Rick Dover is the general manager of Family Pride Corporation, a family owned and operated company in Knoxville, Tenn. Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation have been rehabilitating neighborhoods since 1993.
Presentation Solutions: Rick Dover has agreed to speak with us today about his passion for rehabilitating buildings and revitalizing communities. Thank you for joining us, Rick.
Rick Dover: My pleasure. I believe what we are doing is important and I enjoy talking about it.
Presentation Solutions: So why preserve these old buildings?
Rick Dover: First of all, it’s advantageous for the neighborhood. Restoration reduces vacant housing and increases property value. It also encourages community involvement.
Presentation Solutions: How does it encourage community involvement?
Rick Dover: When citizens are proud of their neighborhood, they feel more connected to their neighbors. They become interested in making more improvements to the community, and to do that, they become more active in local government.
Presentation Solutions: Isn’t it a gamble—restoring property that others have abandoned?
Rick Dover: Sometimes all it takes is to bring one property back to life. Neighbors see what can be done and start making improvements to their property, which attracts others to the area and encourages more restorations.
Presentation Solutions: Are you saying it’s good for the economy?
Rick Dover: Restoration of a structure is more labor-intensive than new construction so it brings more jobs to the area. The materials, labor and services are purchased locally, which adds more dollars to the local economy.
Presentation Solutions: That’s interesting. I would never have thought of those added benefits to the economy.
Rick Dover: Improving a neighborhood also increases property value. Plus it’s less expensive to restore a structure than to rebuild.
Presentation Solutions: It sounds like a virtuous cycle that is potentially far-reaching.
Rick Dover: You don’t know how right you are. Historical buildings set a community apart from cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Heritage and cultural tourism is gaining ground in the travel industry as nostalgia nudges people who long for safer and simpler times.
Presentation Solutions: I suppose in mentioning a safer and simpler time, you’re referring to a world before urban sprawl and global warming?
Rick Dover: Exactly. I believe in leaving as small an ecological footprint as possible on our world, and rehabilitating buildings instead of adding new construction is one of my contributions. Preserving a building is the ultimate in recycling in so many ways.
Presentation Solutions: But aren’t you contributing to the environmental problems, too?
Rick Dover: On a much lesser degree than if we were constructing new buildings. Preservation of a building not only saves on materials, but also on the energy used to build a new structure. A lot of energy is required to demolish old buildings, excavate the land, manufacture and assemble building products, and transport them to the building site.
Presentation Solutions: I wouldn’t have thought of what you do as a form of recycling and saving energy.
Rick Dover: Did you know that 20 percent of solid waste in our landfills is construction waste?
Presentation Solutions: No, I didn’t know that.
Rick Dover: Any amount of waste we can eliminate helps the environment.
Presentation Solutions: What should a community do?
Rick Dover: Citizens should safeguard their community’s history and heritage by opposing demolition of historically or architecturally important properties.
Presentation Solutions: How can they do that?
Rick Dover: There are many ways. One enticement for business owners would be to encourage the rehabilitation of any historic buildings in the neighborhood. Owners of historic commercial and rental properties may qualify for a federal 20 percent tax credit for extensive rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties. That should make a businessperson pause and take notice.
Presentation Solutions: How do you determine what projects you choose?
Rick Dover: Historic projects are our major concentration. Unused and underused properties drag neighborhoods down quickly. Family Pride Corporation likes to target these types of situations for redevelopment.
Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation gain satisfaction from the development and redevelopment of properties for senior housing and commercial and residential use. Rick Dover knows that improving communities through restoration is the best way to rejuvenate a neighborhood. For more information about Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation, visit familypridecorp.com.