First Project Financed through PACE Massachusetts Program

56 Bank Row / Photo courtesy of Bradley McCallum

Greenfield, MA – 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.

Built in 1896, 56 Bank Row is a 12,696sf 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 Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m.

“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.”

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 or more 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).

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.

“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. ”