COLORADO SPRINGS — Local builders will have greater access to financing for energy-efficient upgrades.
Last week, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to make Colorado’s Commercial Property-Rated Clean Energy Program — or C-PACE — available in the county.
The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation led the advocacy to implement the program which is a financial incentive for owners of commercial and industrial buildings. C-PACE loans help finance up to 100% of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades that make their properties more efficient, more comfortable and more valuable.
“C-PACE is a really cool program that incentivizes companies that can’t afford to work with certain contractors or capitalize on projects like they would for these green standards. C-PACE provides that bridge to be able to be part of your capital provides another funding opportunity,” said Nate Grimm, co-founder and chief financial officer of Kinship Landing.
He is one of many business owners looking forward to the new opportunities the program will bring.
“Some really great financing options, at a great rate, with good terms and long-term amortization. It encourages these new projects as well as old projects that are participating to be able to seek additional financing,” Grimm said. “One of the reasons why we looked at it was because it was really difficult to fund Kinship. There’s a lending environment in Colorado Springs that doesn’t always lend itself to innovative projects,” Grimm said.
Grimm says the C-PACE loan program would change that.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a boutique hotel or a flag. It’s there for a purpose, and it’s not a purpose to play not to lose for a lending institution,” Grimm said.
Kinship Landing was unable to participate in C-PACE as it was not yet available in El Paso County.
“Each county has to participate in the program. When we were looking for funding, they hadn’t participated yet. The resolution that just came out hadn’t come out yet. So the business community
was trying to get things done, talking to the city and the county. Unfortunately, it took a bit longer and we couldn’t participate,” said Grimm.
C-PACE could not only help them, but also other members of the community.
“The energy-efficient improvements made by the C-PACE program reduce utility bills for owners and tenants, make the building more comfortable and significantly improve the value of our housing stock in the community,” said Rachel Beck, Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC.
The commercial building umbrella includes non-profit and affordable housing projects.
“It’s getting expensive to build and redevelop in Colorado Springs. C-Pace is a financial tool that helps make those numbers work for people building a new building, people renovating an older building that may not be as efficient, or people trying to get housing projects together and keep the price down. It’s really going to help projects across the community, and it’s going to mean the buildings in our community are of higher quality,” said Beck.
“We have many buildings in town that need updating and upgrading to current standards. Whether they wanted to turn them into usable commercial buildings or other types of commercial spaces, their hands were kinda tied because it’s so expensive to upgrade the HVAC, electrical and lighting systems. All of a sudden, in our legislative environment as well, a lot of these upgrades are needed, but they’re not being funded,” said Cami Bremer of the El Paso County Board of Commissioners.
“We’re growing, we’re feeling some growing pains, and we can’t be this traditional homebuilder-focused city for the long term. People want to live downtown, so there will be multi-family housing injection projects and hospitality coming in. We’re seeing that with the Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Place, Marriott Springhill Suites and our property, and if we’re going to have that welcoming environment downtown, we’re going to have to seek out some of these innovative projects. lending environment needs to change and we’re going to see growing pains with that as they take on more risk,” Grimm said.
Financing is provided by private capital providers at competitive rates and can be repaid over a period of up to 25 years. To learn more, visit this website.