It’s not just Al Gore and other high-profile tenants that are actively looking for green office space. Upstate in Utica, New York, two local businessmen have secured a construction loan from NTB Bank for an $800,000 rehabilitation of the former Homestead Savings Bank at 283 Genesee Street, which will seek an unspecified level of LEED certification. The building will be the new home of Hage & Hage, LLC, a Utica-based law firm since 1930. The building’s assessed value is $218,900, and last week the Utica Industrial Development Agency approved ten-year PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) for the development entity, which is led by Joseph G. Karam and J.K. Hage III, one of the firm’s attorneys. According to Joseph Hobika, Jr., general counsel to the Agency, the project’s alternative energy initiatives made it an extremely attractive candidate for Utica’s PILOT program. Construction should wrap up sometime next spring.
Specific green features include a geothermal heating and cooling system, a green roof, and other LEED-standard elements ranging from low-VOC paints and sealants to energy-efficient lighting and glazing and furniture manufactured from recycled content. The project team will also include Utica-based contractor H.R. Beebe and designers Bonacci Architects. Lower-profile green projects are no less important than those at the high end of the market, and collectively dwarf efforts on the scale of Bank of America Tower. Projects on the scale of the Homestead Savings Bank that involve adaptive reuse are a critical base for green building, and are of particular interest to us when they’re located here in the Empire State.
*The Monday LEEDoff is sponsored by Blumberg Capital Partners, which specializes in U.S. investment and asset management of commercial real estate. Its investors are high net worth individuals and institutional investors, including pension funds, foundations and banks. Visit the Philip Blumberg Blog for additional information.