News - Page 255

Federal Court Finds Ameren Violated the Clean Air Act at Rush Island Coal Plant

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On January 23, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a decision holding Ameren Missouri liable for violations of the Clean Air Act at its Rush Island coal plant in Jefferson County, Missouri.

On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Ameren in 2011 for violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review provisions after Ameren made major upgrades to boilers at the 41-year old Rush Island plant.  Those upgrades significantly increased emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2).  Ameren should have applied for a permit for those upgrades, which would have required it to install pollution controls to reduce SO2 emissions.

“This is the latest example of Ameren thumbing its nose at the law and prioritizing profit over public health,” said Andy Knott, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Missouri. “Ameren has violated the Clean Air Act and continues to rely on old, outdated coal plants instead of cleaning them up or investing in cheap, clean energy that also creates jobs.”

Short-term exposure to SO2 can harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult. Children, the elderly, and those who suffer from asthma are particularly sensitive to effects of SO2.  SO2 emissions can also lead to formation of small particles in the air.  These particles may penetrate deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs and cause additional health problems.  A 2010 report by the Clean Air Task Force estimated that air pollution from the Rush Island plan contributes to 40 premature deaths, 61 heart attacks and 670 asthma attacks per year.

Chief Judge Rodney Sippel’s order states:  “I conclude the United States has established that Ameren should have expected, and did expect, the projects at Rush Island to increase unit availability…which enabled Ameren to run its units more, generate more electricity, and emit significantly more pollution….As a result, I conclude that the United States has established by a preponderance of the evidence that Ameren violated…the Clean Air Act.”  Judge Sippel also stated that he would be be entering a finding of liability against Ameren in the case and would set a status conference to establish remedies to the violations.

In 2013, EPA determined that portions of Jefferson County including the Rush Island plant failed to meet the public health standard for SO2 pollution. Rush Island is the largest source of SO2 pollution in the area, and it has no SO2 pollution controls.  Air quality modeling by Sierra Club and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has indicated that the Rush Island plant contributes to unhealthy air quality in the area.  Last month, Sierra Club urged EPA to reject Missouri DNR’s inadequate plan to bring the area into compliance and issue a federal plan to do so.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters

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Guarantee Electrical Company Completes New State-of-the-Art Recreation Center in O’Fallon, IL

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Student Athletes at McKendree University, Southern Illinois IceHawks youth hockey organization and the general public now have a new recreation center to call home in O’Fallon, IL.  The McKendree Metro Rec Plex recently opened to the McKendree University men’s & women’s hockey teams, giving them a new facility to call “home ice”. 

Soon the school’s swimming, diving, and water polo teams will likewise be calling the recreation center home in their Olympic and NCAA Championship caliber natatorium.  In total, the 160,000 square foot facility features two NHL-sized ice rinks, an aquatic center fit with a 10 lane championship swimming pool, a separate recreational pool, a contemporary fitness area including a half court gym, elevated walking track, free weights, cardio equipment, and many other amenities such as party room and conference facilities.  With more than two years of planning and design for the facility, the McKendree Metro Rec Plex will anchor the larger development on the 45 acre site known as The Four Points Center consisting of retail, hospitality, and professional office space.
 


Guarantee Electrical Company was instrumental in value engineering and identifying cost saving opportunities on the original electrical design.  This allowed the developer to recognize substantial savings towards the overall cost of the project.  For its part, GECO was the turnkey electrical contractor on the project providing all site civil electrical work, including rough-in for Ameren’s underground utility distribution and site lighting throughout the development; the electrical construction contractor on the building responsible for installing new switchgear, both normal and emergency power, providing a combined 5000 amp 480 volt service to the building through two incoming services; and the systems electrical contractor providing all fire alarm and control wiring for the Cimco ice equipment.  The entire facility comprises energy efficient LED lighting and lighting controls throughout.    

 

This project is very important to not only O’Fallon, IL but the surrounding communities and region for several reasons.  In addition to providing a new home for both youth and collegiate organizations, the public ice rink fills a void left from the indefinite closing of a Fairview Heights Ice Rink in 2012 and also provides a new fitness center for the general public including personal trainers, daycare and much more.

