counts.
His wife has not been charged with any crimes.
The properties up for auction next month are not part of the properties and businesses that federal prosecutors in New York said in September that they want to be able to seize if Michael Hild is convicted because they claim those properties and businesses were funded by his “crime proceeds.” Those businesses include Hot Diggity Donuts, Butter Bean Market & Cafe and Dogtown Brewing Co.
The Hilds had amassed in recent years nearly three dozen properties through various limited liability companies in Richmond’s Manchester, Blackwell and Swansboro neighborhoods with plans to redevelop those properties.
Next month’s auction could have a major impact on the Manchester area and the Hull Street corridor, Londrey said.
The properties are clustered on or near the 1100-1900 block of Hull Street and include commercial buildings, a historic former church, vacant lots and a partially renovated row house. Many are suitable for apartments or apartments with commercial on the street level, he said.
“You will see some of them have been renovated or stabilized,” he said.
Londrey didn’t want to speculate on how much the auction might bring in. “The market will determine values. The market is pretty good. We are going out there to as many people to market it as much as possible,” he said.
Henrico-based commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is working with Tranzon Fox to help market and sell the properties.
In some cases, he said the Hilds made a “significant investment” in architectural plans, renderings and engineering for some of the properties.
Those plans will convey with the real estate when sold at auction, Londrey said. “So there is value there,” he said.
One such property with plans is a former bank building at 1128 Hull St. where the Hilds had planned Manastoh brewpub with a five-story building to be constructed behind 1128 Hull St. for apartments.
The couple had invested about $300,000 in architectural, engineering, and interior drawings, Tranzon Fox’s website said.
Across the street at the northeast corner of Hull and West 12th streets is where the Bankuet Place banquet hall operates in the former Mechanics and Merchants Bank branch, built in 1913. That building, at 1129 Hull St. has columns on the exterior and marble floors and 20-foot-high ceilings inside.
The Bankuet Place had generated revenue this year through October of $18,805, according to Tranzon Fox’s website on that property. The property was assessed for $718,000.
The Hilds had planned to turn it into the Mapop Hotel by adding newly constructed five-story building behind it with the three upper floors hanging over the back part of the branch for the hotel guest rooms. Plans had called for about 30 rooms, a restaurant, a small-batch brewing and winemaking operation and a rooftop bar.
The other offerings are:
• a 17,656-square-foot building at 1518 Hull St. with additional lots in the rear at 6, 8, 10, and 12 E. 16th St. that had been planned for 14 apartments and commercial space in existing building plus 55 units of new construction on the rear lots.
• a 7,500-square-foot building at 1427 Hull St.;
• a 4,100-square-foot commercial building at 1910 Hull St.;
• a row house building from the 1920 at 1814 Hull St. and an adjacent lot at 1812 Hull St.;
• a 4,000-square-foot building, which had been the former Lighthouse Diner, at 1228 Hull St.;
• three vacant lots at 1703, 1715 and 1717 Maury St.;
• a 1,224-square-foot house undergoing rehab and construction at 223 E. 15th St.; and
• a former 3,201-square-foot church, originally built in 1868 as Meade Memorial Episcopal Church at 1201 Decatur St.
For more information, go to www.tranzon.com/FX1945.