C-PACE Spotlight: Highlands Place II & Birchtree Shopping Center


LED Lighting

TPO Roofing Installation

Air Sealing and Insulation

HVAC System Controls

About the Project

Project investment: $1,060,000 total ($700,000 and $360,000)

Locations: Centennial and Aurora, Colorado

Key terms:

  • C-PACE: Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) is a financing structure in which building owners borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other projects and make repayments via an assessment on their property tax bill
  • Building envelope: what separates the exterior of the building from the interior, aka the shell of the building
  • TPO roofing: Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is roofing made primarily from recycled rubber in rolls that are held together by seams that are “glued” using heat
  • Pneumatic HVAC system: system that uses compressed air to receive and send the signals that control HVAC equipment

“CCEF was able to accommodate and work with us to do these improvements; otherwise, it wasn’t going to happen. We’re very grateful and thankful.”

– Alan Bruno, Vice President and Managing Partner of CentrePoint Properties

The Story

C-PACE, short for Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy, is a financing solution for building owners looking to complete energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other projects by making repayments via an assessment on their property tax bill.

Highlands Place II
Loan Amount: $700,000
Measures: LED lighting replacement, HVAC system controls

Highlands Place II is a three-story, mixed-use office building built in 1984, consisting of almost 150,000 square feet. Centrepoint Properties bought the building in Centennial, Colorado just over a year ago.

“We wanted to make some energy improvements to modernize and lease up the building,” said Alan Bruno, Vice President and Managing Partner of CentrePoint. “[We knew] that this would be a great candidate for C-PACE.”

However, Centrepoint learned through early discussions that their primary lender wasn’t very familiar with the C-PACE model. “They put a lot of constraints around what we could do, the amount, and the loan terms,” Bruno said. “That’s where you guys came in.”

CCEF is funding the installation of LED lighting for the building’s three stories as well as the garage. The C-PACE loan will also fund an HVAC system overhaul that will allow the existing pneumatic control system to be digitized and automated to increase efficiency.

For the Highlands Place II building, these improvements will reduce operating costs, resulting in a direct reduction for tenants and creating more affordable office space for small to mid-size companies in the area.

“It was a long process, and we’re grateful that CCEF stuck with us,” Bruno said.

Total project completion will take about 8-10 months.

Birchtree Shopping Center
Loan Amount: $360,000
Measures: TPO roofing installation, air sealing and insulation

Chang Jae Lee bought the Birchtree Shopping Center in Aurora, Colorado over 10 years ago. Built in 1973, the shopping center has experienced some serious problems with the outdated roof, as well as the insulation. Lee discovered C-PACE financing when he learned that the shopping center directly across from Birchtree had replaced their roofing system five years ago with C-PACE.

“Every time it rains or snows, we have leaks from the ceiling,” Lee said. “It’s affected several tenants and their businesses.”

CCEF is funding the replacement of the building’s entire roofing system for more efficient heating and cooling. The funds will also cover insulation replacement: a simple, cost-effective method of improving the operational efficiency of the building envelope.

“With this funding we expect energy savings and savings on maintenance, ” Lee said. “And [we can] minimize interruption of business.”

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