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City Resumes Planning Process For Maryland Park Lake District Development Area, Establishes Stakeholder Advisory Committee

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The City of Maryland Heights has resumed the planning process for approximately 2,000 acres of land in the Maryland Park Lake District after development proposals received last year did not meet the City’s vision for the area.  As part of this process, the City has established a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of regulatory and planning agencies with jurisdiction over the area — plus major property owners — to work in partnership with City staff and its Economic Development and Planning Commissions in the preparation of the area’s development plan.

“The City’s vision of a regional sports, entertainment, hospitality and specialty retail destination with lots of open space and water features in the Maryland Park Lake District remains intact,” said Jim Krischke, City Administrator.  “What has changed is that the City is now implementing its own fully integrated planning process with the involvement of all our stakeholders instead of relying on developers to do this.  Once the plan is completed, developers can propose specific projects that fit directly into our master plan.  This is a proactive, holistic approach that balances the needs of the community with the desires of developers.”

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will consist of representatives from St. Louis County, Howard Bend Levee District, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, Bi-State Development, Great Rivers Greenway, the Parkway and Pattonville School Districts, Pattonville and Monarch Fire Protection Districts, Creve Coeur Airport, Riverport Business Park, Hollywood Casino and McBride Homes. The committee will provide comment and recommendations for the City to consider on a wide range of issues as a final plan for the area is prepared and approved. Committee meetings will be open to the public, and the public will be able to submit written comments to the Committee through the Maryland Park Lake District website once the Committee begins its work.

The Committee is tentatively scheduled to hold its first public meeting in March, with additional meetings held as determined by the Committee. The City anticipates its plans for the Maryland Park Lake District will be completed by late 2017.  At that point, the City will consider soliciting proposals from qualified developers to build and operate specific parts of the plan.

“Our partnership with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee provides the City access to the best expertise and planning tools available to make the Maryland Park Lake District the best it can be,” said Wayne Oldroyd, Community Development Director for the City.  “While there will always be concerns about any re-use of this area, we believe the greater public good will be served by making this area a premier catalyst for regional growth and development. And with all key stakeholders at the table, we believe the public will get behind our approach and our vision for this area.”

For more information, visit www.mplakedistrict.com.

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SLCCC Inclusion Award Nominations

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Nominations are open for the 2017 Inclusion Awards.  These awards recognize the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the design and construction industry.  Awards are presented for:

  • Inclusion Champion
  • Minority / Woman / Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
  • Organizational Excellence for Inclusion

Nominations are due by January 20, 2017 to St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers, 180 Weidman Road, Suite 127, Manchester, MO  63021.  Winners will be announced at the  Annual Awards Gala program on Monday, March 6, 2017.

Inclusion Champion

Criteria:  Your nominee could be a project manager, office staff, client, customer or other colleague who has made a significant contribution or effort to promote inclusion . . . perhaps a new idea, activity or program that promotes greater use of women or minorities on a project or enhances the use of women or minority owned firms.  (You may nominate yourself or another person.)

Provide a summary of the nominee’s contributions or efforts (e.g. 1 page).  How has the person promoted inclusion?  What programs has the person supported and by what means (e.g. financially, personally …)?

Explain ways the person encourages inclusive participation.  Provide metrics:

  • Outreach
  • Work force development
  • Mentoring
  • Retention
  • Project with quantified results.  What were they?

Why should this person be selected?  (If nominating someone else for whom you cannot provide details, SLCCC can contact the nominee for information.)

Get this Nomination Form

 

Minority / Woman / Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

Criteria:  Nominate a Minority, Woman or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firm or supplier for excellence based on their understanding and efforts to apply one of the construction industry best practices.  Currently 17 Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) are:

  • Advanced Work Packaging
  • Alignment
  • Benchmarking & Metrics
  • Change Management
  • Constructability
  • Disputes Prevention & Resolution
  • Front End Planning
  • Implementation of CII Research
  • Lessons Learned
  • Materials Management
  • Partnering
  • Planning for Modularization
  • Planning for Startup
  • Project Risk Assessment
  • Quality Management
  • Team Building
  • Zero Accident Techniques

Get this Nomination Form

 

Organizational Excellence for Inclusion

Criteria:  Complete the nomination form to nominate a corporation, organization or other institution.  Include responses on a separate page.  You may supplement your nominations with photos, graphs and testimonials, but please attach no more that two (2) additional pages.   You may nominate your own organization or another organization.

