Written by Anne Paine
Mayor Karl Dean held tightly to his notes as rosemary, black-eyed Susans and grasses bent in the strong breeze around him. This wasn’t his typical park outing.
He was standing several stories up on The Pinnacle at Symphony Place’s green roof covering the parking garage of what is proclaimed to be the firstLeadership Energy and Environmental Design-certified skyscraper in the state.
“Everywhere you look you can see signs of a growing, thriving city,” Dean said to dozens of business-suited listeners there for a reception Thursday.
Walkers could be seen on the Shelby Avenue pedestrian bridge, which connects the city’s network of greenways. Piles of fresh dirt stood just across the river where Cumberland Park is being built to draw more families and visitors downtown and outside. The whir of equipment issued from the nearby Music City Center, which is under construction. That, too, is designed to win a LEED designation from the U.S. Green Building Council for eco-friendly features similar to The Pinnacle’s.
Dean spoke of other projects — also in view — that would mean more jobs and more bicycle- and walker-friendly streets. He said a green, sustainable community is key to attracting talented, creative people and businesses.
The one-acre, seventh-floor garden roof where Dean spoke will help filter rainwater and act as a park and employee lunch spot. The Pinnacle’s 29 floors are surrounded by sky-reflecting, insulated windows that mesh with a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system to reduce energy use. Low-flow bathroom fixtures are expected to be 30 percent more efficient than standard ones. The garage offers preferred parking for low-emission vehicles and bicycle parking.
The $105 million building at 150 Third Ave. S., with 520,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, has 60 percent confirmed occupancy. Tenants so far are Bass, Berry & Sims; Pinnacle Financial Partners; and Sherrard & Roe. Gullett, Sanford, Robinson & Martin also has signed up to move in to the gold-level LEED-certified building. > View The Tennessean video