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TRENTON, NJ-Full Spectrum of NY LLC will to go before the city council next week for a final vote on an ordinance that would permit construction of a 20-story building as the centerpiece of an 800,000-sf mixed-use project in New Jersey’s capital city. The project is within the city’s Canal Banks Redevelopment Area Plan.

Altogether, Full Spectrum’s proposal calls for a total of 150,000 sf of class A office space, about 55,000 sf of retail space, some 250 residential condominiums and structured parking. Named Trenton Town Center, it also involves redeveloping the former New Jersey Bell Telephone Building, originally built in 1914, into a residential complex with ground-floor retail. Full Spectrum hopes to set aside about one-fifth of the building’s residential units for artist lofts.

“Trenton has a profile of underlying value that hasn’t been developed through the investment of capital,” Carlton Brown, co-founder and COO of the New York City-based Full Spectrum, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a place where people have to do business because it’s the government center of New Jersey.” He points out that the Trenton rail station is one of the most heavily traveled on the Northeast corridor and Mercer County is one of the two or three wealthiest counties in the country. “So we’re doing class A commercial and residential buildings to realize those underlying values.”

And Trenton Town Center will be decidedly “green.” Full Spectrum was behind such green buildings in New York as 1400 Fifth Ave. and the Solaire in Battery Park City. In this case, the green features will include vegetated roofs, geothermal heating and cooling and construction using recycled or renewable resources. “We believe this high performance green development will bring value that people can’t otherwise get in Mercer County,” says Brown, whose company was designated as redeveloper of the city in June.

“In our view, the proposed Trenton Town Center will play a key role in ushering in a new era for our city,” Taneshia Laird, director of the city’s division of economic development, tells GlobeSt.com. “Our city has been mainly known for making state laws, and now we believe that our city will be known for making history in sustainable development and being a model for urban revitalization.”

“From what we can tell, this project will be the largest mixed-use, green, high-performance development of its kind in the US,” Laird says. “And with the 150,000 sf of office space, the city is also making an aggressive push into attracting private sector tenants back to the city.”

If the high-rise ordinance clears the city council next week, the next step is a planning board meeting on November 22. “Planning board approval is the key, because it would allow us to go full tilt with the design process,” Brown says. He’s also targeting June 2006 for a groundbreaking, with a completion date of mid to late 2008. Bovis Lend Lease is the contractor. “When you look at the state’s emphasis on smart growth and on building near transportation centers, this project makes a lot of sense.”

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