Reclaiming the past to build communities for the future

News and Press Coverage

June 27, 2023 - KnoxNews

How the swanky, new Church+Henley plans to be a 'billboard' for downtown living.

The second half of a major renovation to the former state supreme court site in downtown Knoxville is nearly complete, and new residents already are taking advantage of the amenities and views of the city's most notable landmarks.

Church+Henley, located at the intersection of its namesake streets, has added nearly 240 apartments to the downtown market. The roughly $63 million apartment building brings the project's total investment to nearly $100 million, a spokesperson told Knox News, which includes the cost to open the Tribute at the former supreme court building last year.

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June 27, 2023 - Inside Knoxville

Church+Henley Celebrates Ribbon Cutting Today.

Later today, Bristol Development Group Principal Charles Carlisle, Dover Signature Properties President Rick Dover, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Members of Knoxville City Council, and Members of Knox County Commission will gather to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the much-anticipated Church+Henley Apartments.

In the Fall, we told you about the renovation of the former Supreme Court building to a 63-unit, flexible-term rental space, The Tribute. Church+Henley is a continuation of the partnership between Bristol Development Group and Dover Signature Properties and represents a combined $100 million investment into downtown Knoxville between the two projects.


September 14, 2022 - Inside Knoxville

The Tribute is open (and full) at the Supreme Court site.

It took 2½ years, but Dover Signature Properties has renovated and opened their latest development project in downtown Knoxville, The Tribute. Located in the 1950’s era, former TN Supreme Court Building and State Office site at 625 Cumberland Ave., The Tribute is now a mid-century modern living space that offers flexible-term rentals and a rooftop lounge with some of the most stunning views of Knoxville.

Empty for a number of years, the former government building was in need of much attention and countless hours of work. From battling the pandemic and cost of services and materials, to removing asbestos, developer Rick Dover and his team had an uphill battle. The final product was worth every step.


September 13, 2022 - Knox News

The former state supreme court building is now The Tribute.

It's not exactly a hotel, an apartment complex or an Airbnb.

Developer Rick Dover has combined all of the above to bring something new to Knoxville with The Tribute, a complete reimagining of the former Tennessee Supreme Court building along Henley Street in downtown Knoxville.

It's a $15 million redevelopment that leads the way for further transformation of downtown's quietest sector.

"The southwest corner of downtown has always been quiet," Dover told Knox News. "There wasn't really much pedestrian reason to be here. I think that's changing. ... We're trying to activate the Henley Street sidewalk."

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June 17, 2022 - Instagram @historicmacon

It felt more like a family reunion than a ribbon-cutting event.

Dozens of people — including former teachers, administrators and staffers at Alexander IV Elementary School (and Elam Alexander Academy) — gathered late Thursday morning as the 90-year-old building was reborn as Alexander IV Senior Living.

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June 16, 2022 - 41WMGT News, Macon, GA

Alexander IV School building serves a new purpose.

The 90-year-old building that used to house Alexander School Number IV, found a new purpose. It’s now called Alexander IV Senior Living.

“I’m from Macon and it means a lot to me just to see this building restored,” said Quinton Jones, Executive director for the facility.

Jones says for years, he wondered what the building was going to become, and he’s excited to be a part of the next phase of history for the building..


June 16, 2022 - 13WMAZ News, Macon, GA

Alexander IV in Macon becomes senior living center.

A historic Macon building is now a home for folks in their golden ages. The former Alexander IV Elementary School on Ridge Avenue has been remodeled and is now a senior living center.

Agnes Dannenberg remembers living just down the street from Alexander IV Elementary School. "I was here when some of those trees were planted outside, some of those gorgeous trees," Dannenberg said. "All my neighbors went to school here, my sons went here."

Dannenberg has lived at the new senior center for three months. She says she feels like she's living back in time. Her new home is what used to be the principal's office.


June 16, 2022 - WGXA News, Macon, GA

Once abandoned Bibb County School now a 'high-end' senior living center.

A once abandoned Bibb County School has been transformed into a senior living center.

Six years ago, the transformation of Alexander IV Elementary School began. What was an empty and abandoned building is now a high-end living center. County officials cut the ribbon celebrating the building's rebirth Thursday.

A media release from Historic Macon reveals the new center has 63 units and will include a new 25-unit memory care wing for those with Alzheimer's Disease. There are also communal spaces the public can use.


May 5, 2022 - WGXA News, Macon, GA

Alexander IV Senior Living Receives Historic Macon Preservation Award.

MACON, Ga (WGXA) -- The Historic Macon Society celebrated accomplishments in preservation and rehabilitation work on Wednesday night.


The ceremony was part of the foundation’s annual meeting during National Preservation Month, showcasing highlights from the organization’s fiscal year.

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January 13, 2022 - Knox News

40 Under 40: Shea Ramsey is proud to preserve pieces of Knoxville's history.

Shea Ramsey selected as one of the Knox.Biz 40 Under 40 Class of 2021

Shea Ramsey, 37, Vice President/COO, Dover Signature Properties Inc. Shea Ramsey has a deep respect for the past while looking ahead to Knoxville's future.

He's the vice president and COO of Dover Signature Properties, the company behind some ambitious projects that have transformed vacant places into vibrant living spaces.

The company that has revitalized the Hyatt Place hotel and Historic Knoxville High now is in the midst of redoing the old Tennessee State Supreme Court site. He's working hard to keep the redevelopment momentum going while focusing on his life outside the job, too.


December 10, 2021 - WBIR News

In 1932 the SEC was created at a downtown Knoxville hotel that is now the Hyatt Place.

The Hyatt Place Knoxville takes over where the Farragut Hotel once stood. Photo courtesy

On December 10th, 1932, 89 years ago, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) was created in Knoxville.

The SEC was formed during a meeting on Dec. 8-11, 1932 at a hotel that is now the Hyatt Place Knoxville/Downtown on Gay Street.

The East Tennessee Historical Society posted that 13 member institutions west and south of the Appalachians formed the conference during a meeting on Dec. 8-11, 1932 at a hotel that is now the Hyatt Place Knoxville/Downtown on Gay Street.


October 15, 2021 - Livability

530 Lounge makes the list of best Rooftop Bars With Stellar Views, Vibes and Drinks

Instagram (@fivethirtylounge)

Cocktails accompanied by a sweeping city view? Sign us up!

What better way to celebrate cooler temperatures than with a refreshing drink on an open-air patio, preferably one with a bird’s-eye view of spectacular surroundings?

It’s what you’ll find at these 10 rooftop bars around the country. Odds are, they’re places you haven’t tried yet, from new locations just opening to smaller cities where you can escape the crowds. Bottoms up!


October 21, 2021

Hyatt Place 530 Lounge wins ASID Gold Award

Inclement weather and cold winter months meant the Hyatt Place rooftop lounge could not be utilized year round. So owner Rick Dover decided to construct a 2,200 square foot indoor rooftop lounge area that could be used by the guests for multiple functions throughout the year from receptions, football parties or just a night on the town.

The enclosed space presented challenges for lifting materials up to the 11th floor to the rooftop from the 32-foot banquette, quartz countertops and 14-foot-tall glass panels. The GC worked with the city to get permits to block the street to crane the materials for this project.

The finishes were of utmost importance in style and durability. Contemporary seating design can be found throughout the spaces to accommodate larger groups down to small intimate couples seating. The seating was designed with multiple opportunities for guests to select from bar-height chairs, counter-height bar stools and lounge seating. The large-scale seating pieces do not overwhelm the space because of the openness created by the windows which surround the three sides of the room.

The lighting was designed for multi-functional applications by using a dimming system for various functions. The back bar has an LED backlit panel of mica gold flecks in a resin to enhance the warm cozy atmosphere.

Now the guests have the option of being outside or inside for drinks and small plate dinner options. The views of city and mountains can be seen for miles, as well as the sunrise and sunset each day for the guests to enjoy. The project was completed in November 2020.

October 13, 2021 - Knox News, by Brenna McDermott

Downtown Loudon's old factory district could see new life with $40M neighborhood proposal

Lakeshore Loudon would be a $40 million mixed-use development construction along the Tennessee River in downtown Loudon. Developer Rick Dover must still receive city approval for the project, which would take several years to construct. The city has long sought redevelopment of this property, which once housed factories dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. DK Levy designed this proposed neighborhood, which includes multi-family and single-home units.

The city of Loudon's downtown riverfront was a hub of industry throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Developer Rick Dover hopes to give part of that riverfront new life as a neighborhood.

Dover Signature Properties has proposed a $40 million new construction, mixed-use development on the banks of the Tennessee River on both sides of Highway 11 in downtown Loudon.

Early designs by Knoxville firm DK Levy show Lakeshore Loudon would be a classic grid neighborhood with 210 multi-family units on the riverfront, 60 single-family units, pocket parks, greenways, a coffee shop, retail and walking trails.

Dover's proposal for the 15-acre property must be approved by Loudon City Council before moving forward.

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October 06, 2021 - News-Herald

Loudon planning waterfront housing

Rick Dover, Dover Signature Properties president, talks about a proposed $40 million project to build 270 residential units, commercial space and walking trails along the downtown Loudon waterfront.

An East Tennessee company has proposed a $40 million development on the Loudon waterfront that could include 270 new residential units, walking trails and commercial space.

Rick Dover, Dover Signature Properties president, unveiled plans showing site layouts and building exteriors during a community meeting Sept. 28 under the Highway 11 bridge in downtown Loudon. “We’re here today to show this to the public.” Dover said.

He said the project would take an old waterfront with a classic street grid and redevelop the site in a modern way. The mixed-use development, called Lakeshore Loudon, would be on 15 acres on both sides of the bridge. There could be a mix of rental townhomes, apartments and houses, along with commercial space such as a coffee shop, hair salons and water sports retail. A playground, walking trails and green space could also be available.


September 28, 2021 -

270 housing units planned as Loudon redevelops waterfront

Image extracted from WATE photo.

The place where factories once stood along Loudon‘s waterfront is being targeted for housing, parks and walking trails. The city worked with Dover Signature Properties to create a plan for a 15-acre development along the Tennessee River on the old Smith Chair and Hutch Manufacturing/Bacon Creamery properties.

The project will consist of a mix of apartments and houses and include multiple parks, greenways and riverfront walking trails. Within the development, there are also plans for a number of commercial spaces that can be used for coffee shops, hair salons and other small businesses.

In addition to the development, the city has also received a grant to create a marina in the area to allow for additional use of the waterfront. According to Dover President Rick Dover there are plans for a number of watersports to be brought to the area.


June 13, 2021 - Knoxville Focus by Design

South High Senior Living wins top preservation award

Dover Signature Properties Wins Award–Again

It’s gone from abandoned urban blight to an inviting home for dozens of seniors in Knoxville. And now it has won the highest local award given for historic preservation.

