Petros Pace Finances Energy Efficiency Improvements at the Whitney


Project enabled by $863,130 C-PACE loan to save owner $2 million over 20 years

AUSTIN, TEXAS (August 21, 2017) — Petros PACE Finance has closed on an $863,130 Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loan with The New Whitney Real Estate, LLC that will fund significant energy efficiency improvements at Detroit’s most iconic mansion, The Whitney.

Constructed in 1894, the 22,000-square foot mansion was built by lumber baron David Whitney, Jr. and currently houses the popular fine dining restaurant The Whitney and the upscale lounge Ghostbar.

Property and restaurant owner Arthur “Bud” Liebler plans to invest the money in new HVAC units, LED lighting, building controls, storm windows and kitchen ranges, which together are expected to generate more than $2 million in utility and operations and maintenance savings over the 20-year term of the loan.

The project will be financed without any out-of-pocket expense to The Whitney through the Lean & Green Michigan PACE program, which allows commercial property owners to retrofit their buildings with renewable energy and energy efficient systems by borrowing money from a private lender and repaying the loan via a special assessment on their local property tax.

“Inefficient energy use and high utility costs are a common challenge for historic property owners,” said Petros CEO Mansoor Ghori. “The PACE program makes it incredibly easy for property owners to invest in energy efficiency by spreading the cost out over many years — 20 years in this case — and making the investment cash flow positive for the borrower from day one.”

Purchased by Mr. Liebler in 2007, the 52-room mansion last received a major upgrade to its mechanical systems in the 1980s.

“The PACE program gives building owners and businesses like ours an incredible opportunity to update old systems without dipping into operating funds,” Liebler said.  “You end up with an up-to-date and totally energy efficient property and have the energy savings benefits while you’re paying back the loan.  It’s a win-win for everyone.” 

This is the Wayne County C-PACE program’s first project and reflects the county’s commitment to helping existing local businesses thrive and grow.

“I am pleased Wayne County, through the C-PACE program, can help The Whitney become more efficient without our taxpayers incurring the costs,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “This is the first project in what I expect to grow into a larger effort to help our businesses become greener. My team and I are excited to connect other local businesses with PACE.”

Petros is one of the first specialty finance firms in the U.S. to dedicate all of its resources to the commercial PACE market nationwide. This is the sixth PACE loan that Petros has funded in Michigan.

“Anyone who knows Detroit knows The Whitney, which has stood sentinel on Woodward Avenue through all our ups and downs since the days of the lumber barons,” said Andy Levin, president of Lean & Green Michigan. “It is beyond gratifying to help make this gorgeous Detroit fixture a symbol of our smart, low carbon future.”

Currently available in 32 states and Washington, D.C., PACE financing makes comprehensive clean energy projects possible on a broader scale for the first time by:

  • Providing up to 100 percent financing to commercial property owners in order to fund energy efficient projects that deliver deep energy cost savings through the life of the loan.
  • Rendering a private loan into a property tax obligation and enabling lenders to grant longer terms of up to 30 years or the useful life of the upgrades.
  • Allowing commercial property owners to increase the value of their existing buildings by reducing total energy costs and increasing net operating income.

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Petros PACE Finance

Austin-based Petros PACE Finance, LLC is solely dedicated to providing long-term PACE financing to U.S. commercial property owners seeking to increase their property values and reduce their carbon footprint. The principals of Petros PACE Finance – Mansoor Ghori, Tommy Deavenport and Jim Stanislaus – have substantial experience in structured finance and lending, and bring significant value to all parties involved in the transactions in which they participate.

Media Contact: Kate Miller Morton
Phone: (512) 922-6277

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