Deal funds energy efficient retrofitting of landmark 111 Wall Street, former Citibank Building
Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. recently facilitated an $89 million NYC Accelerator Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loan to help Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners retrofit 111 Wall Street to be energy efficient.
It’s the largest C-PACE funding transaction in U.S. history and the first in New York City since the state Legislature established the funding structure in New York in 2009. Michael E. Lefkowitz, managing member, and Stefanie M. Graham, of counsel, with Rosenberg & Estis, P.C., both members of the firm’s Transactional Department, facilitated the deal on behalf of the property’s new owners.
The loan, which will fund energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for more than 900,000 square feet of offices at the former Citibank building, will be repaid via an annual property tax assessment. The funding will help the building comply with the stringent carbon-cutting requirements in New York City’s Local Law 97, one of 10 bills in the city’s sweeping 2019 Climate Mobilization Act.
LL97 requires over 50,000 of the city’s largest buildings to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 (and by 80 percent by 2050). New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, also passed in 2019, adds its own energy efficiency benchmarks.
The improvements at 111 Wall Street are expected to save $2.5 million in annual energy costs and help the building’s owners avoid $750,000 per year in LL97 fines alone, beginning in 2030, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
“Rosenberg & Estis is proud to have made history by facilitating the largest C-PACE loan in U.S. history and the first such deal in New York City,” said Michael E. Lefkowitz, who leads the firm’s Transactional Department. “This difference-making deal will help a landmark building in the heart of New York City’s financial district operate more cleanly and efficiently. It sets a precedent for other building owners in America’s biggest city to fund the improvements required to comply with LL97.”
“This is only the beginning of a growing trend for property owners, who will gravitate to this financing as a way to operate more cleanly and efficiently,” Graham said. “This is a powerful tool that is made on more attractive terms than traditional mezzanine debt.”