The old South High School, now reborn as South High Senior Living, was chosen for the Mayor’s Award for the top historic preservation project in Knoxville by Knox Heritage.


May 27, 2021 - Inside of Knoxville, by Knoxville Urban Guy

Knox Heritage Presents 2021 East Tennessee Preservation Awards

The City of Knoxville presents the Mayor’s Award each year and this year the award went to "Dover Signature Properties and BarberMcMurry Architects for restoration of the historic South High School at 835 Tipton Avenue.” Now brought back to life as South High Senior Living, the roof had literally caved in and the building was very nearly lost.

Each year, Knox Heritage presents awards to the very best preservation projects in east Tennessee. Many of those projects are in or near downtown Knoxville, and this year was no exception. Also, many of the awards went to projects I’ve profiled on this website. This particular year, Sanders Pace Architecture dominated the night with projects from South Knoxville to North Knoxville. Here’s a look at the projects in the downtown area or nearby.

The City of Knoxville presents the Mayor’s Award each year and this year the award went to “Dover Signature Properties and BarberMcMurry Architects for restoration of the historic South High School at 835 Tipton Avenue.” Now brought back to life as South High Senior Living., the roof had literally caved in and the building was very nearly lost. I profiled the project last July.

The Knoxville History Project took home the Media Award for their book Historic Bearden: The 200-year Story of Knoxville’s Fourth Creek Valley. Jack Neely Wrote the book, Paul James edited and sourced the images and Robin Easter Design (who are responsible for development of this website) provided design services.


May 20, 2021 - Knox Heritage

Knox Heritage Announces 2021 East Tennessee Preservation Awards.

The City of Knoxville Mayor’s Award was presented to Dover Signature Properties and BarberMcMurry Architects for restoration of the historic South High School at 835 Tipton Avenue. Dover obtained the property in 2016 after several attempts by others to redevelop the space. It took a year to stabilize and two years to renovate the building into South High Senior Living.


March 18, 2021 - Knox News, by Brenna McDermott

We visit Five Thirty Lounge for a peek at the expanded rooftop and menu. See for yourself!

Five Thirty Lounge invited Knox News to a soft opening Tuesday to show off its new space and expanded menu, which the team hopes will keep guests at the rooftop bar beyond just one or two drinks.

The menu includes new cocktails and a variety of small plates, including a focus on sushi.

The original rooftop bar, located on the east side of the Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown roof, opened in April 2018. Hotel owner Rick Dover closed the entire roof in 2020 to add a year-round indoor bar and a new outdoor deck on the west side of the building overlooking Gay Street.

Rooftop bar has a lot to look at. The indoor portion of the bar opened in December and features 18-foot ceilings, a showstopping bar back and 15-foot windows. Each outdoor deck offers unique mountain and city views, including a view of Gay Street and Krutch Park from the west deck.

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January 6, 2021 - CoStar News, by Richard Lawson

Knoxville, Tennessee, Rides Decadeslong Wave of Downtown Revival

The biggest downtown redevelopment project involves converting a long-empty former state Supreme Court building into a boutique hotel, while 237 luxury apartments are planned at an adjacent parking lot.

It’s in a federal "opportunity zone" that covers all of downtown. As one of some 8,000 zones around the country created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, investors may lower or eliminate capital gains taxes entirely depending on how long they hold their investment.

The former State Supreme Court in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, is being converted into a boutique hotel. (Richard Lawson/CoStar News) “We raised some $20 million in opportunity zone capital to do it,” said Sam Yeager, a principal for Franklin, Tennessee-based Bristol Development, which is building the apartments.

Locally based Dover Signature Properties is converting the existing building into a hotel. In all, it’s a $76 million project that is scheduled to open in 2022, presumably well past the end of the pandemic.

While the ULI is touting the city’s investment potential, Yeager said he and his partners have seen it for years and built their business for over two decades investing in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Richmond.

“They are vibrant towns where the governments are heavily involved and want great downtowns,” Yeager said. “They’re not washed up and going away.”

Read the full article...

December 10, 2020 - WBIR News

Hyatt Place on Gay Street opens expanded rooftop bar

The Five Thirty Lounge on top of the Hyatt Place Hotel welcomes visitors in an outdoor and indoor space.

The rooftop bar offers craft cocktails, regional beer, wine and tapas. The staff observes COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks and sanitizing. Currently occupancy is limited to allow guests to spread out and reservations are available online.

Go to WBIR News...

December 4, 2020 - Inside of Knoxville

The Five Thirty Lounge Atop the Hyatt Place Opens Today

The Five Thirty Lounge on top of the Hyatt Place hotel opens today. The hotel opened in July 2018 and a rooftop bar was opened in August of that year. The space included about 5,000 square feet on the eastern side of the rooftop and was successful from the beginning, with lines forming downstairs on a regular basis. It closed earlier this year for a massive renovation.

The space has expanded to about 12,000 square feet, well more than double its previous size. The exterior space covers nearly the entire rooftop, with mountain views and city views in every direction. Exterior seating and standing bar tops lining the rooftop will offer great views in every direction. A state of the art sound system has also been installed.

Rick Dover, whose Dover Signature Properties owns the building, said that he knew what he wanted to do with the initial phase of the rooftop bar when the hotel opened. Determining how to utilize the remainder of the space was more of a challenge. During 2018 and 2019 he traveled to cities across the country visiting rooftop bars to collect ideas to build his ideal space.


December 3, 2020 - Knox News

Check out the gorgeous views of Gay Street from the Hyatt's new rooftop cocktail lounge

In preparation for expanding the rooftop bar at Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown, owner and developer Rick Dover did plenty of hands-on research.

"This has been about a year in the design phase, during which time I attempted to visit every rooftop bar in every major metropolitan area in the continental U.S," Dover told Knox News.

Five Thirty Lounge opens Friday and now features additional outdoor seating on a new deck overlooking Gay Street and a year-round indoor cocktail lounge.

"I wanted it to be not fussy but upscale, and not snobby but nice," Dover said. "And a place where I'd want to go and take my wife for dinner and a drink and be on top of a building downtown and see all of this environment, architecture, lighting, music and just the whole vibe and scene."


September 1, 2020 - City of Knoxville Blog

Downtown Continues to Grow: $180 Million in New Investment

A crane marks the spot where one of the biggest private construction projects in the history of downtown Knoxville began last fall. Dover Signature Properties and Bristol Development Group are transforming the vacant state Supreme Court city block into a 237-unit apartment community and hotel. The mixed-use project is a $76 million private investment.

Despite the pandemic, work cranes dot the downtown Knoxville landscape, lifting and toting. More than $180 million is being privately invested in condominiums, apartments, restaurants, offices and hotel renovations.

Anticipate another 1,000 new residents to be living in or near downtown by next summer.

Tim Hill, co-owner of Hatcher-Hill Properties, which is managing two current construction projects, summed it up this way: “We’re very bullish about downtown. We’re not looking at short-term development – we’re looking at 20 to 50 years. So if there’s a little blip in the economy, that’s OK, we’ll continue on about our business.”

Read blog post...

July 17, 2020 - Knox News

See inside the redeveloped South High Senior Living

South High was opened in 1937 and served students until 1991. Dover Signature Properties acquired the property in 2017. The firm also redeveloped Knoxville High Senior Living.

See photos here...

July 6, 2020 - Inside Knoxville

South High Senior Living Opens Today

South High Senior Living, the latest project from developer/owner Rick Dover opens today to new residents. The project started with a building, the former South High School, which had literally fallen in on itself. Mr. Dover said it took most of a year simply to clean out the roof and other structures that had to be removed before renovations could begin.

The project took several years and over twelve million dollars to bring the building back to life. South High School closed its doors in 1991 after serving students since 1937 (first as a junior high), and the building remained empty until the current renovation. It was purchased in 2008 by a developer who failed to see the project through and it was ultimately re-purchased by the city in 2015. A request for proposals to save the building netted a total of one and that one from Dover Development, which purchased the building from the city.

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July 2, 2020 - The Telegraph

Alexander IV Elementary School to be renovated, turned into senior living center

Alexander IV Elementary School will be transformed into a senior living center by the same name by this time next year.

The combined forces of the Historic Macon Foundation, Piedmont Construction, and Dover Signature Properties are using $12.5 million to fund the renovation and new construction at the former school. Representatives from the three organizations and Bibb County officials gathered at the school for a ceremonial groundbreaking last week.

The school building, located in the Ingleside neighborhood and known colloquially as Alex IV, will be transformed into a 60-unit “high-end senior living center,” with spaces designed for public and community use.

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April 15, 2020 - Knox News

South High senior living facility now enrolling. Take a virtual tour!

The March open house for South High Retirement and Assisted Living Facility was inevitably postponed due to Covid-19, and resident move-in dates are on hold for now. Those eager to see the extensive changes can instead take a safer, virtual tour via while work is completed on South High Senior Living.

The transformation of South High from an abandoned school into a luxe senior living facility has been three years in the making. “It has been an extensive process. This building was abandoned for quite some time,” Haley said. “A local group of people really wanted to see it saved. Rick Dover, the owner, worked with that team to salvage this beautiful piece of property.”

Dover, who has transformed many local historic buildings in Knoxville, started work on it in October 2016. “Prior to that, the City of Knoxville were looking at a few different facilities,” said Haley. “And, then there were conversations about bulldozing it.”

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January 7, 2020 - Knoxville Focus

Old South High renovation in progress

Old South High School’s transformation to South High Senior Living is progressing nicely! The conversion of the old school, which was built in 1937 and closed following the graduation of the class of 1976, is quickly transforming into the vision of Dover Signature Properties.

Dover Signature Properties is developing a new Assisted Living and Memory Care community to be managed by Integral Senior Living when completed in April 2020. The project is estimated at $12.2 million to restore and renovate the 42,000-square foot building.

Helen Porter, executive director of South Knox High Senior Living, toured the renovations last week and is excited about the progress. She is a certified dementia practitioner and an Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care trainer. Porter said that this will be one of the most beautiful senior living communities in Knoxville and said she is thrilled for South Knoxville natives to have a place to call home. Thirty-four apartments will be devoted to assisted living residents and 24 will be devoted to memory care residents. Individuals age 62 years and older may qualify for care in the community.

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December 10, 2019 - Knoxville Focus

New lease on life for Knoxville High

What developer Rick Dover has done with old Knoxville High School is amazing. If you ever visited the old building before Dover bought and converted it to apartments you’d be absolutely pleased.

Dover, who is known for repurposing old buildings, started in Lenoir City and Loudon by buying and renovating a former hospital, an old school, and the historic Carmichael Inn.