How has the organization promoted inclusion?  What programs has the organization supported and by what means (e.g. financially, mentoring, other resources …)?  Explain other ways the firm encourages inclusive participation.  Provide metrics:

  • Outreach
  • Work force development
  • Mentoring
  • Retention
  • Project with quantified results.  What were they?

Get this Nomination Form

 

Return forms by January 20, 2017 to:

ST. LOUIS COUNCIL OF CONSTRUCTION CONSUMERS

180 Weidman Road, Suite 127

Manchester, MO  63021-5724

Phone     636-394-6200    Fax   636-394-9641

E-mail      info@slccc.net

Visit us on the web at  www.slccc.net

 

Save the Date

Annual  Awards Gala

Best Practices and Diversity Inclusion Awards

5:30 – 9:00 pm

Monday, March 6, 2017

 

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McCarthy Completes Construction of Delbert Day Cancer Institute at Phelps County Regional Medical Center

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Use of Lean construction techniques helped the team improve efficiencies
and minimize campus disruption

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has completed construction of the Delbert Day Cancer Institute, a comprehensive cancer care facility on the campus of Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Mo. The 37,000-square-foot facility occupies the first two levels of the new, four-story, 100,470-square-foot building constructed by McCarthy.

Located at the north side of the main hospital campus, the $31.3 million building is connected to an adjacent medical office building via a pedestrian bridge. The new facility includes more than 63,000 square feet of shelled medical office space to accommodate future tenants.

Equipped with the latest cancer treatment technologies and amenities for patients and families, the Delbert Day Cancer Institute houses radiation therapies, PET C/T, nuclear medicine, infusion therapy, medical oncology, and supporting lab and pharmacy ancillary services. The first floor, which opens to an exterior healing garden, includes a lobby and registration area, retail space, a health café, education space and a community center. On the second floor, infusion services and a medical oncology clinic offer scenic views of the building’s green roof.

“Building on an active hospital campus is always challenging, and the McCarthy team worked closely with our staff to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff was always top-of-mind. We are thankful to have them as our building partner,” says Bill Leaders, administrative director of facility and support services for Phelps County Regional Medical Center.

To optimize efficiency, the project team employed Lean construction techniques, including the construction of prefabricated mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) systems directly from the BIM model to reduce site waste.

McCarthy also leveraged advanced construction technologies, including a semi-automated robotic mason to enhance the efficiency of bricklaying. To generate the unique geometry of the prefabricated curtain-wall system and prefabricated MEP systems, the team used a robotic layout.

The building also was the first in the Midwest region to use the Peri Maximo formwork system, designed to increase productivity on continuous pours for self-performed concrete.

“This project is a testament to the power of teamwork, efficiency and innovation,” says Justin Decker, project manager of McCarthy. “We are proud to help bring this important facility to the Rolla community.”

BSA LifeStructures designed the building.

The Delbert Day Cancer Institute began treating patients in January 2017.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has been setting the industry standard in healthcare construction for over a century. Consistently ranked as a top healthcare builder by Modern Healthcare and Engineering News-Review, McCarthy has constructed more than 800 significant healthcare facilities and renovated thousands more.

Photo courtesy of  Sam Fentress, McCarthy Building Companies and BSA LifeStructures.

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Architecture Billings Index Ends Year on Positive Note

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Architecture firms close 2016 with the strongest performance of the year

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) concluded the year in positive terrain, with the December reading capping off three straight months of growth in design billings. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 55.9, up sharply from 50.6 in the previous month. This score reflects the largest increase in design services in 2016 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.2, down from a reading of 59.5 the previous month.

The sharp upturn in design activity as we wind down the year is certainly encouraging. This bodes well for the design and construction sector as we enter the new year”,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, December is an atypical month for interpreting trends, so the coming months will tell us a lot more about conditions that the industry is likely to see in 2017.”

