GreenRock Capital Leads $172M C-PACE Loan for Oakland Office Building
Financing for PG&E’s global headquarters could be a harbinger of similar deals in other older properties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A $172 million Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing provided by GreenRock Capital for PG&E’s global headquarters in Oakland, Calif. could mark a blueprint for modernizing similar office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The loan, led by GreenRock in conjunction with KeyBanc Capital Markets, set a new record for the largest C-PACE deal to date on an office asset in the U.S.
The transaction for TMG Partners’ 300 Lakeside Drive property will fund a number of emergency efficiency upgrades to the 1961-constructed building, which PG&E relocated to in 2020 after more than a century in nearby San Francisco.
Chris Robbins, managing principal of GreenRock, said C-PACE could play an integral role in transforming a number of older office buildings in the Bay Area with updated green energy features.
“We’re going to see a lot more C-PACE financing utilized on these older buildings — instead of being torn down they are being modernized,” Robbins said. “You also have the health and wellness aspect issue, with tenants and employees who will now be working in much healthier and much safer buildings than what had been standing before the work was done.”
The PG&E headquarters C-PACE deal will finance various improvements to the 29-story tower including an overhaul of the heating and ventilation system, envelope sealing to enhance energy efficiency and water conservation measures. The loan will also fund a seismic retrofit to ensure the building’s resilience in case of earthquakes which often strike the Bay Area.
Matt Field, president of TMG, said in a statement that the C-PACE financing “provides a long-term source of sustainability capital” for 300 Lakeside.
Robbins said C-PACE will also play an important part in efforts to convert some obsolete office buildings into multifamily developments, especially with borrowing costs for construction loans more expensive in a higher interest rate environment. He added that the structure of C-PACE loans getting funded assessments on the parcel arms property owners with increased flexibility to pay back debt over longer horizons than traditional senior loans, which carry25- to 30-year terms in some instances.
GreenRock closes deals across the country, but the San Francisco firm is particularly invested in the Bay Area.
Robbin said San Francisco, which has seen lower office occupancy than other major cities amid increasing remote working trends, could especially benefit from C-PACE deals as the city works to undergo more office-to-residential conversions while also helping to tackle sustainability. He is now in the process of working on two office-to-multifamily conversion projects in San Francisco and in the southern Bay Area near San Jose.
“It’s well-suited capital for transitional assets, new construction and converting assets to new uses,” Robbins said. “And because of the nature of the capital what we’re tied to in terms of the scope with energy and water and resiliency it hits on a lot of the not only the city’s mandates that they have in place for a greener carbon-free built environment, but also the ESG mandates a lot of corporations have.”
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