June 28, 2019

Brown’s Arcade: An Innovative C-PACE Project in the City of Baltimore

The owners of the historic Brown’s Arcade use C-PACE financing to preserve one the City of Baltimore’s most iconic addresses.

BALTIMORE, Md. – The MD-PACE program is proud to announce that the City of Baltimore has executed another commercial property assessed (C-PACE) financing project with a building of immense importance and historical significance: Brown’s Arcade, located in downtown Baltimore at 322-328 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.

C-PACE financing is a property-backed financing mechanism which covers the costs of implementing energy efficiency improvements. It is a source of private capital that commercial property owners use to fund these projects, which they are then able to repay through the property tax bill. C-PACE financing is available through the MD-PACE program, which is sponsored by the Maryland Clean Energy Center and administered by PACE Financial Servicing, both of which continue to make tremendous impacts on bettering the Maryland’s physical and economic environments.

Brown’s Arcade is currently a mixed-use commercial building encompassing both retail and business offices. It was constructed in the 18th century and is therefore listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, but this is not the only thing that makes it so unique. It is the only building of its kind left in the City of Baltimore, and the last known building of its kind in the state. Its historic roots shine through in embellished Colonial Revival details, which help to keep the history of Baltimore alive. C-PACE allowed for energy efficiency improvements that will help Brown’s Arcade thrive for years to come.

According to Kelvin Fu, a Partner and Co-Founder at GL Capital, LLC, a local real estate investor and developer focused on multifamily, student housing and mixed-used properties, “We are very excited about this opportunity to re-position and transform this historic building with new retail concepts and multifamily apartments in downtown Baltimore alongside our recent acquisition of Brown’s Loft which sits on the same 300 block of N Charles Street. This is our first time utilizing C-PACE and we are delighted to have this building take part in such an extensive improvement, as it will function better and more efficiently, and allow for a cleaner, healthier environment. We could not have done this without the support of FVC Bank and Greenworks Lending. I am looking forward to seeing what else C-PACE will be able to provide in continuing these improvements across Maryland.”

This historic gem in the middle of Baltimore’s metropolitan area illustrates the impressive possibilities of C-PACE, which financed numerous energy efficient upgrades. These upgrades included water conservation measures, building enclosure improvements, lighting replacements, and new automated building & HVAC controls. The combination of new LED lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures, increased wall insulation, and new air handling units all contribute to this building’s new path of clean energy utilization, and significant energy bill savings.

This project was made possible by Greenworks Lending, one of the several nationally active C-PACE capital providers. Through C-PACE financing, these capital providers can provide 100% funding of eligible measures, competitive rates, and loan terms up to 20-30 years which allow for energy efficient development to occur. Their services allow for these C-PACE projects to transpire, leading to more jobs, a healthier environment, and increased economic activity.

Brown’s Arcade marks the 24th C-PACE project in Maryland, leading to a more sustainable future for the state’s building stock. The historic aspects of this building allow for the recognition of how mixing the past with the today’s technologies can showcase innovation at it’s finest.