Key December ABI highlights: 

  • Regional averages: Midwest (54.4), Northeast (54.0), South (53.8), West (48.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.3), institutional (53.3), mixed practice (51.9), multi-family residential (50.6)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.2
  • Design contracts index: 51.2

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI.  These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months.

The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on the AIA web site.

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

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2 Years, 31 Dead Construction Workers. New York Can Do Better

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With Missouri government at the threshold of passing Right to Work legislation, many industry insiders worry that the erosion of work place safety may become an unintended casualty. Reprinted below, from the New York Times, is a look at the issue.

On Dec. 23, on the Upper East Side of New York City, yet another construction worker died. His name has not yet been released, but he was the 31st to die on the job in the city in the past two years. He was working on a nonunion work site, as were 28 of the 30 others. Fabian Para, who worked nearby, explained that “he was on the third floor, and he was wearing a harness but wasn’t hooked to a cable, and when he fell, he just went down.”

Just three weeks earlier, Wilfredo Enriques fell to his death at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. Deaths 27 and 28 occurred on Nov. 22, when a steel beam fell four stories at a Queens job site, crushing George Smith and Elizandro Enriquez Ramos. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the workers’ deaths were a “tragedy” and that “we need to know, of course, right away whether it was mechanical, or was it human error? We don’t know yet.”

Actually, we do know; it is abundantly clear: We are in the midst of a public health epidemic brought on by inadequate safety regulations and public inattention. Construction-safety lapses happen because it pays for companies to run the risk of letting them happen. When the dead are largely foreign born and, in many cases, undocumented, no one much cares.

Spending in the construction industry is at a record high. And yet many contractors can’t be bothered to pay for training programs and safety measures, even those required by law, such as installing “fall protection” systems like nets and railings. The federal agency tasked with enforcing such safety protocols, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is severely understaffed. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of building permits issued in New York City jumped by more than 18 percent, but the number of OSHA inspectors for all of New York State dropped by more than 13 percent (as of 2014, there were only 71 left in the state).

Because there are so few inspectors, only a small fraction of construction sites are ever inspected. When sites are inspected, not surprisingly, OSHA finds a high level of violations. And even when sporadic inspections lead to fines for violations, the fines are too small to deter misconduct. According to records kept by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, a nonprofit group that lobbies for worker safety, of the city contractors that were inspected from 2009 to 2014, 73 percent had at least one “serious” OSHA violation, mostly of “fall protection” standards — precisely the violation responsible for the most deaths.

Predictably, the number of construction injuries and fatalities has soared. The Department of Buildings recorded a 250 percent increase in construction injuries from 2011 through 2015, with construction fatalities increasing each year as well.

It is not a coincidence that a vast majority of preventable accidents occur at nonunion work sites. Nonunion contractors make up 90 percent of the construction companies listed in OSHA’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program” for New York, a list of recalcitrant employers that have endangered workers with “indifference to their occupational safety and health obligations through willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.”

Union workers are safer because they are better trained and know they will be protected if they refuse to work under dangerous conditions. Building trade unions have apprenticeship programs that teach workers the required and recommended safety protocols. Further, every union work site has a shop steward who serves as an advocate for workers with questions or concerns about their safety. If a contractor or foreperson tries to cut corners, the workers can, and will, refuse to put themselves in jeopardy.

New York City can do better. Real egalitarianism is not just about declaring your city to be a “sanctuary” and blandly committing to staying true to liberal values, as our mayor has done. It is about making the hard economic and political choices needed to create a society that acts on its claims of valuing all life — even if that means missing out on the generous political contributions of the real estate industry.

As many New Yorkers brace themselves for the incoming administration of Donald J. Trump and bemoan the racism and indifference to facts that they blame as factors in his victory, we ought to spare time for some soul searching about what is happening right in front of us. Poor immigrant workers are falling off our buildings and being crushed to death in our streets. The mayor, public officials and New Yorkers at large must stop tolerating, indeed condoning, this epidemic of workers dying “accidentally.”

