After several months of intense private meetings, Rick Dover and the Knoxville City Council have released details of the negotiations regarding a proposed mixed-use development in the former State Supreme Court building downtown.
According to Rick Dover, Knoxville city leaders made the announcement in late 2016 that Dover Development Corporation had been chosen out of four competing developers to complete the project, if approved. Dover Development beat out BNA Associates, Marble Alley, and Commercial & Investment Properties, Co. with a score of 102. The other firms received scores of 75, 67, and 92 points respectively.
This is not the only project on which Rick Dover and Knoxville leaders have collaborated. Dover is currently transforming the historic Pryor Brown garage into an upscale condominium complex and has previously completed renovations on a number of former school campuses, hotels, and other historic properties. If City Council approves the Supreme Court building project, Dover Development is expected to pay $2.6 million for the 1.7 acre property, which comprises an entire city block along Henley Street.
Mayor Madeline Rogero and Chief Policy Officer Bill Lyons believe the courthouse renovation will revitalize the area and provide a much needed high-end residential and retail use complex and luxury hotel. Rick Dover says Knoxville has grown substantially over the last decade and that it is no longer an option to neglect these downtown landmarks.
Knoxville has attempted to bring developers into the project on two previous occasions. The city finally purchased the property from the State of Tennessee in 2015. The building sat empty since the Supreme Court relocated in 2003 to its current location on Main Street, according to Rick Dover. The Knoxville property, which Dover describes as a prime location, is expected to be purchased for approximately $2.6 million when the development plans are finally approved.