While he’s built new structures, like Northshore Senior Living, his real talent and love is returning old buildings to use with modern amenities. His approach in creating Oakwood Senior Living out of a former school and his conversion of the old Farragut Hotel into Hyatt Place has received praise. And he loves to include the history of the buildings into the renovation.

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October 30, 2019 - Inside of Knoxville

Supreme Court Site Redevelopment Officially Gets Underway

It’s been many years coming. The reclamation of the city block bounded by Church Ave., Cumberland Ave., Locust St., and Henley St. has seen several aborted attempts at returning it to life. I first reported on the current proposal (though it has since evolved) over two years ago. Most recently, I presented the current version of the plan last May. With the first scoops of dirt moved by local dignitaries today, the project is officially underway.

It is being called “one of the biggest private projects in the history of downtown Knoxville” by the developers. The project includes 237 apartments with parking and amenities and a conversion of the former Supreme Court and adjacent building into a hotel. It’s a joint project with Dover Signature Properties and Bristol Development Group with a projected total investment of $76,000,000.

"Dover is based locally, and while Bristol Development is based in Nashville, its CEO, Charles Carlisle, is a UT graduate who started his career in Knoxville. The project blends new construction with a renovation and re-purposing of an older building. It’s something Dover Properties has done successfully with numerous local, historic properties, such as Knox High Apartments (formerly Knoxville High School) and Hyatt Place (formerly the Farragut Hotel).

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October 27, 2019 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Old Supreme Court set to transform from 'urban desert' to modern downtown gateway

As Dover Signature Properties and Bristol Development Group begin construction in early November to revitalize the city block bounded by Locust Street, Cumberland Avenue, West Church Avenue and Henley Street, the developers hope the $76M project will lead the transformation of the southwest quadrant of downtown.

The project, one of the largest upfront private investments in downtown's history, will repurpose the former State Supreme Court building, its attached office tower and its parking lot into a short-term rental hub and a mixed-use apartment community.

"I think we'll raise the bar for the experience that people have coming to downtown Knoxville," Dover Signature Properties president Rick Dover said.

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July 10, 2019 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Take a look inside as South High School is transformed into senior living

Another step in the $12.2 million redevelopment of old South High into a senior living facility was taken Tuesday, with a ceremonial viewing of the progress of the project.

City Council members, Mayor Madeline Rogero and developer Rick Dover, as well as members of the South Knoxville community, hammered nails and signed wallboard, which was installed in what used to be the old gym and was later converted into a cafeteria.

"We're inviting folks in for a kind of progress viewing. We will go in and we'll have some before pictures and you'll see the process as it unfolds," Dover said. "We're just now starting to hang the Sheetrock ... so it just seemed like a fun thing to do to ask anyone who is interested to come in and drive a nail into the Sheetrock."

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See photos ...

July 05, 2019 - WBIR News

South High to become senior living facility

The old school on East Moody Avenue in South Knoxville has been empty since 1991. Rick Dover, the developer responsible for Knoxville High Senior Living near downtown Knoxville, plans to also turn this school into a senior living facility.

Crews have already put new windows and a new roof on the building. The city said they are working on the interior of the school now. Next week, the city plans to install sheetrock in what was once the gym.

There have been previous attempts to privately redevelop the property but they failed and it continued to deteriorate. "Knoxville City Council in 2015 authorized the City’s purchase of the blighted former South High School for about $190,000, and the City’s Community Development Department issued a Request for Proposals, seeking a new owner who would renovate the iconic site and bring it back into reuse," a release from the city said.

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May 2, 2018 - Inside of Knoxville

Evolving Supreme Court Site Development Plans

Rick Dover, DIA Architects, J Davis Architects and Bristol Development Group recently presented their current vision for the Supreme Court Site on the downtown block bounded by Henley, Church, Locust and Cumberland to City Council in a workshop. The entire city block project is pivotal to downtown development as it has the potential to connect downtown to the Convention Center and beyond, to stretch downtown residential and retail parameters and to engage and begin to reshape Henley Street.

The original proposal by Rick Dover was accepted by the city in December 2016. You can see my summary of that plan and a link to the full plan in my article from just over a year ago. Part of that agreement was that conceptual designs would be submitted for discussion by April of this year with a deadline of December of this year for the plans to be accepted by the city in order for the project to move forward. This was a meeting to discuss that submission. The agreement further states that construction must begin by the end of 2019 and it should be completed by 2022....

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April 23, 2018 - The Knoxville Focus

Old Supreme Court Hotel taking shape

Developer Rick Dover and his partner, Charles Carlyle of Boston Development, shared their tentative plans for the redevelopment of Knoxville’s former State Supreme Court building with city council members Thursday afternoon.

Empty for years the complex takes up a block of downtown between Henley, Cumberland, Locust and Church Streets, opposite the Knoxville Convention Center. Deputy Mayor Bill Lyons spoke to the council’s special work session about the project last Thursday.

Lyons detailed the building’s history beginning in 2005 when the state agreed to work with the city for the municipality to acquire the building. He said two previous proposals fell through for development before the city finally acquired it in 2015. Last year Dover submitted a proposal which was approved and then amended earlier this year.

The council got its first look at concept drawings and Lyons said that the final closing of the agreement will come in December with construction starting next year and being completed in 2022...”

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Feb 28, 2018 - WBIR News

Sneak Peek: Transformation of historic Knoxville High School nearing completion

It's been 67 years since the last graduating class at Historic Knoxville High and now the doors will soon reopen with a new purpose.

Feb 14, 2018 - WBIR News

Pay It Forward: Everyone Deserves Love

On this Valentine's Day, Chief Meterologist Todd Howell and 10News anchor Russell Biven decided to share some love.

Dec 19, 2017 - City of Knoxville

2017 a 'tipping point' in Knoxville; more development ahead

As the book closes on 2017, many will mark it as the year Knoxville’s development went from incremental climbs to a big boom.

In the year’s first 11 months the city issued building permits for construction projects worth $476 million, a 12.8 percent gain from the same period of 2016, according to a news release from the city.

Knoxville developer Rick Dover said 2017 has been a “tipping point” for the city and downtown, specifically with more good to come. For his part in the boom, Dover opened a Hyatt Place in the historic Farragut Hotel downtown Monday and by the end of the year will open an 80-unit senior independent living facility inside the former Knoxville High.

“From what we’ve seen in the last year, the city is turning and it’s being perceived in a whole different light than it had been…it’s growing organically and people are willing to invest and create buildings and experiences that are vastly different than what they had been even two or three years ago,” Dover said.

Dover continued and said the city is being looked at nationally and is being mentioned in the same sentences as Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas and Nashville. People and money are flowing in, he said.

“I love it. I don’t see a downside to this,” he said. “I don’t think we’re giving up our identity for growth. I don’t see us losing any of our authenticity or soul due to the growth.”

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Dec 21, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Hyatt Place Ribbon-cutting: Welcome to Downtown Knoxville!

A huge crowd gathered in the lobby of the Farragut Hotel building this morning, as the Dover Signature Properties, White Lodging and Hyatt Place team cut the ribbon at 530 S. Gay Street.

Over the past nearly two years, the redevelopment team did a great job with a labor of love, restoring this grand 100-year-old hotel, which had sat empty for decades. Guests at the ribbon-cutting complimented the attention to detail, the devotion to historical accuracy, and the hundreds of pieces of original artwork by local artists that adorn the new hotel.

The redevelopment team received top awards earlier this month when Knox Heritage presented its annual preservation awards.

Dover Signature Properties and Design Innovation Architects won the Mayor of Knoxville Award for this Farragut Hotel project; Dover Signature Properties also won the Knox County Mayor Award for its Knoxville High restoration, and Design Innovation Architects’ founder and president, Faris Eid, who partnered on the Farragut Hotel, also was named Knox Heritage’s Preservationist of the Year.

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Dec 19, 2017 - WBIR 10 News

Past Meets Present with New Gay Street Hotel

The Hyatt Place Knoxville will open this week on the 500 block of Gay Street. The same building once housed the famous Farragut Hotel. On Tuesday, all those involved with the process of renovating this 100-year-old building met to cut the ribbon and mark the beginning of a new era for this corner of downtown.

"Thank you, thank you for coming today," said general manager of Dover Signature Properties Rick Dover. He leads the execution for Hyatt Place.

The building was constructed in the early 1900s as the Farragut Hotel.

"It's a historic preservation project for a 100-year-old building at the corner of Gay and Clinch downtown," Dover said, "so wow, what an honor to be able to do this project.".

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Dec 19, 2017 - Knox News

Hyatt Place to open in former Farragut Hotel

Not yet, but very soon – that’s when the Hyatt Place Downtown Knoxville will open to guests in the former Farragut Hotel building at 530 S. Gay St.

Developer Rick Dover joined a lobby full of downtown businesspeople, local officials and media for the ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning.

The hotel will open “a few days from now,” General Manager Trenton Keelen said, but the ceremony was held early, before people left town for the holidays. The hotel is already accepting reservations for Jan. 5 and subsequent dates, he said. Initially, rooms are running from about $169 to the “low $200 range,” Keelen said.

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December 11, 2017 - News Release

Dover Signature Properties Honored Again with Two Awards from Knoxville Heritage

Two historic preservation projects, both by Dover Signature Properties of Knoxville and both opening in just weeks, won major honors from Knox Heritage during the organization’s annual awards event.

Dover Signature Properties projects won both the Mayor of Knoxville Award and the Knox County Mayor Award.

The Knoxville Award was presented jointly to Dover Signature Properties and project architect Design Innovation Architect for the Farragut Hotel in the heart of downtown. The 100-year-old building, originally a hotel, was converted to office space in the 1970s, then sat vacant for years. Dover acquired the building and is spending upwards of $25 million converting it into the Hyatt Place Downtown Knoxville, which will open later this month. The building has been gutted and redone to state-of-the-art codes, technology and other systems. In addition, the style, furnishing and art, mostly by local artists, is setting a new standard for the city.

“These projects are what we love to do, no matter how challenging they become as you get the work underway,” said Dover Signature Properties General Manager Rick Dover. “DIA has been a terrific partner in taking on those challenges and finding solutions. I believe the city will be immensely proud of the final product.”

At 100 years of age, the Farragut was the newer of the two Dover projects honored this year. Historic Knoxville High first opened for classes in 1910. It closed as a school in 1951 and spent the next half century as a combination storage facility and additional office space for some school programs. Dover Signature Properties is converting the building into 80 apartments for seniors. That project, also nearing completion, won the Knox County Mayor Award.

“The more we did work on the school, the more character and beauty we found,” said Dover. “Beautiful wood doors and transoms, lots of natural light and the craftsmanship that may have been common at the turn of the century but is anything but common today.”

Historic Knoxville High school have its first tenants within a month.

“Knox Heritage has made a real difference in our city,” said Dover. “To be honored by them once again means a great deal.”