We need to be outraged. More, we need tough licensing requirements for contractors, frequent safety inspections, robust worker training and, yes, support for developers who sign union contracts. It may not be the cheapest way to build. But it is what a city government and an electorate true to their ideals should be doing.

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EPA to Put in Place Process to Evaluate Chemicals That May Pose Risk; First Time in 40 Years

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving swiftly to propose how it will prioritize and evaluate chemicals, given that the final processes must be in place within the first year of the new law’s enactment, or before June 22, 2017.

“After 40 years, we can finally address chemicals currently in the marketplace,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s action will set into motion a process to quickly evaluate chemicals and meet deadlines required under, and essential to, implementing the new law.”

When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it grandfathered in thousands of unevaluated chemicals that were in commerce at the time. The old law failed to provide EPA with the tools to evaluate chemicals and to require companies to generate and provide data on chemicals they produced.

EPA is proposing three rules to help administer the new process. They are:

Inventory Rule. There are currently over 85,000 chemicals on EPA’s Inventory, and many of these are no longer actively produced. The rule will require manufacturers, including importers, to notify EPA and the public on the number of chemicals still being produced.

Prioritization Rule. This will establish how EPA will prioritize chemicals for evaluation. EPA will use a risk-based screening process and criteria to identify whether a particular chemical is either high or low priority. A chemical designated as high priority must undergo evaluation. Chemicals designated as low priority are not required to undergo evaluation.

Risk Evaluation Rule. This will establish how EPA will evaluate the risk of existing chemicals. The agency will identify steps for the risk evaluation process, including publishing the scope of the assessment. Chemical hazards and exposures will be assessed, along with characterizing and determining risks. This rule also outlines how the agency intends to seek public comment on chemical evaluations.

These three rules incorporate comments received from a series of public meetings held in August 2016.

If EPA identifies unreasonable risk in the evaluation, it is required to eliminate that risk through regulations. Under TSCA, the agency must have at least 20 ongoing risk evaluations by the end of 2019.

Comments on the proposed rules must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. At that time, go to the dockets at https://www.regulations.gov/ and search for: HQ-OPPT-2016-0426 for the Inventory Rule; HQ-OPPT-2016-0636 for the Prioritization Rule; and HQ-OPPT-2016-0654 for the Risk Evaluation Rule.

Learn more about today’s proposals: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act-5

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IMPACT Strategies Completes Peoria Retail Center with Flagship Schnucks Store

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Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies today announced it has finalized construction of the Knoxville Crossing Retail Center in Peoria, Illinois. The center is anchored by a 70,000-square-foot Schnucks store featuring a new flagship format that includes an in-store dining option and newly updated exterior and interior designs.

Schnucks Knoxville Crossing, located at 10405 N. Centerway Drive, is the grocer’s first store in Peoria to offer in-store dining. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and sells beer and wine by the drink. It is one of only two Schnucks restaurant locations in Peoria.

IMPACT Strategies collaborated with BRR Architecture, Inc., in Merriam, Kansas on the project. The store was constructed of a contemporary mix of concrete, brick, and glass while maintaining the legendary brand for the Schnucks family of stores – with many amenities for convenience and service to its growing customer base.

Mark Hinrichs, president of IMPACT Strategies, said, “We have had a very positive and long-standing relationship with Schnucks, and we were pleased to have helped them with this milestone project.”

IMPACT Strategies, Inc. specializes in Retail, Commercial, Medical, Senior Housing and Education construction and offers comprehensive construction services including design-build, general contracting, construction management and pre-construction management

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Rahill Capital to Close on $40 Million of Commercial ‘Pace’ Construction Funding in St. Louis as Popularity of Clean Energy Financing Tool Grows

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Anne Murphy Hill, Pres.
RAHILL Capital

Leads Missouri with 23 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Funded Transaction Engagements

St. Louis-based RAHILL Capital is poised to close by the end of March 2017 on more than $40 million of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funded commercial real estate construction and renovation projects across the St. Louis area as the popularity of this public/private energy efficiency financing package grows among real estate developers and property owners here and across the country.  Started in July, RAHILL Capital is already the leading developer and funder of PACE deals in St. Louis, Kansas City and outstate Missouri that partners with PACE capital providers to deliver property assessed energy improvement financing via the owner’s property tax bill at no upfront cost to the owner and with no personal guarantees.  RAHILL Capital has already been engaged by the owners or developers of 23 PACE funded transactions and has closed on four of those deals worth more than $16 million with plans to close on another $30 million in the next five months.

