GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 125-year-old building in Greenfield will receive $450,000 in financing for energy improvements through a new MassDevelopment program.
The first project financed under the agency’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program are renovations to the office building at 56 Bank Row in Greenfield. 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 is a 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.
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.
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, the building’s owner, is planning a ribbon cutting dedication for the building on September 8 at 11:30 a.m.
“The renovation of the Abercrombie Building rescued a blighted historic property that was structurally failing,” said Bradley McCallum. “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.”
During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.
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.