September 8, 2011
(JACKSON, Miss.) – A $2 million pledge to Jackson State University will spur major green efforts between the university and Full Spectrum South, a leader in the development of affordable green/smart building in emerging urban markets – in particular, the Old Capitol Green project in Jackson.
With that commitment, Full Spectrum – led by founding partner and chief operating officer Carlton Brown – has made the largest pledge from a minority-owned business to Jackson State.
“We are quite comfortable having our success hitched to Jackson State’s wagon, and theirs hitched to ours,” Brown said. “Hopefully others in the city will follow our lead in committing to the state’s only urban institution of higher learning.”
The gift will enhance the valuable experiences Jackson State students receive in understanding the process for planning sustainable communities.
“This real-time, real-skill experience outside of the classroom contributes to their preparation to lead sustainable development in communities wherever they may land,” said Brown, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1973. “Fundamentally our financial commitment and our engagement commitment comprise our dedication to a better future for the city, for the university and for our young people.”
Since Full Spectrum opened its offices in Jackson to pursue the Old Capitol Green development – Jackson’s first mixed-use, mixed-income sustainable green development – it has engaged interns from the JSU School of Urban and Regional Planning, using the project as a learning laboratory.
While JSU’s President Carolyn W. Meyers is elated about the major donation, as an engineer she is even more excited about the possibilities the partnership brings for JSU students.
The first phase of the Old Capitol Green project includes an 888-car, near-zero carbon garage, an office building and a residential complex – all LEED certified. They will serve as living laboratories for JSU’sSchoolofEngineeringstudents to learn the best practices of applied robotics and high-performance building design and operations. This first phase will also generate the revenues over 10 years to fulfill Full Spectrum’s gift commitment.
“This level of hands-on experience is a dream for our students,” said Meyers. “Not only will they be challenged to think critically and participate in intense evaluations, but they will get to see the direct benefit of their decisions. With the green implications of sustainable projects, our students will see how their decisions directly impact the lives of those who live in this community. It is a win-win for all involved.”
That kind of breakthrough thinking is something David Hoard, JSU’s new vice president for institutional advancement, has been pushing his staff to consider since he arrived at the university this summer.
“I admire those who think big and work hard to make big things happen,” said Hoard. “To say I am excited about these developments with Full Spectrum and Carlton Brown is an understatement. I challenge others out there to step up and help make this institution an even greater one. There is a great deal of potential out there. My charge is to make sure that we tap into that.”
The City of Jackson, through the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, has approved negotiations with Full Spectrum to provide public funding for the 888-car automated garage, Brown added.
“We applaud our city leaders for supporting this project – and ultimately Jackson State – because once the City’s financing for the garage is firmly committed, the development work will move forward and all of Jackson will accrue the benefits of the development of Old Capitol Green. We appreciate that the city leaders recognize that the funding of the garage is crucial, because it is the foundation and base for the new public plaza, both critical elements of the first phase. It will also be both the city’s and this university’s clarion call to the world that they are both global leaders in the development of forward-looking and equitable sustainable development.”
Old Capitol Green will use a robotic parking solution utilizing a combination of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) to move cars on palettes through the structure. This achieves high sustainability benchmarks with significant efficiencies over a conventional parking system by reducing emissions from vehicular traffic and decreasing the carbon footprint of the project.
Although he is not aJacksonStatealumnus, Brown’s connection with the university dates back to his formative years. Both of his parents, Dr. Ollie Thomas Brown and Dr. Allen H. Brown, taught atJacksonStatefrom 1957 through their retirement in the early 1990s.
“Their commitment and the commitment of their peer professors and administrators to Jackson State and its students during a period when African-American academic achievement was not widely valued in the society in general is one of the reasons I hope to honor their efforts with my gift,” said Brown, who remembers looking up to those on campus who were committed to changing the world. “Hopefully our financial commitment and our commitment to using our project as a living classroom will honor and extend the dedication of those who came before me.”
About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.
About Old Capitol Green:
Old Capitol Green (OCG) is a new mixed-use, mixed-finance, and mixed-income urban development located on the eastern edge of the downtown Jackson Central Business District. At its heart, it is an important demonstration of the power of public-private partnerships to transform underserved communities by transforming a significant portion of downtown Jackson into a vibrant urban meeting place, for the first time with no class and race boundaries. The development contains approximately 50 acres and will eventually encompass 14 city blocks. Full Spectrum of NY was designated Master Developer in October 2006. Since that time, Full Spectrum has completed a Master Plan; developed a new Zoning Ordinance which includes high performance building performance guidelines; and rezoned the entire district. Old Capitol Green has been listed as a LEED for Neighborhood Development community with the United States Green Building Council. 1822 Square in Old Capitol Green is the first phase of the development and will encompass an entire square block; it will include:
- Terre Verte Residences, a 180-resident, mixed-income residential building.
- The Legacy, a 200,000 SF LEED Platinum office building.
- 60,000 of retail space (of which 65% is pre-leased).
- 888-vehicle automated robotic garage with electric vehicle charging stations.