St. Louis area PACE deals closed to date by RAHILL Capital include The Lafayette Lofts in Soulard, 4534 Olive LLC in midtown, and Cambridge Engineering’s headquarters in Chesterfield.

PACE legislation in Missouri allows for building improvements that result in utility savings to be funded by private capital and repaid via a long-term tax assessment.  PACE can be used to fund a wide variety of energy improvements, from HVACR and controls, lighting and electrical systems to building envelopes, plumbing, tuckpointing, drywall, insulation and more.  State legislation has no cap on the amount of PACE funding, and most capital providers are comfortable with a 20-25 percent loan to value.

“PACE financing is proving to be an extremely viable option for commercial real estate developers and building owners,” sad Anne Murphy Hill, President of RAHILL Capital.  “PACE is long term, low cost financing that can partner with mortgage debt and other incentives to close the gap in the capital stack.  We can take a customer’s original construction design and determine what aspects of the current design can qualify for PACE in order to maximize the qualified PACE funding. The possibilities go well beyond typical energy improvements.”

In The Lafayette Lofts project, developer Advantes Group utilized construction financing and a bridge loan from Peoples Bank to convert a historic school building on Ann Street in Soulard into 36 loft residential units.  RAHILL’S management team helped secure $600,000 of PACE funding to reduce the owner’s equity investment and fund a retrofit of the 110-year-old building with energy efficient systems, water conservation systems and related professional services.  RAHILL obtained consent from the project’s mortgage lender to the PACE assessment, worked with the PACE Program Administrator (Set The Pace St. Louis), negotiated with the PACE capital provider, conducted engineering reports and worked with the contractor to identify eligible energy efficiency measures and expenses.

In St. Louis County, RAHILL’S management team helped Cambridge Engineering to significantly lower energy costs, increase property value and create a more attractive workplace for its employees at its headquarters building by coordinating the entire process in securing more than $600,000 in PACE funding for the project.

“Because PACE functions as an assessment on the property, similar to a property tax, the program is a true public-private funding partnership which allows building owners to pay off energy improvements on their property assessments over a 20 year period at competitive interest rates,” Hill added.

Dozens of states and hundreds of municipalities have passed legislation  encouraging PACE financing because it allows building owners the luxury of time to pay. With funding from private capital, the PACE program is modeled after other funding methods used to fund public benefits and infrastructure.

How PACE Works

The process of securing PACE funding takes approximately two months and requires the following analysis and approvals:

Mortgage Lender Consent – The senior lender on the property is required to sign a consent form agreeing to placement of an additional assessment on the property.

Energy Engineering Report – This report is required by the district and the PACE lender. The key components of the report are the Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) and the weighted average useful life of the PACE funded measures. The weighted average useful life must be greater than or equal to the term of the assessment, and the savings generated by those measures over that term must be greater than the upfront investment.

District Approval –Each municipality selects a third party PACE administrator. The administrator must review each application to ensure they meet the intent of the PACE legislation and oversee the process of placing the assessment placed on the property tax bill, collecting and remitting payments to the PACE lender.

Financial Underwriting & Term Sheet Negotiation – The underwriting process for PACE is different than that of a mortgage. There are no personal guarantees, the primary focus on loan to value ratios (less emphasis on DSCR and the annual assessment amount as a percentage of property value). PACE terms typically include annual payments, the ability to capitalize 1-­‐2 years of payments, and a fixed rate fully amortized payment. Because PACE lenders are focused on long term deals, pre-­‐payment penalties are normal.

Founded in July, 2016 by Anne Murphy Hill and Robert J. W. Hill, RAHILL Capital works with Property Owners and Developers looking for a cost effective, streamlined process of securing PACE funding.

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