CREJ C-PACE Conference Coming

C-PACE
CREJ-sponsored C-PACE conference coming on Feb. 20.

PACE yourself. More precisely, C-PACE your existing or new commercial real estate building through Colorado’s C-PACE program.

C-PACE provides an attractive financing option packaged with helping the environment.

C-PACE is an acronym for the Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.

That’s quite a mouthful, which explains why it is better known as C-PACE.

C-PACE is a public-private program that facilitates financing for energy and water improvements.

CREJ C-PACE Conference

From noon until 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 20, some of the biggest players in C-PACE will participate in a conference sponsored by the Colorado Real Estate Journal. The conference will immediately follow the 16th annual Property Management conference, also sponsored by CREJ.

Stuart Ogilvie, one of the panel members at the CREJ conference, so far has used C-PACE on four buildings.

“I don’t want to be the poster child for it,” said Ogilvie, president of Denver-based Ogilvie Properties Inc.

“It is just useful for our type of projects,” said Ogilvie, one of about two dozen experts participating in the CREJ C-PACE conference.

“We are value-add players, and often it is hard to make long-term investments and get a payback,” he explained.

C-PACE: 46 percent energy improvement

Late last year, Ogilvie Properties and Integro – also represented at the CREJ conference – unveiled C-PACE improvements to a CubeSmart self-storage building at 1090 W. Hampden Ave., anticipated to cut the building’s energy use by 46 percent.

Energy improvements include installing LED lighting, a new insulated roof and adding a 189-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, as well as upgrades to the HVAC system.

FirstBank, which also is participating in the CREJ conference, funded the $1.18 million loan through the C-PACE program.

C-PACE

This CubeSmart self-storage facility will be loaded with green features, thanks to C-PACE.

C-PACE provides long-term financing that covers 100 percent of the project cost and is repaid over a period of up to 25 years. The payments are structured as a regular line item on the property tax bill.

When a property is sold, the C-PACE assessment can stay with the property and transfer to the new owner, who enjoys the ongoing utility cost savings associated with the project.

That is valuable to a company like Ogilvie Properties, which typically holds a property for one to five years.

C-PACE good policy, good sense

C-PACE, Ogilvie said, “is really good public policy that makes good private business sense. It basically turns saved energy costs that normally would go to your utility and builds a good return that goes into capital improvements.”

As an added bonus, the improvements are good for the environment.

“First and foremost, I am beholden to my investors,” Ogilvie said.

“No.1, it has to make good business sense. Second of all, it is good policy to help the environment. Whenever you can help the environment, it obviously is great. C-PACE really packs a good one-two punch.”

The conference will immediately follow the 16th annual Property Management Conference, also sponsored by CREJ.

Both conferences will be at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center.

Experts participating in the C-PACE conference include:

  • Grant Nelson – principal, Integro Strategic Finance;
  • Jeffrey King – program manager, Colorado Energy Office;
  • Katrina Managan – energy efficient buildings lead, city and county of Denver;
  • Blair Madden-Bui – CEO, John Madden Co.
  • Joe Janes – vice president, Ally Energy Solutions LLC;
  • Sean Ribble – senior vice president, ANB Bank;
  • Jared Flagg – managing director, asset management, SilverWest Hotels LLC;
  • Keirstin Beck – principal, Integro Strategic Finance;
  • Jim Neenan – president and chief operating officer, Prime West Development Inc.;
  • Stuart Ogilvie

    Jonathan Bush – principal, LCP Development;

  • Ken Whitelam – senior vice president, commercial lending, Independent Bank;
  • Paul Scharfenberger – CFO/COO, Iconergy;
  • Pat Ayau – founding principal, Lee West LA;
  • Susan Rice – director business services, Bellco Credit Union;
  • RJ McArthur, CPA – partner, Plante Moran;
  • Chad Lembeck – president, Next Step Energy Solutions;
  • Lisa Tames – senior vice president, Energy Services, Banc of America Public Capital Corp.
  • Tony Giarratano – senior vice president, FirstBank;
  • Marcus McAskin – partner, Michow Cox & McAskin;
  • Celeste Cizik – existing building team leader, Group14 Engineering, Inc.;
  • Chad Lembeck – president, Next Step Energy Solutions;
  • Lisa Tames – senior vice president, Energy Services, Banc of America Public Capital Corp.;
  • Tony Giarratano – senior vice president, FirstBank and;
  • Marcus McAskin – partner, Michow Cox & McAskin.

Wide-ranging topics at CREJ event

Topics will include:

  • An overview of C-PACE from the state office that oversees the program,
  • A perspective on Denver’s Green Roof initiative,
  • C-PACE asset classes,
  • New construction,
  • Economic and tax benefits and
  • How to move your project forward and assemble your team.

C-PACE financing is available for new heating/cooling systems, lighting, water pumps, insulation and renewable energy projects for commercial properties.

Energy savings can be significant.

$385,000 in annual savings

For example, a year ago, the John Madden Co. and partners including Integro and Bellco – three participants in the CREJ conference – kicked off a $7.1 million energy retrofit of two, six-story office buildings in Greenwood Village’s Fiddler’s Green Center.

The C-PACE financed improvements were anticipated to save $385,000 annually in energy and maintenance cost – a 30 percent savings.

So far, C-PACE has facilitated $32.8 million in financing for 35 projects in Colorado. That produced annual energy savings of a combined 53.22 million kilowatts and British thermal units.

Statewide, the C-PACE program also has created 664 jobs.

Of the $32.8 million, $19.9 million, or 60.7 percent, has been invested in energy efficiency improvements.

And the $17.3 million invested in energy savings in offices through C-PACE dwarfed all other asset class investment.

C-PACE office investments totaled more than C-PACE funded improvements combined for hospitality, mixed-use, industrial and health care.

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

John Rebchook has been taking the pulse of the Denver-area and Colorado commercial real estate world for almost 35 years. He joined the editorial staff of CREJ in 2011. Prior to that, he was the Real Estate Editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1983 until it closed in 2009.