Harlem Affordable Housing Development Uses CPC Loan for Green Retrofit Program

The retrofit project should be completed within a year, but could take less time.

Cathedral Parkway Tower

New York, NY—Cathedral Parkway Towers, a two-tower complex comprised of 309 units, is one of the first properties to use a loan closed under the Community Preservation Corp.’s (CPC) Green Financing Initiative.

The $4.5 million permanent loan was provided by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York and the New York City Police Pension Fund.

Planned retrofits for the complex include lighting changes, weather-stripping, adding a condensing hot water maker, and the installation of new exterior doors, ventilation fans and five new elevator motors and equipment.

The retrofit project should be completed within a year, but could take less time, says Bruce Dale, senior vice president and regional director of the Community Preservation Corp.

The CPC’s Green Loan is a supplemental co-first permanent mortgage with the existing $35 million pension fund permanent loan. Cathedral Parkway Towers has also received an Energy Smart loan from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Weatherization Funds from the State of New York to finance cost-saving energy retrofits.

“It is a guesstimate, but these improvements should mean savings of about $250,000 a year in energy costs,” Dale says.

The Green Financing Initiative loan is a fixed-rate loan, Dale says, so interest rates should be lower than on construction loans, which are shorter term, so interest rates are higher. The rehabilitation of the elevators will likely take the longest time, since work can only be done on one or two at a time, he says.

Over the next three to five years, CPC’s goal is to lend $1 billion in first mortgages, of which $60 million will be used to energy retrofit 15,000 units in 300 apartment buildings, said Sadie McKeown, senior vice president and director of CPC’s Green Financing Initiative.

McKeown said the program should be particularly attractive to apartment owners, whose bottom lines have been hurt by the recession, and are looking for ways to save on utility costs. The CPC is getting the word out on the program by mailings, webinars and events, such as the one held on May 20th at Cathedral Parkway Towers, to celebrate the ongoing greening of the property.

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