Celebrating “Perseverance and Dedication” at the Groundbreaking of the C-PACE Industry’s Largest, Most Significant Deal to-Date
By Alice Reeve
January 10th, 2020 the day of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hyatt Regency Hotel, was greeted by cold, crisp air, bright sunshine, and a light dusting of snow left from the night before. Held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, event attendees could already see signs of preparation for the building’s new addition and Salt Lake City’s most important new construction project in 2020.
Walking through downtown Salt Lake City, you see signs of an urban renaissance. 200 South St. is lined with high-end restaurants, cozy cocktail lounges, chic coffee shops, modern condos advertising "New York Style" lofts, and proud historic buildings with well-maintained facades. The Salt Palace Convention Center itself hosts over 6,000 solar panels on the roof, generating 17% of the building’s power and is one of the few convention centers in the country that generate Solar Renewable Energy Credits, which can be purchased by events to offset their carbon footprint. All existing lighting has been replaced with LED lights and water bottle filling stations and bike stations are sprinkled across the facility grounds.
Salt Lake City's sophisticated veneer is one sign that it's one of America's fastest-growing cities. The second, more salient sign is that the city and state elected officials are paying close attention to economic trends and have taken notes from other sprawling western cities like Austin and Las Vegas. The city, county and state view the ability to be competitive in the convention industry as essential to the growth of Utah’s economy. According to the most recent Visit Salt Lake (VSL) 2018 Annual Report, VSL Meetings and Convention Bookings contributed $313 million to Utah's economy. However, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Mayor of Salt Lake City, and other organizations geared towards the state’s economic growth have their sights set on much higher numbers.
Any Salt Lake City local will tell you to be grateful for a beautiful day like that of January 10th, as winter days can sometimes be less than clear in the valley. An “inversion” layer created by a combination of the Salt Lake area’s unique topography (surrounded by gorgeous mountains!), winter weather, and high carbon emissions are why Salt Lake City set aggressive sustainability goals for 2030 to be 100% renewable and cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2040. C-PACE couldn’t be more needed! City and County officials hope that C-PACE financing will usher in a new era of environmentally friendly real estate development. The Hyatt Regency itself is going to exceed the energy code compliance level by over 20 percent.
During the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Hyatt Regency, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson began her speech by proclaiming, “perseverance and dedication,” are what got this project across the finish line. Those two words struck a chord with the CleanFund team members who sat in the audience and worked tirelessly to close $54MM of the $377MM in total project costs. Just three short months ago, in the fall of 2019, CleanFund was selected to provide the final financing piece to build a needed 700-room hotel tied directly to the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
Over the past decade, the C-PACE industry has persevered despite many headwinds and much of its success is due to the dedication of pioneering companies like CleanFund. The years spent believing that C-PACE uniquely addressed capital shortfalls and could make an environmental impact in the process, felt justified and our celebration well-earned as we listened to elected official after elected official, CEO after CEO exclaim that after nearly 20 years, the project was going to finally break ground.
To tell the whole story of how CleanFund was able to meet such a lofty challenge, mobilize a fledgling C-PACE program and collaborate with a top-tier developer and others in the complicated capital stack would take some time. But the words “perseverance and dedication” do sum it up nicely and CleanFund couldn’t have been more delighted to be the lynchpin that delivered this needed asset to Salt Lake City.
Download the PDF Case Study for CleanFund's $54.7MM for the New Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City project:
Read Press Release: CleanFund Closes the Largest C-PACE Deal Ever in the Country