DA’s office building getting $450K for energy improvements

  • The building that houses the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office at 56 Bank Row in Greenfield will benefit from $450,000 in financing for energy improvements as the first project funded under MassDevelopment’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The building that houses the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office at 56 Bank Row in Greenfield will benefit from $450,000 in financing for energy improvements as the first project funded under MassDevelopment’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/13/2021 3:23:19 PM

GREENFIELD — The building that houses the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office at 56 Bank Row will benefit from $450,000 in financing for energy improvements as the first project funded under MassDevelopment’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program.

MassDevelopment announced earlier this week that Abercrombie Greenfield LLC will receive the money for its 12,696-square-foot office building across the street from the John W. Olver Transit Center. The energy improvements are projected to save 189,000 kilowatt-hours from the grid each year, which equates to a 28% overall reduction. The building was constructed in 1896.

“The renovation of the Abercrombie Building rescued a blighted historic property that was structurally failing,” Bradley McCallum, owner of 56 Bank Row, said in a statement from MassDevelopment. “The project combines factors including a long-term lease with the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, state and federal historic tax credits, an innovative design by Tom Douglas Architects and a committed contractor, Mowry & Schmidt, and their team of sub-contractors. Thanks to this team, we were able to transform the bones of this historic structure into a vibrant resource for the city of Greenfield.

“As with projects of this ambition and scale,” he continued, “we faced cost overruns, and one of the positive contributions that PACE Massachusetts provides Abercrombie Greenfield is the ability to retroactively refinance key energy efficiency investments that we made and consolidate the outstanding bridge financing and private loans into a fixed 20-year repayment structure.”

McCallum said Berkshire Bank is Abercrombie Greenfield’s tax credit investor and lender. Berkshire Bank worked in partnership with the limited-liability company to secure the PACE Massachusetts financing.

Through PACE Massachusetts, the capital provider Greenworks Lending, from Nuveen, will provide financing for various energy upgrades that were installed to the building, including efficient electrification of space heating, energy recovery ventilation, LED lighting and controls, improvements to windows and insulation, and a solar photovoltaic system on the roof. This financing will be repaid via a betterment assessment on the property.

“Our DA offices on Bank Row fit our needs perfectly. We are pleased to be in a space so close to the Franklin County Justice Center that accommodates so well our team of lawyers, victim-witness advocates, police investigators and our support staff,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan commented. “It is an honor to be in a historic building that leads the way in energy efficiency. This PACE grant allowed for a partnership between the state’s Department of Energy Resources and a local development team, all while reducing our carbon footprint.”

Massachusetts cities and towns are required to opt into PACE Massachusetts by a majority vote of the city or town council or the selectboard. According to MassDevelopment, 47 cities and towns have opted in; Greenfield was one of the earliest to do so, in April 2018.

“This historic PACE financing for the complete energy efficiency renovation of an underutilized building on Bank Row joins many energy efficiency ‘firsts’ accomplishments in our city,” said Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. “It’s a legacy we should all take pride in and continue to support.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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