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Farragut Hotel to Reopen in Spring 2017 as a Hyatt Place 
Rick Dover of Dover Development, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. and others announced today that the Farragut Hotel will be a Hyatt Place when it opens next spring.

It's official: The iconic former Farragut Hotel at 530 S. Gay St. will be a Hyatt Place hotel when it opens in spring 2017.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Dover of Dover Development made the announcement today. Dover celebrated the Hyatt Place brand unveiling with a ceremony attended by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., as well as Hyatt’s Director of Real Estate and Development Ryan McNamara and Senior Vice President of Operations Dave Montrose with White Lodging, which Dover Development has chosen to operate the hotel.

Today's announcement was applauded by dozens of downtown advocates, historic preservationists, City Council and County Commission members, and City Office of Redevelopment and Community Development leaders.

A big crowd of well-wishers attended today's announcement.

Mayor Rogero thanked Dover for the quality of his restoration work with the Oakwood Senior Living Center on Churchwell Avenue and noted that his company is now revitalizing two iconic and beloved buildings – the Farragut Hotel, soon to be restored to its former grandeur, and the historic Knoxville High School.

Dover attended high school dances upstairs in the Farragut Hotel’s ballroom and got haircuts in the basement. The Mayor said it's reassuring to have someone with deep Knoxville roots and a proven track record handling restoration projects involving historic gems.

The once-grand 99-year-old Farragut Hotel had once offered its hospitality to such celebrities as Babe Ruth, Merv Griffin and David Ben-Gurion. But the nine-story building - covering most of a prime downtown block - has been mostly vacant for the past decade.

To support the revitalization project, the City has offered Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) assistance, a tool that has been instrumental in making downtown redevelopment a success. The City also guaranteed hotel parking in the State Street Garage with a long-term lease and helped the development team secure a low-interest HUD loan.

The project will generate increased hotel/motel tax revenues, increased sales taxes and greatly increased property value. Plus, the 165-guestroom hotel will create the equivalent of more than 60 full-time Knoxville jobs.

But the biggest gain for the City, Mayor Rogero said, is that one of the largest and last remaining vacant buildings in downtown Knoxville will be restored and put back to its highest and best use.

Congratulations to Dover Development, Hyatt and White Lodging - and good luck as the renovation continues! Looking forward to next year's grand opening.

Check out this collection of historic photos of the Farragut Hotel on display at today's announcement:

Farragut Hotel, in its heyday.
The historic Farragut Hotel, in its heyday.
The historic Farragut Hotel, in its heyday.

Posted by evreeland On 04 April, 2016 at 3:35 PM