AJFF Breaks the Mold of Traditional Foundation

AJFF Breaks the Mold of Traditional Foundation
Investment in American Tobacco Campus Among its Recent Projects

After a year of major capital investments, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation plans to shift its focus back to community grantmaking beginning this fall.

ribbon cutting
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon (left) helped in the dedication of the Opera House bearing his grandfather’s name. The AJFF made a $2 million gift for the theater’s construction.

Major commitments during the past year and a half include the purchase and renovation of the historic Boylan-Pearce building in downtown Raleigh and creation of the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. Over the next 10 years, the Foundation will contribute a total of $10 million to the Institute for operations and a permanent endowment. The Foundation also made a $2 million gift to help build the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater as part of the new and improved BTI Performing Arts Center in Raleigh. Each of these investments is aligned with the Foundation’s mission to strengthen communities throughout North Carolina.

The Foundation recently made yet another commitment to community development: $4.75 million for the one-million-square-foot American Tobacco property in downtown Durham. The Foundation will lease the property to Capitol Broadcasting Company through CBC’s subsidiary the American Campus for at least 50 years. CBC is currently overseeing the renovation of the 16-acre campus.

Boylan Pearce bldg
The AJFF is currently refurbishing the Boylan Pearce building in downtown Raleigh.
Briggs building
The AJFF currently resides in the old Briggs Hardware building, another renovation project taken on by the Foundation.

The Foundation is close to concluding another renovation project in downtown Raleigh, the 90-year-old Boylan Pearce Department Store building. Next door to the the historic Briggs Hardware Building, Boylan Pearce should be ready for occupancy by the end of this year. The Foundation re-located its office to the Briggs building after it purchased and renovated the property in 1997. The Briggs project has received several awards from historic preservation organizations, as well as the “Sir Walter Raleigh” citation from the City of Raleigh for its enhancement of the downtown area.

Created by Mr. Fletcher in the early 1960’s, the Foundation generates income solely from its own endowment fund; its funding is not tied in any way to the operations of CBC.

Thanks to AJFF Executive Director Tom McGuire for helping write this capcom story.

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