Madison Equities wraps $12 million in downtown St. Paul upgrades
By: Nick Williams
The $12 million upgrade of three downtown St. Paul commercial properties is being touted as one of the largest privately funded energy efficiency projects ever assembled for a single property owner in the U.S.
Three properties owned by Minnesota private real estate firm Madison Equities – the First National Bank Building, U.S. Bank Center and 375 Jackson Street Building – have been upgraded with energy improvements that will cut energy costs by up to 40 percent for each building.
According to Xcel Energy, the amount of power being saved for all three buildings would be enough to operate 1,235 residential homes. Madison Equities worked with Xcel Energy and local contractors, including Albers Mechanical, to retrofit the building with improved HVAC systems, LED lighting and occupancy sensors. Steve Daly, vice president of Albers Mechanical, said his HVAC division replaced 3,100 mechanical valves with electrical systems to control building automation at the two commercial sites. Daly said some of the material replaced was the building’s original piping.
The project began in April and the First National Bank Building and U.S. Bank Center upgrades are complete. The 375 Jackson Street building is expected to be completed within seven weeks. A few weeks ago, Madison Equities, who purchased the First National Bank Building in 2015, held a ceremony for the relighting of the ‘1st’ sign atop the building.
Madison Equities worked with the Saint Paul Authority to secure more than $10 million from Texas-based Petros PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Finance. The Port Authority secured the remaining funds, nearing $2 million. Since 2009, there have been more than 750 renewable energy projects across the country made possible by various PACE programs, including 18 by Petros this year.
Madison Equities must repay the loan from Petros via special assessments on their local property taxes, but Jim Crockarell, president of Madison Equities, said the firm’s savings on energy costs will essentially pay for project over time.
“I think any business is in business to make money,” Crockarell said. “They certainly want to do it in efficient way that helps the community. We didn’t do this just to be sustainable or be sustainable for future generations. We did it because it was economically feasible.”
Originally published on Biz Journals