Parkway raises curtain on The Pinnacle

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Published: October 23,2006

JACKSON — On October 16, the west end of the Capital City’s downtown received one more boost. Parkway Properties Inc. unveiled The Pinnacle at Jackson Place, a new office complex that is designed to be the centerpiece of new development that will encompass the entire city block that is bordered by Capitol, Lamar, Amite and Farish streets.

In addition to new office space, the project will include retail and residential spaces, renovated parking garage, public garden and more. Coupled with the renovation of the nearby King Edward Hotel and development work on Farish Street, The Pinnacle and Jackson Place, the new name of the block where One Jackson Place stands and The Pinnacle will be built, are being billed as yet another major step toward the revitalization of the area.

“This will be an architecturally significant building that we expect to serve as a catalyst for rejuvenating the western end of the central business district,” said Steve Rogers, president and CEO of Parkway. “The design, materials and amenities in this building will make it one of the finest structures in this region. As its name implies, it will be the pinnacle of premier office space available to our customers.”

Work, shop, live

The Pinnacle, which will feature a glass exterior and cost $39 million to build, will stand eight stories high and house 175,000 square feet of commercial office space. It will be situated on the undeveloped grassy area adjacent to the 14-story, 220,000-square-foot One Jackson Place.

According to Parkway, it already has received commitments for 75% of the commercial space. The four major tenants are the law firms of Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC, and Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A.; Trustmark Bank, which will locate a branch and other operations on the ground floor; and, EastGroup Properties Inc., which will relocate its headquarters to The Pinnacle.

Watkins Ludlam has leased 60,000 square feet while Brunini is in for 50,000 square feet. Both firms signed 15-year leases.

“The length of the lease agreements and quality of these firms speak volumes about the future of downtown,” Rogers said.

The Jackson firm Dale & Associates Architects, P.A., executed the design work. The same day of the unveiling, a crew with the engineering firm Burns Cooley Dennis Inc. ceremoniously drilled the first hole for The Pinnacle’s foundation. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2007, and The Pinnacle, which will also feature a prominent sculpture depicting a theme of local significance and a water feature located in the area connecting the new building with One Jackson Place, is scheduled to open its doors in the fall of 2008.

While The Pinnacle will be the project’s heart, it is just one of the four major components of the total development, which will ring in at $50 million, including The Pinnacle. (AmSouth Bank and Trustmark supplied the financing.) The components, all interconnected by climate-controlled corridors and walking spaces, are:

• Customer Parking at Jackson Place — The existing, 1,732-space parking garage will get a thorough facelift aimed at enhancing accessibility, convenience and safety. Parkway will lease the garage on a long-term basis.

• The Shops at Jackson Place — This will encompass new and existing retail customers on the ground level of the renovated parking garage. Negotiations are underway for a drugstore, dry cleaners, print shop, deli and car-detailing facilities.

• The Residences at Jackson Place — The residential development will be on the Amite Street side of Jackson Place, and will be accessible to the adjacent commercial properties and parking garage. Details about The Residences will be released at a later date.

• The Gardens at Jackson Place — This will be a specially designed garden area located in the center of Jackson Place. It will feature a wide array of foliage and flowers as well as walkways and seating areas. It will be open to the public.

Ray of sunshine

Rain and wind caused the unveiling of The Pinnacle at Jackson Place to be moved inside. Elbowroom was at a premium as a wet crowd packed into the lobby of One Jackson Place.

However, attendees, which included Gov. Haley Barbour and Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, were all smiles. Downtown Jackson has recently lost a number of major tenants to the suburbs. Parkway’s announcement, at least figuratively, brought much-needed sunshine to the area.

Melton said, “A few years ago, Gov. Barbour told us, ‘We can do better.’ This is the proof he was right.”

Melton added that the City of Jackson was preparing to make other economic development announcements the week of October 16-20. One of these would be for two new neighborhoods in the heart of the city.

“Seeing what (Parkway) is doing and how much it will encompass will give you chill bumps,” said Jackson City Council president Ben Allen. “These firms are genuine civic patriots. It is refreshing that they have determined that a bag full of loyalty is more profitable in the long run than a bag full of money in the short run.”

Rogers said, “We will cooperate with the arts, public and private schools, colleges, local businesses, garden clubs, along with many others, to bring about a great project of which our entire city can be proud.”

Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at northway@msbusiness.com.

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