"It is now virtually certain that Alexander IV Elementary School is going to be saved and redeveloped", according to this afternoon's press release from Historic Macon.
Late last year, Historic Macon announced Dover Development Corporation, a Knoxville, TN firm that restores or renovates neglected properties, including ambitious historical projects, submitted the winning proposal to redevelop Alexander IV Elementary School in the historic Ingleside neighborhood as a senior living facility.
Alexander IV was listed in the inaugural Macon’s Fading Five list of endangered places in 2015. Since its listing, Historic Macon worked with Commissioner Mallory Jones to secure blights bonds to purchase the property from the Macon-Bibb County Board of Education. The Macon-Bibb Land Bank Authority acquired the property in early 2016. Historic Macon worked with a committee of community members to find an appropriate developer while the Land Bank Authority held the property.
“The Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority is please to be partners in this outstanding project that will provide quality senior housing in our community,” said Alison Goldey, Executive Director of the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority. “ The elementary school stood vacant for several years and we are thrilled that Historic Macon Foundation and Dover Development will be repurposing the building and that we can be part of brining new vitality to this charming neighborhood in the form of much needed senior house. For us, it’s not just about the project, it’s about the community.”
In the fall of 2016, Historic Macon sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the historic elementary school. In January 2017, Historic Macon hosted Dover Development for a public meeting in which Rick Dover, General Manager of Dover Development, presented plans to rehab Alex IV as a senior living facility that would include an architecturally compatible new wing and public spaces for the community to enjoy.
“Old schools such as the Alexander IV make perfect senior living facilities,” said Dover. “What’s more, they generally have a special place in the heart of the people who end up calling it home. It’s a great way to meet a growing need for such housing, save and repurpose great old buildings and get those building back on the tax rolls.”
The redevelopment project of Alexander IV will result in a total investment of $8.8 million. The proposed project will consist of 60 units for senior living and create 30 new and permanent jobs. Work is expected to begin in early 2018.
“Dover Development’s commitment to saving historic buildings is evident in communities across the Southeast,” said Ethiel Garlington, executive director of Historic Macon. “We’re thrilled that they won the bid to bring back to life this iconic piece of architecture in the Ingleside neighborhood. This is another success story of Macon’s Fading Five and its role in saving our community’s historic places.”
Historic Macon will announce the 2017 Macon’s Fading Five on August 29 at 11am with a press conference at the Train Recreation Center (718 Oglethorpe Street), one of the properties listed in 2016. Historic Macon will also provide updates on properties from previous lists.
Historic Macon is planning a public meeting with representatives of Dover Development. This meeting will be announced at a later date.