Dover was previously honored by Knoxville Heritage as Preservationist of the Year.

Oct 26, 2017 - Knoxville News-Sentinel

Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown hiring now for December opening

As the new Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown prepares to open, the 165-room hotel needs about 70 workers. So its managers are holding a hiring fair Thursday through Saturday in the Arcade Building, 618 S. Gay St., just half a block from the Hyatt. The Hyatt offers full- and part-time jobs, though the exact mix hasn’t been determined, General Manager Trenton Keelen said. “It’s definitely going to be heavier on the full-time side,” he said.

Available positions include front desk, night audit, bartenders, housekeepers, laundry attendants, cooks, banquet servers, baristas for the lobby Starbucks, maintenance technicians, house aids, breakfast attendants, dishwashers and supervisors. The job fair runs 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Applicants should bring their resumes, Keelen said. “Any other documents kind of come later in the interview process,” he said.

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Aug 6, 2017 - The Knoxville Focus

Old Knoxville High School will be 80 senior apartments

Walking through the hallways of the old Knoxville High School brings back memories for any older person who went to high school anywhere. The large facility at 101 East Fifth Avenue has four buildings and is being converted for senior living.

Recently Knox Heritage invited the public to see the progress of the ongoing renovation there and many of the former classrooms were open for visiting to see the changes. Several have been reworked and the historic school building will soon house 80 senior citizens in what the developer says will be a “fun place to live.”

Developer Rick Dover told the crowd during the tour that the project may be completed and opened in November. He said the old school is, “The least ambitious of all the projects we’ve done because the building is in such a good shape.”

Dover spoke briefly as did Knox Heritage’s Kim Trent and Kevin Murphey. Trent recognized the many members and board of Knox Heritage and noted the organization’s work with Dover on several other restoration projects.

“We really need some more ’gray‘ here,” she said of downtown and the growing number of younger people moving to the revitalized city. Old Knox High School sits just one block north of the Old City on North Broadway and East Fifth.

Three floors of the main building are being renovated. Some of the former classrooms show indications of where the blackboards were and a large safe from the original school now graces one of the first rooms on the main floor. Visitors could see how the historic windows are being replaced or recovered, how the original woodwork has been revealed from under 8 to 10 coats of paint, and note several plaques that will remain honoring former students, principals, and city officials who authorized the 1910 construction.

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Aug 2, 2017 - The Telegraph (Macon, GA)

Long awaited Alexander IV senior living home project is ready to move forward

It isn’t the last step in the string of Alexander IV updates, but it’s a step nonetheless.

The $8.8 million plan to revamp Alexander IV on Ridge Avenue into a senior facility is officially set to move forward, after Knoxville-based developer Dover Signature Properties, Macon Land Bank Authority and Historic Macon signed a contract June 15. The facility is set to have 60 units for senior living.

Construction on the project will begin in early 2018, following a year’s delay due to contract negotiations among all parties involved, according to Alison Goldey, executive director of the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority.

“We like to cover all the challenges, and any questions we have,” Goldey said. “We needed to ... make sure we had the required zoning and ... make sure the tax credits would be in place. ... We were working with a lot of departments on this.”

The goal is to have everything completed in 12 to 14 months according to Dover Signature Properties General Manager Rick Dover.

Until then, Dover Signature Properties plans to zone the property and present current designs to the public to receive feedback.

People can expect an upscale facility, designed like a fine hotel or country club, according to Dover.

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June 20, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Old look, new features as Farragut Hotel becomes Hyatt Place

Though the Farragut Hotel building’s name is changing, when renovation is complete the outside should look familiar to people who saw the century-old building in its prime.

A replica of the hotel’s historic front awning is going up, based on old photos. But as it’s transformed into a 165-room Hyatt Place, the interior has been taken down to bare concrete. Even the elevator is moving, with the new shaft placed further back.

Standing amid construction workers in the future lobby, Trenton Keelen pointed out where the new front desk will sit, to the left of the front doors; on the right will be a bar. The lobby will seat 135. Next to the front desk will be a Starbucks, standard in Hyatt Place hotels and open to walk-in traffic.

"The whole front will be a nice glass wall looking out into Gay Street,” said Keelen, who arrived in February to become general manager of the Hyatt Place Downtown Knoxville.

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June 11, 2017 - The Knoxville Focus

Building on the skeleton of South High School

Old South High School is a landmark of South Knoxville. The skeleton of the huge brick structure sits next to the Sarah Simpson Professional Development and Technology Center which houses the Knox County Museum of Education.

On the walls of the museum are two glass cases with South High School mementos, jackets and letter sweaters. The school building next door has been vacant since 1991 and the last class to graduate there was in 1978.

Since being abandoned the school was sold by Knox County to a buyer who let the building deteriorate. The city council stepped up to rescue the structure, bought it for $190,000, declaring the structure “blighted” and then the city reinforced what parts of the building that could be saved. Councilman Nick Pavlis led the campaign to save the historic school.

A protective H-1 Historic overlay was placed on the remains of the building to protect it from being demolished.

Last year the city asked for ideas and developer Rick Dover offered to buy it with the idea of transforming it to senior living, much like Dover Signature Properties did with the once abandoned Oakwood Elementary School.

Tuesday morning Dover stood at the main entrance to the old building with Mayor Madeline Rogero, Pavlis, and Councilman Finbarr Saunders. He announced that although he hasn’t secured financial backing he has started to further secure the structure. Dover’s director of operations, Shea Ramsey, was already in the building and inspecting the facility as Dover thanked the mayor and the city council for saving the structure and accepting his offer to restore and repurpose it.

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June 8, 2017 - Knoxville Mercury

Rick Dover announces $9.5 million plan for senior residential facility at South High

The windows of South Knoxville High School have been boarded up for more than two decades. Inside, bare girders cross collapsed roofs, allowing sunlight to shine into hallways and classrooms. Thanks to the efforts of Dover Signature Properties and the Knoxville city government, however, new life may soon be breathed into the crumbling structure, which has been empty since the school closed in 1991.

On Tuesday, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, alongside City Council member Nick Pavlis and Rick Dover, the general manager of Dover Signature Properties, marked the beginning of the structure’s anticipated $9.5 million transformation into a senior-living facility. Standing in front of a small crowd on the school’s front lawn, Dover outlined his group’s plans: 60 apartments, an Alzheimer’s care unit, and 35 permanent jobs.

Designed in 1932 by local architecture firm BarberMcMurray and finished in 1937, the 42,000-square-foot building has seen several different owners over the last 26 years. In 2015, City Council authorized the $190,000 purchase of the school, classifying it as a blighted property. Dover Signature Properties bought the property from the city for $1,000 last year.

“It’s such an intricate part of this community,” Pavlis said. “Thousands of people have walked through these doors and been educated here, and still obviously they didn’t want to see this structure go away. It’s just really meaningful to so many South Knoxvillians.”

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June 6, 2017 - WATE-TV

Knoxville’s old South High School to be converted to new senior center

The old South High School in Knoxville is getting new life.

“It’s a historic, iconic building that’s gone dark for a number of years,” Rick Dover, general manager of Dover Signature Properties, said.

The landmark that once housed classrooms will soon be transformed into a new senior living center. Dover Signature Properties is investing $9.5 million into the project. Dover said renovations will not be easy and the list of repairs is long, from rotted floors to a collapsing roof.

Dover said upgrading the existing building will take longer than starting from scratch, but that preserving it is worth the investment.

“I think these buildings really tell the story of who we are as a community and without them, much of our story is lost,” Dover said. “With them repurposed in neighborhoods like this, they will be a source of capital investment, jobs, revitalization and energy.”

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June 6, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Former South High to get new class of seniors

Neither plans nor financing are complete for renovation of the former South High School at 953 E. Moody Ave., but developer Rick Dover couldn’t wait. Tuesday morning, along with Mayor Madeline Rogero and two Knoxville councilmen, he announced work had begun on the 1937 building.

Dover bought the 46,366-square-foot building from the city for $1,000, a deal approved in late October. That acquisition was essential halting South High’s deterioration, said Dover, general manager of family firm Dover Signature Properties.

"The building is fragile,” he said.

Its windows are boarded up, and most of the interior is stripped down to bare walls and floors. New support beams hold up what’s left of the roof.

Under a “very stringent” development agreement with the city, Dover said, he plans to turn the 2.5-acre site in a modest residential neighborhood into housing for senior citizens, much as he did with the former Oakwood Elementary on the north end of town.

“We think ultimately we will have 60, 61 units here for seniors,” Dover said.

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June 2, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Arts & Culture Alliance seeks artists for the Hyatt Place Farragut Hotel

Knoxville's Arts & Culture Alliance, in association with Cohen Communications Group, is looking for local artists who are interested in creating indoor artwork for the Hyatt Place Farragut Hotel. The building is located at 530 S. Gay Street.

The artwork will be displayed in the lobby and meeting room areas of the hotel.

Eleven works will be chosen and should reflect the following descriptions:
A – 13’ wide x 12’ high – Topographically-inspired 3D mural or mosaic of Admiral Farragut.
B – 14’ W x 5’ H – Gallery wall of the history of Admiral Farragut through a series of portraits or naval details.
C – 5’ W x 6’ H – Map-like art element of Knoxville/Smoky Mountains.
D – 6’ W x 4’ H – Smoky Mountain inspired artwork for Ballroom Location 1.
E – 4’ W x 4’ H – Smoky Mountain inspired artwork for Ballroom Location 2.
F – 8’ W x 4’ H – Smoky Mountain inspired artwork for Meeting Room 1.
G – 6’ W x 4’ H – Smoky Mountain inspired artwork for Meeting Room 2.
H – 4’ W x 4’ H – Smoky Mountain inspired artwork for Board Room.
I – 3.5’ W x 5’ H – Highly dimensional/textural piece or repurposed landscape art that is inspired by location (map, geography, topography, etc.) for pre-function corridor.
J – 4’ W x 4’ H – Highly dimensional/textural piece or repurposed landscape art that is inspired by location (map, geography, topography, etc.) for pre-function corridor.
K – 3’ W x 5’ H – Modern or graphically-inspired Smoky Mountain piece or oil painting depicting Smoky Mountains to transition seamlessly into millwork wainscoting for pre-function corridor.

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May 18, 2017 - Farragut Press

Big splash for Northshore Senior Living opening

A two-year construction adventure has concluded with the opening of Northshore Senior Living.

Located at 8804 S. Northshore Drive near Pellissippi Parkway, the senior living facility celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting, hosted by Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, April 13.

“This has been a two-year adventure into what we think is the best senior living facility built,” said Rick Dover, managing director of Dover Signature Properties, Knoxville, which built the facility.

