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Detroit's Whitney to receive nearly $1M worth of energy efficiency upgrades

The Whitney mansion and restaurant

Wayne County has scored its first PACE project and it's a notable one: The landmark Whitney mansion and restaurant on Woodward Avenue. The 123 year old building is set to receive $863,130 worth of energy efficiency upgrades thanks to financing from Petros PACE Finance of Austin, Texas.

PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a national program that helps businesses finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that save money in the long run but require expensive investment up front.

It allows property owners this ability through a special property tax assessment with local governments. The tax assessment then frees up lenders' ability to provide up to 20-year, low rate, fixed-interest loans.

"It's a great story to have a building with such an incredibly rich history in the PACE program," says Andy Levin, president of Lean & Green Michigan and managing partner of Levin Energy Partners.

"The fixtures in the Whitney mansion were literally installed by Thomas Edison and now, at 123 years old, it's going to become a model building of our low-carbon future."

Of the improvements planned are storm windows designed for each of the building's 200-plus windows, LED lighting throughout the building, including the chandeliers, energy efficient HVAC equipment, energy efficient kitchen equipment, and a building controls system that is operated via smartphone—virtually from anywhere in the world.

According to a Lean & Green Michigan Case Study, the energy efficiency upgrades will provide Whitney owner Bud Liebler an savings of $23,528 annually.

Construction is set to begin this month and could be finished by the end of 2017.

This is the first PACE project for Wayne County, joining Oakland and Macomb in the region and many more throughout the state that have taken advantage of the program.

The Whitney is located at 4421 Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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