MassDevelopment’s New Clean Energy Financing Program Delivers $450,000 for Energy Improvements at an Office Building in Greenfield

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GREENFIELD, Mass. – MassDevelopment has announced that Abercrombie Greenfield, LLC will receive $450,000 in financing for energy improvements to its office building at 56 Bank Row in Greenfield, the first project financed under the agency’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program.

Through PACE Massachusetts, capital provider Greenworks Lending from Nuveen will provide financing for a range of energy upgrades that were installed to the building, including  efficient electrification of space heating, energy recovery ventilation, LED lighting and controls, improvements to windows and insulation, and a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof. This financing will be repaid via a betterment assessment on the property.

“PACE Massachusetts stands to be a key financing tool for making commercial properties more energy efficient,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “These efforts will benefit the Commonwealth and its communities by creating jobs, reducing energy consumption, and making progress towards Massachusetts’ clean energy goals.”

“Energy upgrades at 56 Bank Row are the first to be financed under PACE Massachusetts, and we encourage property owners throughout the Commonwealth to consider how this flexible, long-term financing tool can help them tackle an energy-improvement project,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Congratulations to building owner Bradley McCallum, capital provider Greenworks Lending from Nuveen, and the City of Greenfield, which was one of the first communities to opt into PACE Massachusetts and enable property owners in the community to take advantage of the program.”

Launched in July 2020, PACE Massachusetts is a new long-term option for financing energy improvements to commercial and industrial buildings, multifamily properties with five-plus units, and buildings owned by nonprofits. The program enables commercial property owners to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects by agreeing to a betterment assessment on their property, which repays the financing. Offering more flexibility than a direct loan, PACE Massachusetts allows property owners to undertake comprehensive energy upgrades without adding new debt to their balance sheet and through longer financing terms of up to 20 years. MassDevelopment administers PACE Massachusetts in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). More information about the program is available at massdevelopment.com/PACE.

“DOER commends PACE’s first approved project for its commitment to comprehensive energy improvements and building electrification using heat pumps,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “As the number of municipalities opting into PACE grows, we look forward to having more commercial properties take advantage of this program to finance renovations and retrofits to help meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.”

Massachusetts cities and towns are required to opt into PACE Massachusetts by a majority vote of the city or town council or the board of selectmen, as appropriate, in order for a property within that municipality to be eligible for the program. Forty-seven cities and towns have opted in; the City of Greenfield was one of the earliest to do so in April 2018.

“This historic PACE financing for the complete energy efficiency renovation of an underutilized building on Bank Row joins many energy efficiency ‘firsts’ accomplishments in our city since we became the first Green Community in Massachusetts in 2010,” said Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. “It’s a legacy we should all take pride in and continue to support.”

Built in 1896, 56 Bank Row is a 12,696-square-foot office building. The energy improvements are projected to save 189,000 kWh from the grid annually compared to a building built to current Massachusetts energy efficiency code. This equates to a 28% overall reduction. Bradley McCallum is planning a ribbon cutting dedication for the building on September 8 at 11:30 a.m.

“Greenworks Lending from Nuveen is very proud to have worked with MassDevelopment to bring financing for Massachusetts’s first C-PACE project at 56 Bank Row,” said Greenworks Lending from Nuveen CEO and President Jessica Bailey. “We hope that this is the first of many C-PACE projects to come with MassDevelopment as we work together to bring financial and environmental benefits to local businesses and communities in Massachusetts.”

“The renovation of the Abercrombie Building rescued a blighted historic property that was structurally failing,” said Bradley McCallum, owner of 56 Bank Row. “The project combines factors including a long-term lease with the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, state and federal historic tax credits, an innovative design by Tom Douglas Architects, and a committed contractor, Mowery & Schmidt, and their team of sub-contractors. Thanks to this team we were able to transform the bones of this historic structure into a vibrant resource for the City of Greenfield. As with projects of this ambition and scale we faced cost overruns and one of the positive contributions that PACE Massachusetts provides Abercrombie Greenfield is the ability to retroactively refinance key energy efficiency investments that we made and consolidate the outstanding bridge financing and private loans into a fixed 20-year repayment structure, providing credit beyond the 80% LTV, which our primary mortgage with Berkshire Bank is capped at. Berkshire Bank, which is our tax credit investor and lender has worked in partnership with Abercrombie Greenfield to secure our PACE Massachusetts financing.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy.

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