The senior living center, located on seven acres, includes 68 suites and apartments for assisted living and an additional wing for residents needing specialized care for memory loss.

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May 6, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville developer Rick Dover's projects in East Tennessee

Developer Rick Dover's projects in East Tennessee since 1993:

  • River Oaks Place in Lenoir City, completed renovation of 1908 high school in 1995 (this was Dover’s first historic restoration for a senior living facility in Tennessee), added 20 rooms in 2002. 71 units now. Dover moved his grandfather into this facility.
  • River Oaks Place, Loudon, Loudon County Hospital, built 1936, bought in 1996, completed 1998 as assisted living facility, added more space in 2009, three-story building with 40 units on six acres.
  • Lakewood Place, Loudon, part of the Loudon County Hospital, built in 1973, acquired in 2004, assisted living, 34 units and office space, completed in 2006.

Dover’s company in 2014 sold the above facilities to Gryphon Senior Living Group for a total of $18.3 million, according to property records.

  • Carmichael Inn, built 1810, served as stage coach depot, houses two restaurants with deck patio/catering operation, completed 2007.
  • Lakeside Village, bought property in 2005, construction began 2007 on 14 patio homes and boat house, sewer taps and utility hookups installed for another 26 units.
  • Alexander Inn, Oak Ridge, built 1942, closed in early 1990s, more than $9 million in restoration costs, $500,000 grant provided by U.S. Department of Energy, acquired 2013, completed 2015 as assisted living facility. Awarded in 2016 the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation. Only Tennessee project to garner this national honor that has been awarded since 1966.

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May 6, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

How Rick Dover reconstructed his life

Rick Dover’s $83 million renovation of the old Supreme Court Building will tower 11 stories over Henley Street and lift his redevelopment career to new heights.

It also will cap a long climb back from an abyss of bankruptcy and fraud that, three decades ago, left him guilty of six felonies and owing $19.6 million in restitution, $509,000 in back taxes and a $284 million civil judgment.

Some of the renovator’s tangled past has been known to local preservationists and city officials who, in recent years, have granted him tax breaks to restore several historic structures.

But he has never shared the full story publicly -- until now. Questioned about his background by the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee, Dover consulted his longtime wife, Laurie, after the couple returned from a Hawaiian getaway to celebrate her birthday, and she recommended he consent to an interview.

“She said, ‘At least no one will ever be able to accuse you of trying to hide it,’” Dover said.

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April 14, 2017 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Ribbon cutting officially opens Northshore Senior Living

Anyone seeking peace and quiet Thursday at the recently opened Northshore Senior Living facility in West Knox County quickly learned they were at the wrong place.

Nearly 200 people milled around the lobby with a vaulted ceiling and wraparound walkway on the second floor as managers officially cut a ribbon for the facility, which opened Dec. 26. The senior residents who moved through the crowds with wheeled walkers or a supportive arm of a member of the staff seemed to take it all in stride.

For developer Rick Dover, Northshore Senior Living was a departure from the type of projects that have garnered him local and national awards. The facility is new construction nestled into a hillside on a 7.5-acre site. The facility resembles a high-end mountain lodge.

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January 10, 2017 - The Telegraph (Macon, GA)

Public curious about senior living facility planned at Alexander IV

Donnie Laurens remembers the layout of Alexander IV Elementary School nearly 50 years after he studied there.

“There’s where the library used to be, the principal’s office and the bathrooms,” he said in the dark, chilly foyer of the Ridge Avenue building.

Laurens said he imagined the auditorium would seem small now that he is grown, but “it still seems big.”

About 100 people gathered in the auditorium of the former school Tuesday night to learn more about plans to convert it into a senior living facility.

The historic building fell in disrepair after long stretches of vacancy. It was declared surplus property by the Bibb County school board in 2013. Two years later, it made the Historic Macon Foundation’s inaugural Fading Five list.

Dover Signature Properties Corp., a Tennessee-based developer that specializes in converting historic buildings into senior housing, has plans for a 60-unit facility to be managed by Suwanee-based Senior Solutions Management Group.

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January 10, 2017 - WMAZ-TV

Developer gives more details on restoration of Alexander IV school

In a crowded meeting in Ingleside on Tuesday night, the neighborhood got to hear the plans for the Alexander IV elementary school directly from the developer.

The historic Alexander IV Elementary School is getting a new purpose and the crowd was told the plan.

“I played all the sports and things like that, and that was a big part, we had cheerleaders, all kinds of stuff. Square dancing in this hall here and things like that. It's just a wonderful place,” said Mickey Rivers.

Mickey and his wife Marilee went to the school in the late 1940s and early 50s.

The couple heard the Dover Signature Properties announce they are turning the school into a senior living facility and adding on an additional wing.

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December 8, 2016 - Knoxville Mercury

Potential plans for downtown Knoxville court building include Aloft hotel, apartments, dining

Dover Signature Properties’s plans for the former Tennessee Supreme Court building in downtown Knoxville include renovation of the structure and property into a trendy Aloft Hotel and a 230-unit apartment community. Restaurateur Randy Burleson would operate a restaurant planned for the former court chambers, and PetSafe would open an animal-daycare site. The building would also provide free office space for nonprofit Legacy Parks, and feature solar power and other clean-energy features developed with assistance from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The site would also include 8,000-square-feet of flexible meeting space.

The 527,000-square-foot development would represent an investment of $82.8 million, Richard Dover, general manager of Dover Signature Properties, says in a letter to the city that accompanied his proposal for the property.

A city committee ranked Dover’s response to a request for proposals for the project as the best of four plans to convert the 1.7-acre site, anchored by the courthouse on a city block between Henley and Locust streets, into a mixed-use retail, commercial and residential development.

Proposals for the building were submitted to the city by Knoxville-based Marble Alley, Dover Signature Properties, Commercial and Investment Properties, and Nashville-based BNA Associates. The city declined to release any of the proposals—which must meet city specifications for mixed uses of retail, commercial, and residential development—citing a statute that allows city procurement efforts to proceed in private during negotiations.

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October 26, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville City Council OKs sale of former South High

The Knoxville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Dover Signature Properties Corp. to construct a senior living facility inside the former South High School building.

The council approved the sale of the property for $1,000.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, who rarely interjects her personal views, implored the council to approve the project.

“This is something that for 25 years this neighborhood has been dealing with, and the last 11 (years) particularly as it slowly deteriorates," she said before the vote."This is the time to move. Now. It’s set up and is the right thing to do with this neighborhood.”

The proposed 60-unit facility would require an $8.8 million investment from Dover and would bring 30 permanent jobs. The project is likely to begin in the spring and be completed in 2018, according to Rick Dover, Dover Signature Properties owner.

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October 21, 2016 - Knoxville Mercury

Dover Signature Properties Takes on the Ruins of South High School

Monte Stanley pokes around the gloom and ruin of South High School, trying to locate his old locker on a chilly and damp Friday afternoon.

“I had no idea it was this bad,” he says of his alma mater, where partially collapsed roof and ceilings hang over graffiti-marred chalkboards and old classrooms and dangling light fixtures. The smell of rot and water damage is everywhere—testament to some 25 years of neglect.

He can’t find his locker, but points out the old library, and the classroom where he was taught world history by a teacher he remembers by name.

The ruined interior of the 42,000-square-foot school is illuminated by flashlights and camera lights carried by journalists who just learned of the place’s new lease on life: City officials moments before announced the decrepit structure in a residential area on East Moody Avenue would be converted into a 60-unit assisted-living facility by a private developer.

If City Council approves transfer of the historic property — it was designed by Knoxville architect Charles Barber and opened in 1937 — for a largely symbolic $1,000 sum to developer Richard Dover at its meeting Tuesday, work to resurrect the stolid brick structure could begin by the end of the year. In an interesting historical twist, BarberMcMurry will serve as project architect.

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October 21, 2016 - WBIR-TV

Rick Dover on redeveloping South High

Developers behind the new Farragut Hotel gave a sneak peek of renovations at the historic building on Friday.

The hotel will hold 162 rooms and suites with meeting rooms once complete, as well as a rooftop venue.

Dover Signature Properties General Manager Rick Dover said the company is excited to work on projects deeply rooted in Knoxville's history.

"This building to me is quintessentially Knoxville. This building tells a story of our past. It's been here now for 99 years, and it was the grand dame of a hotel when I was growing up," Dover said.

The hotel is set to open next year in the late summer or early fall

View the video ...

October 21, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Renovations still underway on historic Farragut Hotel

Rick Dover discusses the plans to redevelop South High School. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

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October 21, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Photos: A look inside the old South High School building

News Sentinel photographer Saul Young captures the present state of South High School.

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October 21, 2016 - WBIR-TV

Developer plans to turn old Knoxville school into senior living facility

Dover Signature Properties plan to transform an old Knoxville high school into a senior living facility.

The development company joined city leaders to announced the proposal at the old South High School building Friday.

The building opened as South Knoxville Junior High in 1937, and has been vacant since 1991.

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October 21, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Dover proposes senior facility for South High

Dover Signature Properties Corp. has proposed building a senior living facility inside what is left of the former South High School building.

According to Rick Dover, owner of Dover Signature Properties, the 60-unit facility would require an $8.8 million investment from Dover and would bring 30 permanent jobs. If approved, the project would begin next spring and be completed by the “second half” of 2018, Dover said.

The 46,366-square-foot, one-story building opened as South Knoxville Junior High in 1937. It has been both a junior and high school, but has sat vacant since 1991. It is located on a 2.5-acre lot.

“Hopefully we’ll return South High to a place of pride in the community,” Dover said. “I think it’s a jewel box.”

The Knoxville City Council will vote on Dover's proposal at Tuesday's meeting. His was the only company to submit a proposal for the building.

“Frankly, I don’t blame most people for not wanting to take it on. There’s a lot of red tape,” he said. “(But), what we have found when you go, and make those capital investments, is people will come and be inclined to support you.”

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October 20, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Dover to develop South High building

The Knoxville City Council will vote next week on allowing Dover Signature Properties Corp. to contract plans for the dilapidated former South High School building. Dover was the only company to submit a proposal for the building.

City officials expect to announce details of the project at a news conference Friday. The council will vote on Dover's proposal at next Tuesday's meeting.

The 46,366-square-foot, one-story building opened as South Knoxville Junior High in 1937. It has been both a junior and high school, but has sat vacant since 1991. It is located on a 2.5-acre lot.

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July 21, 2016 - WATE-TV

Dover Signature Properties honored for work on Alexander Inn

An East Tennessee developer was honored with one of the highest awards for historic preservation.

Dover Signature Properties won the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for their work on the historic Alexander Inn. Located in Oak Ridge, the Alexander Inn, originally known as The Guest House, was built during the Manhattan Project to house official visitors.

