Officials Open Alexander IV Senior Living Center

Staff Report

Friday, June 17th, 2022

Six years ago, the old Alexander IV Elementary School sat empty and abandoned. Now, it has been transformed into a high-end assisted living center that’s open for business.

Officials gathered Thursday to formally open the Alexander IV Senior Living Center, a 63-unit center on Ridge Avenue. The center also will include a new 25-unit “memory care” wing for residents with Alzheimer’s disease as well as communal spaces the public can use.

Thursday’s speakers included Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller; Rick Dover, managing director of Dover Signature Properties; Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Mallory Jones; Ethiel Garlington, executive director of Historic Macon; and Quentin Jones, executive director of Alexander IV Senior Living.

“Giving a magnificent building like this a new purpose and a new life is incredibly rewarding,” said Rick Dover of Dover Signature Properties. “Between Covid and supply chain issues, it has been even more of a challenge than usual, but that just made the final product even more rewarding. We look forward to people calling the Alexander IV home for many, many years.”

The old school, built in 1932, was a symbol of pride for generations of students and an integral part of the Ingleside neighborhood. It closed in 2008, though, and the school board declared it surplus property in 2013.

In 2015, Historic Macon included the school on the foundation’s initial list of endangered properties in the community, called Macon’s Fading Five. The Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority bought it in 2016, thanks to blight bond proceeds that Commissioner Jones designated for the project.

Historic Macon sought opinions about appropriate uses for the building during a public meeting in 2016, then asked for proposals from developers. A neighbor-led review committee weighed in, and Historic Macon announced late that year that a proposal from Dover Signature Properties, based in Knoxville, Tenn., had been selected.

Groundbreaking for work on the senior living center, located at 3769 Ridge Ave., was held two years ago this month. Now, construction and renovation there is complete. Last month, the project won a 2022 Preservation Award from Historic Macon.

Also key to the project’s success were Piedmont Construction Group and Design Innovation Architects.

The 28,000-square-foot building features distinctive architecture reminiscent of an Alpine Mountain village. It was a “contributing property” when Ingleside was designated a historic district in 2016.

The cost of renovation and new construction on the six-acre campus totaled more than $12 million.

“There were plenty of hurdles along the way,” said Ethiel Garlington, Historic Macon’s executive director. “But to stand here today and see this old building not only saved but restored to its former glory is gratifying. It’s one more reminder of all that we can achieve in this community when partners pull together.”