Gov. Bill Haslam recently threw his support behind the nomination for a national award naming Rick Dover, Knoxville developer and president of Family Pride Corp.
East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) and Knox Heritage have offered a joint nomination signifying the efforts by Rick Dover of Knoxville to convert the Alexander Inn into a first-class assisted living center for residents of east Tennessee. Rick Dover, Knoxville developer, says the building has been vacant for over 20 years and that it has suffered damage and decay in the interim.
In order to acknowledge the hard work of Rick Dover of Knoxville and the Family Pride Corp. organization, Gov. Haslam sent a letter to the National Trust for Historic Preservation based in Washington, D.C. The requirements for this award mandate a partnership with a federal organization. Partners may include local and state governments, businesses, individuals, not-for-profit organizations, or Native Hawaiian and Indian tribes. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued a call for nominations earlier this year.
Built during World War II, the Alexander Inn was an integral part of the U.S. government’s activities, including the Manhattan Project. Former guests at the hotel included physicists Enrico Fermi and J. Robert Oppenheimer, as well as Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Gen. Leslie Groves.
Haslam cited Rick Dover, Knoxville developer, as one of the leading preservation developers in the state of Tennessee. Dover and Family Pride Corp. have plans to invest $5 million in the Alexander Inn. It is the first project led by ETPA, a new organization founded by Knox Heritage with further assistance by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Rick Dover and Family Pride Corp. are projected to complete the hotel conversion project by late 2014. The assisting living center is slated to produce at least 40 jobs in the Oak Grove area of Knoxville, with a total economic impact at an estimated $2.7 million.