“This was the secret hotel where Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer and Leslie Groves, The Secretary of War, all stayed under false names in secret as the Manhattan Project came together,” said Rick Dover, General Manager of Dover Construction. Dover said he had known about the building for a number of years, but with help from Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Society was able to source money through the federal government to restore the building.

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July 18, 2016 - Oak Ridger's Historically Speaking Column-

The Alexander Guest House is recognized by President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Sue Cange, Manager of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and Kim Trent, President of Knox Heritage, accepted the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.

Rick Dover was not able to attend the award presentation, but is also a recipient of the award. This prestigious award recognizes the Department of Energy’s grant of $500,000 that purchased and stabilized the deteriorated Alexander Inn and Rick Dover’s $8,000,000 investment in our community to create the Alexander Guest House as well as the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance’s facilitation of the stabilization and engagement of the Dover Signature Properties.

We are so thankful to see the wonderful Alexander Guest House shining beautifully on the hill near historic Jackson Square and the nearby majestic Chapel on the Hill. What a tremendous difference this handsome historic development in our historic community has made. It is a huge source of pride! It is formally included in the legislation creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park! Wow! Now that is something…

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July 15, 2016 - Oak Ridge Today

Dover Signature Properties wins national preservation award for Alexander Inn

Rick Dover and Dover Signature Properties of Knoxville have won a national preservation award for their work to convert the historic Alexander Inn, a dilapidated, vacant two-story hotel in Oak Ridge, into the Alexander Guest House, a beautifully restored assisted living center

Knox Heritage, which played a key role in the project, announced the award on Friday. Also playing a key role was the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.

Dover Signature Properties won the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, or ACHP, a press release said. Members of the ACHP are appointed by the president of the United States.

It’s one of the highest awards given for historic preservation, the press release said.

Dover is the only Tennessee developer to ever win the Chairman’s Award, the press release said. It is the highest national award in which Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance have ever been involved. The U.S. Department of Energy shared in the award.

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July 14, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Dover, Alexander Inn net national preservation award

Rick Dover knew as soon as he stepped on the floor at the Alexander Inn and it gave way under his feet that the restoration project would be a challenge.

"The floor was rotten," he said. "The place was in bad shape."

However, the $7.5 million restoration that his company, Dover Signature Properties, did on the World War II-era Oak Ridge hotel has netted the firm a Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation from the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

It is one of the highest awards for historic preservation in the country. Knox Heritage Inc. and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance said it was the highest national award the groups have played a role in, and that Dover is the only Tennessee developer to have won the Chairman's Award.

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May 27, 2016 - Ledger, Knoxville Edition

Making aging city landmarks new again

Knoxville businessman Rick Dover has built luxury homes, crewed a sailboat and worked for the largest commercial real estate broker in the world.

His career has taken him from coast to coast over the last 35 years. But it wasn’t until coming home to Knoxville that Dover found the work that he says makes him feel whole.

Dover, 62, is general manager of Dover Signature Properties Corp., a firm founded in 1993 that specializes in restoring and renovating neglected and historic properties. Many of these buildings are transformed into affordable senior housing, including assisted living centers that provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s and other memory problems

The company’s portfolio is a reflection of Dover’s passions – affordable senior housing, historic preservation, job creation and neighborhood restoration.

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Oakwood project also aids neighborhood

A few years ago, the old Oakwood Elementary School was headed for demolition, assuming the dilapidated building didn’t collapse on its own first.

Built in 1914, the former school was a dark hole in the Oakwood neighborhood, a modest community a few blocks north of downtown Knoxville and east of Interstate 275. The roof had caved in. Vandals had taken over the classrooms.

As the abandon school deteriorated over the 23 years it had been vacant, so had the housing stock on surrounding streets. It seemed there were more boarded up windows than residents in the neighborhood.

Knox County government had no luck in finding a developer willing to do anything feasible with the building. The wrecking ball was looming, but preservation advocate Kim Trent had other ideas. She knew a guy who could save the former school building.

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April 5, 2016 - WBIR

Hyatt Place to manage 165-room Farragut Hotel in downtown Knoxville

One of the last remaining vacant spaces on Gay Street is now set to become downtown's tallest rooftop hotel.

The Hyatt Place announced Monday it will manage the 165-room hotel in downtown Knoxville. The building is currently vacant, but goes back nearly 100 years from its days as a ballroom hotel in 1917.

It's a history developer Rick Dover holds close. "This is the corner and one of the most prominent buildings in all of downtown," he said.

Hyatt plans to develop the inside with modern renovations, but maintain the building's historic appeal with canopies over Gay Street and Clinch and a vintage blade sign.

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April 5, 2016 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Old Farragut Hotel downtown being redeveloped as a Hyatt Place

The mostly empty Farragut Hotel building in downtown Knoxville is slated to open as a 165-room Hyatt Place hotel in about a year, those involved in the deal announced Monday.

The renovated nine-story building, which currently houses the French Market, will have a coffee-to-cocktails bar, 2,700 square feet for meetings and events, a rooftop venue, fitness center and other features, developer Rick Dover told elected leaders and other local officials gathered at the 530 S. Gay St. property Monday. His goal is to complete the project by summer 2017.

Dover said he had fond memories of the Farragut Hotel as a teen and was excited to get to turn it back into a functioning hotel.

"This was a great place for my dad and me to go have lunch after getting haircuts here in the hotel," he said. "They had a wonderful ballroom and used to have high school dances here. When I found out it was available, I grabbed it."

That was in 2014. The building, which dates from 1919, had sat mostly vacant for about a decade. Dover plans a $22 million project to renovate it into a hotel, which Merrillville, Ind. - based White Lodging will manage. The hotel will create about 80 full-time jobs, said Dave Montrose, senior vice president of regional operations for White Lodging. Dover said the project will create about 200 construction jobs.

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April 5, 2016 - Inside of Knoxville

The Farragut Hotel Building to Become a Hyatt Place Hotel

It’s been a long and tortured journey for the former Farragut Hotel. Under utilized, forlorn and nearly abandoned for decades, its become a point of discussion in recent years. One ambitious plan to return it to a hotel was announced only to falter and fail. Rick Dover purchased the building and toyed with the idea of making it a combination hotel and very high-end apartment building. It was clear from early on that he wanted it to be a hotel, but he wasn’t sure that was viable.

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April 4, 2016 - WATE

Hyatt Place to come to Downtown Knoxville in 2017

A new hotel is coming to East Tennessee. Developers announced Monday a new location of Hyatt Place will be in Downtown Knoxville.

The hotel’s building was originally home to the Farragut Hotel, a 190-room full service hotel. The hotel was a popular location for visiting dignitaries and Knoxville socialites. It became an office building around 1980. The headquarters for First Tennessee Bank and law offices for Senator Howard H. Baker was located in the space.

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April 4, 2016 - WVLT

Historic Farragut Hotel to Become Hyatt Place Hotel

Chief Executive Officer Rick Dover of Dover Signature Properties announced Monday the former Farragut Hotel on Gay Street will be a Hyatt Place hotel next Spring.

“The Farragut was a grand hotel when it opened in the 1920’s,” said Dover. “We are building off the hotel’s legacy by introducing Knoxville to the Hyatt Place brand, Hyatt’s award-winning select service brand. This hotel will offer smartly designed social spaces and spacious guestrooms, and guests can expect a beautiful facility and the latest in technology throughout.”

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April 4, 2016 - Knox Views

Historic Farragut Hotel to Become Hyatt Place Hotel

Chief Executive Officer Rick Dover of Dover Signature Properties announced today that the former Farragut Hotel on Gay Street in the heart of downtown Knoxville will be a Hyatt Place hotel when it opens in Spring 2017.

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March 10, 2016 - Inside of Knoxville

What Makes a City Beautiful? Keep Knoxville Beautiful Finds the Answer in Downtown Buildings

The award for “Redesign/Reuse” went to two very deserving projects, each of which I’ve mentioned here. Oakwood Elementary School (232 E. Churchwell) was falling in on itself when Rick Dover purchased it and re-purposed it to a senior living center. I wrote about and photographed it three years ago when the construction was just beginning. It’s an incredible transformation and has gone from empty, blighted property to a beautiful home to senior citizens.

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December 21, 2015 - KaTom Blog

Vintage Modern

From a serpentine sofa below soaring ceilings, you watch a row of glassware on the bar catch the natural sunlight pouring into the room.

“Would you care for a glass of wine?”

That may not be the assistance most of us think of when it comes to housing and care for the elderly, but it’s part of what’s on offer at Oakwood Senior Living, a 62-unit assisted living facility built by local developer Rick Dover in a hundred-year-old elementary school in a historic downtown neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Each apartment in the 5,000 square-foot center has towering windows and ceilings, unique dimensions and layout, and the blend of luxury retro and modern finishes and decor that are a trademark of Dover Signature Properties’s award-winning heritage restorations. Upstairs, oversize double doors open from a fine-dining space onto a second-floor balcony where Oakwood Elementary’s original schoolbell still gets rung. Below, a solar-enhanced vegetable and flower garden, walking trails, and a putting green fill out the footprint left vacant 23 years earlier and blend into the tended lawns, old trees, and tidy, postwar single-family houses of the surrounding blocks.

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December 2, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Oakwood Senior Living now open

It has taken more than two years, but Oakwood Senior Living, a former elementary school renovated into an assisted living facility, is now open.

About half of the 62 apartments in the 55,000 square-foot facility at 232 E. Churchwell Ave. in North Knoxville are already occupied, Rick Dover, the developer, said Wednesday.

"There are about 30 full-time residents there and I think some more are moving in next week," he said.

The residents are living in what was Oakwood Elementary School, which had sat vacant for about 23 years when Dover, managing director of Dover Signature Properties, acquired the property in 2012. Knox County sold the building as surplus for $1,000, and Dover estimates his firm has invested about $8 million in the project.

At Oakwood Senior Living, residents have a solid, roomy building for their home, Dover said.

"It has a tremendously open and spacious feel to it," he said.

The facility has a lobby with a 20-foot ceiling and apartments with ceilings 12 feet high. Walls are about a foot thick.

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November 20, 2015 - Inside of Knoxville

Sometimes the Good Guys Win: Knox Heritage Fantastic Fifteen Awards

The person of the night, however, was Rick Dover. Recognized first by Mayor Burchett for his work with the Oakwood Elementary School, now Oakwood Senior Living, he was later recognized as preservationist of the year. In addition to work outside Knoxville and the aforementioned Oakwood School project, his company is also restoring and renovating both Knoxville High School and the Farragut Hotel. Certainly these are not small projects and the are important projects for the city.

Old buildings and places, he said, give us a sense of continuity in our lives and with the lives that went before. They give us an opportunity to learn about what has gone before. We can learn of our ancestors and reference our own personal history through place. These places give us identity and community. We save them because of their beauty, their architectural achievement or because we consider them sacred – whether churches, cemeteries or battlefields.

