Former home of Belen’s Flowers gets a new lease on life!
Farmington Hills, Mich. Newman Consulting Group, LLC, is pleased to announce that they have completed financing for the first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) project in Ingham County, Mich. PACE financing is a relatively new option in Michigan that allows building owners to finance energy efficiency upgrades (HVAC, windows, lighting, insulation, etc.) with long-term, low-cost financing. PACE works for new build or renovations of existing buildings.
Vesta Builders (515 Ionia LLC) initiated the rehabilitation of two blighted buildings located two blocks from the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing and contacted NCG to help with the PACE financing. An iconic landmark formerly known as Belen's Flowers, the pair of mid-1920s buildings is being converted into ‘energy efficient’ new office/retail space on the street level with six multifamily units on the upper level.
Additionally, thanks to the Lean & Green Michigan PACE program and other respective PACE partners that made this project possible, this new building will include exciting energy conservation features such as an electric vehicle charger, solar panels, and high efficiency HVAC upgrades, all while maintaining the historical charm of the buildings.
“It feels so good to have done our first, of likely many, PACE projects," said Ingham County Treasurer, Eric Schertzing, "And how fitting that this breathes new life into the Belen Building. Lucile Belen and her mother Elizabeth were pioneering leaders in politics and business in our community. I know Lucile will be smiling down and watching her building be repurposed for the future.”
Jim Newman, managing partner of Newman Consulting Group, said, “Commercial building owners in the US spend over $200 billion per year on utilities, yet 30% of this is wasted due to inefficiency. Almost every building that is over ten years old can benefit from energy efficiency upgrades that often result in 15 - 40% energy savings.” The energy projects that could make these buildings more energy efficient often require a large amount of up-front capital and take many years to achieve profitability. Commercial loans typically have a tenor of 3-5 years, making the annual repayment greater than the energy savings. PACE changes all this by allowing property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects via a property tax special assessment. Essentially, a building owner uses the money they save to finance the project.
Ingham County’s elected leaders created a countywide PACE district in April 2013 by joining the statewide PACE program. Since the County will enforce the PACE assessment just like any other property tax obligation, lenders feel secure in providing fixed-interest loans with terms of up to 25 years. The result is 100% financing to facilitate energy-saving projects. In addition, these projects create good jobs, and communities upgrade their building stock, increasing the local tax base over time.
Project Quick Stats:
• PACE district: Ingham County
• Property owner: 515 Ionia LLC
• PACE Administrator: Lean & Green Michigan
• PACE lender: CounterpointeSRE
• Amount financed: $247,829
• Project term: 20 years
• Net 20 year savings: $267,457
Energy conservation measures:
● 4-kw of solar power
● High-efficiency windows
● Installation of an electric vehicle charger
● Installation of a 4.4kw Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system
● Boiler upgrade
● Energy efficient appliances
● LED lighting/switch sensors
Impact: Reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to eliminating the energy use of 11.2 homes for each of the 20 years of the project.
This project serves as a great example for how PACE projects of all sizes can create meaningful energy savings while decreasing our carbon footprint.