Hatchery Road Apts. in Waterford Get PACE Funding for Green Features

Hatchery Road Apts. in Waterford Get PACE Funding for Green Features

(Oakland County Board of Commissioners, Aug. 4, 2018)

June 15, 2018, Pontiac, Mich. – Trademark Building Co. Inc., a Waterford Township based developer and property management company, has successfully secured capital from Greenworks Lending through the first PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) project in Waterford Township at the Hatchery Road Apartments. While the project – an energy saving retrofit – is relatively modest in terms of dollars, requiring approximately $124K in financing, it is a transformative opportunity for the small, multi-family apartment building. It is also historic because it is the first PACE project completed in partnership with Oakland County government. Oakland County leadership created a countywide PACE district in November 2016 by joining the statewide Lean & Green Michigan™ PACE program.

“I am pleased and proud that the first Oakland County PACE financing project has been completed in my district,” said Commissioner Eileen Kowall, who represents Waterford Township. “PACE financing overcomes the obstacle of significant up-front energy efficiency costs by allowing property owners to finance these projects through a property tax special assessment spread over many years. This program helps revitalize our communities by making possible the renewal of existing buildings that might otherwise fall into disrepair. And, the most efficient, cost-effective energy is that which is not used!”

“Oakland County continues to work to find innovative ways to help local companies best leverage their assets in the interest of their growth and business opportunities, while simultaneously encouraging them to take steps to preserve and protect the environment,” said Board Chairman Michael J. Gingell. “It was with this goal in mind that we instituted a countywide PACE district, and I am pleased to see Hatchery Road Apartments take advantage of this program. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this new project.”

When Trademark acquired the building, most of its equipment was nearing the end of its lifespan. PACE financing provided long-term, low-cost capital for a wide range of efficiency improvements, including new furnaces and a new air conditioning system, interior and exterior LED lighting, and efficient toilets, shower heads and other water fixtures.

Tony McGukin, Principal of Trademark Building Co. Inc. and Owner of 5941 Hatchery Lane, stated, “This program allowed me to update the building, give the tenants a better life, lower utility bills, and reduce our impact on the environment. We’ve changed the culture of the building for the residents by making these improvements.”

Energy inefficiency accounts for up to 30% of utility costs paid by commercial building owners, but energy projects to make properties more efficient often require significant up-front capital and require years to achieve profitability. PACE programs across the country allow property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects via a property tax special assessment. Since Oakland County will enforce the PACE assessment just like any other property tax obligation, lenders are willing to provide fixed-interest loans with terms of up to 25 years. The result is 100% financing to facilitate energy-saving projects. These projects create good jobs and upgrade building stock, which can increase the local tax base over time, while simultaneously helping to green the community.

Genevieve Rose Sherman, Head of New Markets and Partnerships for Greenworks Lending, explained how pivotal this project was. “This first project opens doors for Greenworks Lending to finance new projects throughout Oakland County and Michigan. The Trademark project sets an example for similar multifamily property owners, meanwhile Greenworks Lending and Lean & Green Michigan are working to ensure that commercial property owners of all types and portfolio size become familiar with the benefits of commercial PACE.”

Lean & Green Michigan™ helps commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners take advantage of PACE to finance energy projects, eliminate waste and save money through long-term financing solutions that make energy projects profitable. It is a public-private partnership that works with local governments, contractors, property owners and lenders to invigorate Michigan’s PACE statute with a market-based approach to energy finance and economic development. For more information about Lean & Green Michigan™, please visit their website at www.leanandgreenmi.com

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