We should also save them because it is economically and environmentally the right thing to do. When he spoke of sustainability, he included buildings of no historic import. Saving buildings avoids moving tons of debris to a land-fill, the polluting manufacture of additional materials and the transportation of those materials with fossil fuels. Often the structures are in walkable areas which avoids another building built in a place which requires cars. The argument was compelling.

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November 20, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Preservationist: Buildings are connections of life

During his talk in front of about 100 people in the historic and remodeled building in the Old City, Mayes summarized the series of blog posts he wrote that examined various themes of why historic preservation is important. The essays came from his research and interviews he did while in Rome after receiving the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in 2013. He said he centered each essay around an important theme he learned of why preservation is important to people. They included such topics as memory, individual identity, continuity, beauty, civic identity, ancestry, and economics.

He cited such human connections as the fact that many people become quite emotional returning to their elementary school, and that some people even feel a connection to a mall that was popular when they were growing up.

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November 11, 2015 - WBIR

Historic Farragut Hotel moves forward with tax deal

A historic hotel in downtown Knoxville is one step closer to reopening.

The city's Industrial Development Board approved a payment in lieu of taxes deal on Monday. The incentive package is worth $7.7 million dollars. The developer says that's the largest in city history.

The package will freeze property taxes at the buildings current value, before the renovations.

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November 11, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

IDB approves Farragut Hotel tax incentives

Dover Signature Properties Corp., the company behind the ongoing restoration of the former Farragut Hotel, expects to announce an agreement in the next 30 days with a “major player” to take up residence in the Gay Street property.

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October 27, 2015 - The Oak Ridger

Alexander Guest House official opening Oct. 26

Rick Dover is excited to announce that the Alexander Guest House plans to hold its official opening on Monday, Oct. 26. What a great day that will be! Oak Ridgers can all be proud of the grand efforts begun by Patrick McIntyre, Tennessee state historic preservation officer, who advised the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management officials that they could provide a grant of $500,000 to the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance to purchase and stabilize the failing Alexander Inn.

This was allowable because the DOE could not preserve the failed facilities at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant that they had hoped to be able to preserve. It is an alternative used when extenuating circumstances prohibit historic preservation in one place, but can assist preservation in a substitute area.

Dover Signature Properties Corp. then took on the task for which Rick had looked at a number of times and even attempted to “make the numbers” work, as he says, but could not. Yet he continued to hold out hope for years, hope of eventually being able to restore the historic old Guest House.

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September 27, 2015 - The Oak Ridger

Alexander Guest House renovation restores grandeur at historic hotel

The historic two-story hotel was built as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, and top scientists and dignitaries once stayed there.

But it hadn’t been used since the 1990s, and it had fallen into disrepair. The long-vacant hotel, which has been known as both the Guest House and Alexander Inn, was dilapidated enough that Dover fell through a floor the first time he toured the property, and woodchucks and bees lived inside. It became the victim of vandals, varmints, and weather, and city code enforcement efforts against the property started in 2005.

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September 25, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

New life for an historic old inn

Jean Stone, 84, fondly remembers the Alexander Inn in its heyday when she attended club meetings, dinners and receptions in the historic, rambling old structure.

Now, she’s going to be living there as one of the first people to sign up for an apartment in the Alexander Guest House, a $7.5 million renovation and restoration of a World War II-era hotel from Oak Ridge’s early days as a secret city.

“I came and looked at it, and I liked what I saw,” Stone said as she listened Wednesday while officials praised developer Rick Dover’s two-year effort to bring the inn back to life as an assisted-living center. Wednesday’s event was billed as a sneak preview of the building.

Dover, head of Dover Signature Properties, has revived eight historic structures in East Tennessee and has acquired two other old buildings — the Farragut Hotel on Gay Street and Knoxville High School on East Fifth Avenue — for future projects.

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September 25, 2015 - The Oak Ridger

‘Falling apart’ landmark restored

“It is more than just an Oak Ridge landmark,” said state Rep. John Ragan. “It’s a national landmark.”

The Tennessee legislator was, of course, talking about what had been the old and abandoned Guest House at the Alexander Inn.

According to a release sent out this week to area media, the overall structure was in such bad shape the first time developer Rick Dover stepped inside he literally fell through the floor into the basement.

“But even then, I could see the potential,” said Dover, whose firm, Dover Signature Properties, has converted multiple old, abandoned buildings into beautiful state-of-the-art senior living centers, according to the release. “The building may have been falling apart, but it was on the National Register of Historic Places for a reason.”

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September 24, 2015 - WVLT

Guest house at Alexander Inn in Oak Ridge reopens as senior living facility

Take an old, run down, but historic, building and make it into something useful. That was the idea behind the renovations of the former guest house at Alexander Inn.

When developers first walked into the building, they literally fell through the floor. After some hard work, a little elbow grease and $8 million, the building is ready to open as a senior living facility.

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September 11, 2015 - WBIR

Developers start renovation on historic Farragut Hotel

After sitting vacant for years, the old Farragut Hotel is officially under construction for a complete revitalization.

Developer Rick Dover bought the hotel in September 2014, and after getting the green light from city officials, he went in to clear out the old space.

“We’re in the ‘Let’s make a mess and see how much we can tear up’ stage,” Dover said. “The inside will be kind of an eclectic mix, very modern and very old, so we hope that will create some interesting space with some very high-end finishes that will make people want to come here and stay here.”

Dover said the outside of the hotel will look almost identical to the original, and the inside will resemble some of its iconic features.

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August 24, 2015 - Knox Focus

Farragut Hotel gets OK

The multimillion-dollar renovation of the historic Farragut Hotel at 530 Gay Street got a go-ahead vote from Knoxville City Council Tuesday night with only one councilman objecting. The project, by Rick Dover’s Dover Signature Properties, received approval to become the recipient of a $2.9 million loan if approved by the federal Housing and Urban Development. The city will apply and then loan the money to Dover.

The 18-month renovation is expected to create an upscale hotel and create 83 full-time jobs downtown.

The project was also granted a 25-year property tax break as part of the city’s Payment In Lieu Of Taxes, meaning that the site would continue to pay the current tax rate until the end of the agreement.

The parking of guests’ cars brought the objection because Dover, who bought the hotel building nine months ago, had initially requested free parking in the State Street Garage. A final compromise was worked out so the hotel would pay the current residential rate of $32.50 per space, per month for 160 spaces for ten years, at which time the rate would be prorated.

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August 19, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

City council OKs tax deal for historic Farragut hotel

Knoxville City Council members Tuesday, despite concerns over parking, approved an incentive package worth $7.7 million to restore and reopen the historic Farragut Hotel downtown.

Developer Rick Dover said he expects to have a deal finalized with a major hotel chain in the next 60 days.

“We have got no shortage of places we can stumble and fall, and this was a big one tonight,” Dover said. “So I’m thrilled City Council believes in the project.”

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August 19, 2015 - WBIR

Knoxville city council approves Farragut hotel parking deal

The historic Farragut Hotel in downtown Knoxville is taking another step toward reopening.

The Knoxville City Council voted Tuesday night to give developers 160 parking spaces at the State Street garage downtown. The hotel will pay $32.50 a month for each space. The deal runs for 10 years.

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August 18, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Editorial: Council should approve incentive package for hotel

A Knoxville developer is seeking a tax incentive package to redevelop the historic Farragut Hotel on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. The $18 million project would return the nine-story building to its original use.

City Council will consider three incentive initiatives tonight. One would be a $2.9 million loan the city would obtain through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of Dover Signature Properties Corp. The second would be a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, or PILOT, that would freeze property tax payments on the hotel for 25 years. The third would be parking spaces for hotel guests in the city-owned State Street Garage.

While the long time-frame would delay the city’s return on investment when it comes to property taxes, the anticipated increase in sales and hotel/motel tax revenues, plus the beneficial use of a mostly empty downtown building, make the deal attractive. City Council should approve the incentive package.

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August 14, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Farragut Hotel 25-year tax deal headed to council

The historic former Farragut Hotel, a prominent, nine-story building on Gay Street that has sat mostly vacant for nearly a decade, could soon be restored to its original use.

Knoxville City Council on Tuesday will consider a 25-year tax incentive package worth $7.7 million for a local developer to revive the property, making way for a national-brand hotel planning to move into the space.

The package, called a payment in lieu of taxes or PILOT, will freeze property taxes at the building’s current assessed value — that is, before the $18 million renovation — for the next quarter-century.

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July 29, 2015 - Knoxville Mercury

The Old South High School Building Could Become… Something

A new plan from the city of Knoxville aims to repurpose and resuscitate the Old South High School building, breathing new life into the badly dilapidated South Knoxville property that’s been vacant for decades.

City officials are hoping to attract a buyer with a vision and the will to transform the 42,000-square-foot structure at 953 E. Moody Ave., but exactly what becomes of the property remains to be seen. It’s up to a private developer to pitch a proposal that can earn support from city planners, City Council members, and the community.

More than two dozen people—mostly folks from the neighborhood and a handful of developers—came out to Dogwood Elementary School last week to hear about the city’s plans and offer ideas for the future of the property. Most locals just want to see it put to use again after nearly 25 years sitting dormant, but opinions vary on what might be best for the community. Ideas ranged from artist studios and dorm rooms to senior apartments and reopening the building again as a high school.


At least one developer already has an eye on the space. Knoxville-based Dover Signature Properties, owned by Rick Dover, is considering the property for the potential future home of a senior residential complex, spokesperson Mike Cohen says. The company already has two similar projects underway, preparing to open Oakwood Senior Living in the Oakwood Elementary building and working to convert the Historic Knoxville High School building on East Fifth Avenue into 75 senior apartments.

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July 21, 2015 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Urban Land Institute hosts Oakwood Senior Living tour

Walking along what was once the 100-year-old hallways of Oakwood Elementary School, Rick Dover admitted on Tuesday that he wasn't originally sold on the idea of renovating the dilapidated old building.

But when Dover, general manager of Dover Signature Properties, pulled up to the site at 232 E. Churchwell Ave., he committed to the project before getting out of the car.

Now, Oakwood Senior Living is set to open as a 55,000 square-foot licensed assisted-living facility with 63 apartments and a separate Alzheimer's wing.

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January 14, 2015

January 12, 2015 - Inside of Knoxville

Latest on the Farragut Building

Just less than a year ago the old Farragut Hotel building was part of our local conversation. Developers from California-based Halo Hospitality Group had an option to purchase and said they intended to return the hotel to its former glory and purpose by building out 190 rooms with high-quality amenities. The developers called a large press conference and opened the building up for a large tour. I wrote about the proposal and included photographs here, while Jack Neely wrote about the proposal here, focusing on the history of the building.

