First Macomb County building to receive PACE financing to become energy (and financially) efficient

A medical office building in Clinton Township has become the first property in Macomb County to take advantage of PACE financing. PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a national program that offsets the upfront costs of energy efficiency upgrades through a special property tax assessment.

Construction will begin later this month on the Garfield Metro Building, a 20,000 sq. ft. medical office building owned by the Peleman family.

The Pelemans have obtained $249,000 in financing for the project. Over the course of a 20-year, low rate, fixed-interest loan, the Pelemans are expected to save $733,133 with a total net savings of $254,725. The Pelemans are expected to net $12,736 average annual cash flow as a result of the energy efficiency upgrades, even while paying back the loan.

Energy efficiency upgrades include the installation of LED lighting, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and high-tech system controls managed via smart phone. Sterling Heights-based companies BASS Controls and Bumler Mechanicals have been contracted for construction.

"If you look at all the medical office buildings in Macomb County, the potential is huge for future PACE projects," says Andy Levin, president of Lean & Green Michigan and managing partner of Levin Energy Partners.

Levin says he's particularly happy for Macomb, a county that was on board early with PACE.

"I hope this is just the beginning of great things to come."

PACE has helped finance numerous energy-efficiency construction projects throughout Michigan, including but not limited to manufacturers, warehouses, offices, and apartment buildings. A PACE announcement regarding a Detroit restaurant should be coming in the next week or two, Levin says.

PACE helps businesses finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that save money in the long run but require expensive investment up front. It allows property owners this ability through a special property tax assessment with local governments. The tax assessment then frees up lenders' ability to provide up to 20-year, low rate, fixed-interest loans.

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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