Three Roots Valued Partner, Mark Taylor of Dominion Group

Dominion Group is a Knoxville-based real estate investment firm co-founded by Chairman Steve Hall and CEO Mark Taylor. The firm develops, acquires and operates generational real estate assets in Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Hall and Taylor founded Dominion in 2007 and began buying older, neglected apartment communities and “bringing them back to life” through strategic rehabilitation projects and installing new management infrastructure. In the past 15 years, Dominion has grown dramatically and is approaching two billion in assets under management, development and ownership.

Since its founding, Dominion has kept its original business model of acquiring and rehabilitating existing structures. The firm also develops and builds new apartments, manages two senior living brands and operates management companies for its properties. Additionally, it has an affordable housing business that acquires, rehabilitates and develops projects in the affordable and low-income housing space.

“The desire to impact affordable housing communities and make them really fantastic places to live has been part of our DNA since the beginning,” said Taylor. “From a housing cost perspective, we’re in a season where the need and desire on the customers’ part for affordable housing options has really hit a fever pitch – it’s a real societal need.”

With these projects, Dominion will (1) preserve existing affordable housing and layer in additional social services, (2) develop new apartment complexes or (3) think about new ways to provide affordable housing in the markets they serve, such as setting aside units for lower-income individuals in their conventional multi-family projects.

“We think it’s a great way for us to help,” said Taylor. “If we can help further by bringing in additional services to do more things to help our resident base, then we feel like we’re running a good business and doing good things for the communities we operate in.”

Financing these projects requires more work and creativity than traditional housing financing. Dominion works with partners like Three Roots Capital to support these complicated projects from a capital-sourcing perspective.

“Three Roots has been a great source of flexible capital for us to be able to step into these projects where we may need some additional capital sourcing,” said Taylor. “For us to have flexible capital and great partners like Three Roots that we know we can count on to help us put the capital together to do these types of projects is critical.”

Three Roots has partnered with Dominion Group on three projects. Previously, Three Roots served as an additional credit partner and provided essential bridge financing for two low-income housing projects in South Carolina. Most recently, Dominion Group closed on a project in Knoxville to help provide middle-market housing to help preserve a healthy rent profile for individuals who don’t qualify for affordable housing but need housing that isn’t outside of their budget.

“With need for affordable housing in Knoxville and beyond, we are pleased to work with valued partners like Dominion Group to help solve this crisis,” said Grady Vanderhoofven, President and CEO. “We are committed to working on placemaking real estate projects like these that have a lasting, positive impact on the communities we serve.”

Taylor and Vanderhoofven first met around a decade ago through a mutual acquaintance and have enjoyed working together over the years.

“It’s been fun to have Grady as a partner and a friend. I love his entrepreneurial nature, creativity and excitement about participating in projects that we think are very meaningful,” said Taylor. “We’re looking forward to a long relationship with Three Roots. I imagine we’ll have a lot of fun projects to work on with them over the next few years.”