Historic Farragut Hotel to become Hyatt Place Hotel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Hyatt brand is returning to downtown Knoxville.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Dover of Dover Development announced Monday the former Farragut Hotel on Gay Street will be a Hyatt Place hotel next Spring.

“The Farragut was a grand hotel when it opened in the 1920’s,” said Dover. “We are building off the hotel’s legacy by introducing Knoxville to the Hyatt Place brand, Hyatt’s award-winning select service brand. This hotel will offer smartly designed social spaces and spacious guestrooms, and guests can expect a beautiful facility and the latest in technology throughout.”

“I am very happy that the Farragut Hotel will again serve downtown Knoxville as a distinctive, distinguished Hyatt Place hotel,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “Thanks to Rick Dover and the Hyatt Place team for restoring this historic jewel in the heart of our vibrant city center.”

“I’m excited that the former Farragut Hotel property will be redeveloped and opening as a new Hyatt Place hotel,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “Rick Dover has a great track record of improving historic buildings, and I look forward to seeing the improvements and restoration coming to the Farragut.”

The Hyatt Place project gained significant support from the City and County, in the form of 2- year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and guaranteed parking in the State Street Garage. With the City’s assistance, it also secured some $2.9 million in a low-cost loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The economic development in downtown Knoxville has been phenomenal over the last 15 years,” said Congressman John H. Duncan, Jr. “I am pleased that the Hyatt Place hotel will continue this trend by becoming part of our downtown community. I would also like to thank the Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing a 2.9 million dollar low cost loan to assist with this project.”

Expected to open in early 2017, the Hyatt Place hotel will bring the brand’s intuitive design, casual atmosphere, and practical amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and 24-hour food offerings, to the downtown Knoxville.

“We are pleased to continue building upon a strong relationship with Dover Development Corporation and White Lodging,” said Ryan McNamara, director of real estate and development for Hyatt. “This hotel is a significant example of Hyatt’s deep focus on developing and investing in premium branded hotels in dynamic markets that will attract business and leisure travelers alike. The Hyatt family offers its congratulations and gratitude to Rick Dover and his team, as well as the team at White Lodging, for bringing this exciting development to fruition.”

“White Lodging is excited to be a part of bringing the Hyatt Place brand to downtown Knoxville,” said Dave Montrose, senior vice president of operations for White Lodging. “Hotels are meant to be full of associates and guests, and I can't think of a more appropriate developer than Rick Dover to revitalize this historic property.”

“We think the hotel’s location, size and quality will make it the city’s destination hotel,” said Dover. “It will be within walking distance of TVA headquarters, a trolley ride away from the University of Tennessee and only steps away from the historic Tennessee Theatre. The hotel will be nearby all that downtown Knoxville has to offer, but guests can step out the door and be on a beautiful riverside running trail in just moments.

Hyatt Place at the Farragut will offer:

· 165 spacious guestrooms with separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as a Cozy Corner sofa-sleeper
· 24/7 Gallery Menu with freshly prepared meals at any time of day
· a.m. Kitchen Skillet™, a free hot breakfast for guests available daily in the Gallery Kitchen, featuring hot breakfast items, fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, fresh-baked pastries, and more
· 24/7 Gallery Menu & Market serving freshly prepared meals anytime, day or night
· Coffee to Cocktails Bar featuring specialty coffees and premium beers, as well as wines and cocktails
· Odds & Ends program for forgotten items that guests can buy, borrow or enjoy for free
· Free Wi-Fi everywhere
· 2,700 square feet of flexible, high-tech meeting/function space
· 24-hour StayFit Gym featuring cardio equipment with LCD touchscreens

The Farragut Hotel was first constructed in 1917 and expanded just a few years later. It was home to a 190-room full service hotel, and was a popular venue for visiting dignitaries and Knoxville’s social scene. In 1980, the building was renovated into office space and housed many prominent firms, including the law offices of the late Senator Howard H. Baker, as well as the local headquarters of First Tennessee bank. The building sat empty for many years until it was purchased just over a year ago by Dover and Dover Development, who announced plans to restore it as a hotel.