El Paso, Texas—The Plaza Hotel, a historic Art Deco-style, 19-story hotel built in 1930 in downtown El Paso, will be undergoing a multimillion-dollar gut rehabilitation. The Plaza El Paso has been out of service since the 1990s and will be brought back to life as the first 4.5-star luxury hotel in El Paso upon completion.
Texas’ Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program is slated to finance a portion of the project through a special property assessment. Greenworks Lending will provide more than $9 million in capital through the program, which deems energy efficient projects as public goods. Once complete, the hotel will include 131 guestrooms, a full-service restaurant, a rooftop bar, and 7,600 square feet of meeting space. The rehabilitation will preserve the hotel’s famed Art Deco Pueblo Revival design by architect Henry Trost. The improvements financed by C-PACE are projected to generate approximately $254,000 of annual utility cost savings for the hotel.
“The Plaza El Paso is a great example of how Greenworks Lending’s C-PACE program can work seamlessly with the intricacies of large-scale rehabilitation projects, maneuvering through a complex capital stack and historic tax credits, to lower expenses and the cost of capital for larger renovations,” said Andrew Zech, head of business development at Greenworks Lending. “The owners will be saving money and have access to high-efficiency infrastructure which will benefit the environment and the local community of El Paso.”
“Franklin Mountain Management, LLC has been a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown El Paso,” said Sandra Mendez, CFO of Franklin Mountain Management, LLC, which owns the Plaza El Paso. “The Plaza Hotel is our third historic rehabilitation project downtown following the completion of the Anson Mills and Centre buildings in 2013. Greenworks’ C-PACE was able to complement the debt, equity, and historic tax credit financing necessary to complete the complex rehabilitation. We are excited to see the landmark Plaza Hotel reopen its doors under a private hotel brand later this year and continue the revitalization of downtown.”
According to the Texas PACE Authority, the project will create 161 jobs for the city, save 7,701,000 gallons of water and 1,488,687 kWh of energy per year, as well as reduce CO2 emissions by 808 tonnes.
“El Paso County’s TX-PACE program encourages investment in green building renovations that will serve the people of El Paso and their guests for generations to come,” said Charlene Heydinger, president of the Texas PACE Authority. “Greenworks Lending’s investment of over $9 million to increase water and energy efficiency at the Plaza Hotel is a shining example of how El Paso County’s PACE program reduces operating costs for businesses, sparks revitalization, and protects the environment—all at no cost to taxpayers. Texas PACE Authority is committed to serving this vibrant community with many more PACE projects to lower property owners’ operating expenses, create jobs for architects, engineers, contractors, and free up water and energy for El Paso’s growing community.”
The $76 million project will be managed by Jordan Foster Construction. Energy efficient upgrades, which will include HVAC, elevator and lighting systems, and water-saving plumbing fixtures, comprise more than $9 million of that figure and will be financed by Greenworks Lending through the C-PACE program administered by the Texas PACE Authority.