Rick Dover and his Knoxville property development company, Dover Development Corporation, were recently chosen as the redeveloper for the Alexander IV Elementary School building. The historic building, which is located approximately 4 ½ hours south of Knoxville, is one of many similar projects spearheaded by Dover.
Q: Dover Development Corporation has historically stayed in and around East Tennessee. How did the project in Georgia come about?
Rick Dover, Knoxville: We always have our ears to the ground looking for an interesting project. This is a little further away than we normally work but it is such an architecturally interesting building and a historically significant campus. We simply could not let it sit and crumble.
Q: What is the plan for the building and its surrounding land?
Rick Dover, Knoxville: We are planning to build a senior living complex similar to ones we have housed in historic structures in Tennessee. When complete, the Alexander IV Senior Living Center will be home to approximately 75 people and bring 30 brand-new jobs to the area.
Q: Have the people of Macon been supportive of the project?
Rick Dover, Knoxville: Thankfully, yes. There were several town meetings held back in January before the project was approved. We have had a chance to discuss plans with a number of community members and to answer questions and quell concerns. Many of the school’s former students still live in the area and came out in support of renovation.
Q: There are plans to build a new wing on the building. How important is staying true to the original design?
Rick Dover, Knoxville: One thing Dover Development is known for is respecting the heritage of the buildings we preserve. In this case, the new wing will be built to seamlessly integrate aesthetically with the rest of the building’s architecture. The basic layout of the interior will stay the same but the facility will be completely updated with all the modern amenities and technologies people have come to expect in luxury senior living establishments.