It seemed too good to be true and Joe Sullivan said as much in an article about all the hotels being proposed for the downtown area. There were four, not counting the eventual hotel proposal for the Baptist Hospital site.. Two, along with the Baptist Hospital proposal, have since been abandoned and the other two haven’t begun construction.

In the eleven months since that heady presentation, the company attempted to make the proposal work, seeming to make some headway, but they subsequently released their hold on the property and it came back on the market. Others expressed and continue to express interest, but Rick Dover of Dover Signature Properties stepped in and purchased the building for about $3.7 million. The twenty-two year old Knoxville-based firm is near finishing their conversion of Oakwood Elementary School to senior housing. They are restoring the Alexander Inn in Oak Ridge and will soon convert Knoxville High School to seventy-six units for seniors and six artist lofts.

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December 15, 2014 - WBIR

Senior Facilities growing in Knoxville.

Rick Dover seeks out historic properties that many developers avoid.

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December 15, 2014 - WATE

Developers break ground on new West Knox County senior living facility

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Developers broke ground Monday on a new, unique senior living facility in West Knox County.

Northshore Senior Living is a $12 million project that will include 68 suites and apartments for both independent and assisted living, plus an additional wing specifically for residents needing specialized care for memory loss.

The complex will be on seven park-like acres on Northshore Drive near Tooles Bend.

“This is intended to be a senior lifestyle community rather than a healthcare facility,” developer Rick Dover says. “Our residents’ safety and health are very much part of the design criteria and they are our top priority, but comfort and ambience come in a close second. Northshore Senior Living will be set up to look, operate, and feel like a country club.”

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December 14, 2014 - Knoxville News Sentinel

From Oak Ridge to Gay Street, Rick Dover finds a development niche in old buildings

A new senior complex broke ground in West Knoxville Monday as the need for senior living facilities around the area increases

Almost by accident, he discovered a successful business model for him, when he linked his passion for historic preservation with the need for affordable, comfortable and caring facilities for seniors.

In the early 1990s, Dover had been traveling from Knoxville to Florida to take care of his grandfather, who was in his 80s and living alone. With the elder relative's doctor urging the family to look for an assisted living facility, Dover began the search but didn't like what he saw.

"I thought, ‘Doesn't anyone do a nice thing for seniors that is not over-the-top expensive and is not a dump?' I really couldn't find anything," Dover said. He decided to create his own about the time a Loudon County planner alerted him to the deteriorating 1908 Lenoir City High School building.

River Oaks Place Senior Living opened in that building in 1995, and his grandfather moved in. Now, almost 20 years after Dover's first senior living renovation, he is investing $50 million in four senior living developments that will double the number of units he has produced. His company has completed 248 units for seniors, with 273 more slated to open or be under construction in the next two years.

Dover recently changed the name of Dover Signature Properties, founded with his wife, Laurie, in 1992, to Dover Signature Properties. The company was formed with an early investment from Dover's mother, Lucy Dover, to do affordable housing rehab for young families or first-time homebuyers, so families could take pride in homeownership, he explained.

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November 12, 2014 - WBIR

Assisted living demand up in Knoxville as Boomers retire

As more Baby Boomers retire, developers are focusing on a number of new assited living centers in Knox County. ranked Knoxville the second best city in the nation to retire.

To meet the needs of a growing senior population in Farragut, developers announced new plans on Grisby Chapel Road in Farragut.

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November 12, 2014 - WBIR

Historic Alexander Inn continues renovations

A decrepit historic hotel that had fallen into ruin is now close to being reopened as a retirement facility.

Years ago the Alexander Inn in Oak Ridge played host to world-renown scientists working to create an atomic bomb. The inn fell into years of disrepair after that rich history. History buffs fought for more than a decade to save the building. Now, in just a few months, the doors will open once more.

The guest house will open in March. The building will feature a museum paying tribute to the inn's rich history and association with the Manhattan project.

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November 10, 2014 - The Oak Ridger

Alexander being restored to famous hotel it used to be

Recently Rick Dover, founder and general manager of the Dover Signature Properties, which has saved the Guest House/Alexander Inn from demolition, spoke to the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge. This report of that talk was created by Carolyn Krause who was in attendance. It is included here in Historically Speaking in the spirit of keeping readers informed of the conversion of this iconic Oak Ridge historic inn. Dover is converting the historic Guest House/Alexander Inn into an assisted living and retirement facility while preserving the old hotel’s classic architecture and interior gathering places during rebuilding.

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October 6, 2014 - The Oak Ridger

The Guest House at the Alexander Inn

Rick Dover has the lead role for the restoration and preservation of The Guest House at the Alexander Inn. He is also the General Manager of Dover Signature Properties and this is not their first successful restoration and effective utilization of historic structures.

Dover Signature Properties began their involvement in senior living when searching for an assisted living facility for Rick Dover's grandfather back in the 1990s. Finding a “combination of affordability, personalized care, and a cozy residential feel was nearly impossible” according to the company's web site when describing why Dover Signature Properties first considered senior living centers as a strategy.

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October 1, 2014 - MetroPulse

The Farragut Building, for Real?

The Farragut is a building Metro Pulse staffers have had a lot of opportunity to contemplate, just out the window, across Clinch Avenue from the conference room where we talk about the next issue. For years and years, longer than we’ve been here, that landmark 1919 hotel building, which once offered 200 guest rooms, has been oddly underused. It’s been about a decade since the old hotel quietly witnessed the revival of its taller neighbors, the Holston and the Burwell, reborn as upscale residential buildings. Its own block experienced one of downtown’s most radical transformations when it became home to an eight-screen cineplex, several trendy restaurants, an Aveda school, and a busy convenience/grocery store. Throughout that revival, the Farragut just stood there politely, with only the successful French Market Crêperie on its ground floor to suggest that human beings are sometimes allowed into the building.

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September 29, 2014 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Dover Signature Properties buys the Farragut Building, on Gay Street

A Lenoir City development firm has bought the Farragut Building, at 530 S. Gay St., for $3,675,000.

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September 19, 2014 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Company restoring Alexander Inn wins preservation award

This city’s Grand Old Lady, in decline for decades, is getting a complete facelift, an upgrade and a new lease on life.

By year’s end, a $6.4 million transformation of The Guest House, also known as the Alexander Inn, will be complete.

What was once a wartime resting spot for such dignitaries as Robert Oppenheimer and Gen. Leslie Groves — the leaders of the Manhattan Project — will become an assisted-living center.

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September 17, 2014 - The Oak Ridger

Alexander Inn, Dover Signature Properties to receive historic preservation award

The company converting a historic two-story hotel in Jackson Square into an assisted living center will receive a historic preservation award on Thursday. The award presentation will be held at the front door of the Guest House/Alexander Inn at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

“When Rick Dover and Dover Signature Properties acquired the property in May 2013, it was in total disrepair,” a press release said. “A $6 million investment will restore this beloved icon to its former glory.”

“We’re going to faithfully restore this building to its original look, from the soda-fountain bar in the lobby to the beautiful wide porch out front,” Dover said.

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May 8, 2014 - WVLT

Loudon County Hall of Fame Inducts Rick Dover of Dover Signature Properties

Rick Dover, General Manager of Dover Signature Properties was inducted into the 2013 Loudon Hall of Fame for the Business Leader category. He has also been recognized and awarded by historic preservation groups, government, and development organizations for Dover Signature Properties work on Loudon, Anderson, and Knox county projects. The Loudon County Business Hall of Fame is supported by the Boys & Girls Club of Loudon County.s company are investing $5 million into the Alexander Inn.

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February 28, 2014

Historic Preservation Award for Alexander Inn supported by Governor Haslam

The Alexander Inn is the only historic building preserved as part of the mitigation. More importantly though, the building now has a viable use that will create 40 permanent jobs and have an estimated annual economic impact of $2.7 million. Rick Dover, General Manager of Dover Signature Properties, is one of our state’s most active preservation developers and we are fortunate that he and his company are investing $5 million into the Alexander Inn.

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November 14, 2013 - WUOT-FM

Oak Ridge's Alexander Inn Returning to Former Glory

The $5.5 million renovation project was arranged through a series of agreements between Dover Signature Properties, the city of Oak Ridge, the city’s Industrial Development Board, the Department of Energy, Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance. The transaction includes an easement that guarantees the building will be preserved forever. (

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November 14, 2013 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Historic Guest House in Oak Ridge gets new lease on life

A groundbreaking was held for renovation of Alexander Inn, a historic World War II vintage building in Oak Ridge being converted into an assisted living center. (

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September 29-30, 2013

Moving to the past

Loudon restoration efforts bring residents perks of history. (News-Herald, Lenoir City and Loudon County)

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September 26, 2013

Senior Solutions Management Group Installs Solar Power Farms at Two Assisted Living Communities in East Tennessee

Senior Solutions Management Group (SSMG), a leading provider of superior quality senior care across the Southeast, today announced that two 50,000 watt solar farms have been installed in two of its East Tennessee senior living facilities as a part of a green energy partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Suwanee, GA)

SSMG and Dover Signature Properties installed the solar farms in an effort to become more energy efficient and environmentally conscious. The solar farms currently produce 18 percent of the facilities’ electric energy needs, and the company projects that this number will increase noticeably over time, as they continue to make updates to reduce the amount of energy outputs at the facilities. Such energy-reducing updates include installing new windows, upgrading heat and air systems, and switching over to LED lighting in the assisted living communities. Because farms will produce the same energy output for at least 50 years, and energy costs will continue to rise, the move to solar will prove financially beneficial for the company as well.

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June 6, 2013 - Oak Ridge Today

Alexander Inn ballroom demolished as renovation work begins

Workers have demolished the ballroom at the historic but dilapidated Alexander Inn as part of a project to convert the vacant two-story hotel into an assisted living center. (The Oak Ridger)

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May 30, 2013 - Knoxville News Sentinel

‘Tag sale’ Saturday at Alexander Inn

It’s the last chance to buy some local history dating back to just after the birth of this formerly secret city. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

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May 23, 2013 - WATE

March 21, 2013 - Inside of Knoxville

Oakwood Elementary becomes Oakwood Senior Living

I recently attended a Knox Heritage members only tour of the former Oakwood Elementary School, built in 1914, and soon to be Oakwood Senior Living. It’s a little strange walking into a building that once house bustling elementary school students and now is home to fresh framing, plans hung on various walls. One of the former students from many decades ago stood in the center of what was once a gymnasium and reminisced.

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Jan. 15, 2013 - Knoxville News Sentinel

Alexander Inn revamp clears final hurdle in Oak Ridge

In a brief special meeting Tuesday, the last hurdle in an ambitious plan to revamp and reuse an endangered historic structure was cleared. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

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