George Smith Partners Acquires C-PACE Specialist Clearwater Capital

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Los Angeles-based George Smith Partners (GSP) has acquired New York’s Clearwater Capital Management in a move aimed at expanding its brokerage business into the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) lending space, Commercial Observer has learned.

“The acquisition of Clearwater Capital Management strategically complements our mission to broaden our capabilities and deepen our market penetration in commercial real estate finance,” Justin Piasecki, president of GSP, said in a statement released Thursday. “Clearwater’s impressive record, dominance in the C-PACE financing domain, and talented team render it a quintessential addition to our organization.”

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Since its founding in 1992, GSP has arranged $60 billion of debt and equity transactions. 

Clearwater, which was founded by Jonathan Seabolt in 2021, acquired C-PACE.com that same year as a way to gain traction with this type of financing, in which property owners pay back loans for certain qualified building upgrades through an assessment on their tax bills. Seabolt said Clearwater saw $1 billion of financing requests for C-PACE deals in 2023.

Seabolt and William Burns, who was managing director at Clearwater, will join GSP as part of the acquisition and work out of the firm’s New York City office. Burns, who prior to working at Clearwater was a senior originator at C-PACE lender North Bridge, will be senior director with the merged company. 

“Merging with George Smith Partners represents a pivotal evolution for Clearwater,” Seabolt said in a statement. “The potential this partnership unlocks promises to elevate the standard of innovation and service excellence in the realm of real estate finance.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com