A credit report from DiPerna Advisors supported the loan, saying that more than half of the tenants at the site — dubbed the “Front Street Building” — have leased space there for more than five years.
Structured as a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) loan, the DiPerna report noted that the building is 100 percent leased even in its current condition, and it said the property should become more marketable with a new boiler in place.
First developed for homeowners, PACE financing allows borrowers to finance “energy security” without being forced to take on a new mortgage, said Michael DiPerna, president of DiPerna Advisors.
“It’s not a bad project,” DiPerna said. “It works from a pure numbers standpoint.”
A Port Authority loan in this case fills a niche that “regular capital markets aren’t going to fill,” Geraghty said.
“This is something that makes sense from a Port Authority perspective,” he said.
The building is well known for open-air art studios and outdoor markets, as well as its location east of North Keowee Street. One board member, Nick Comstock, said he is a tenant there and the building has a waiting list of those who wish to become tenants. (Comstock abstained from the vote on the loan.)
“You go over there, and you see this space has an interesting feel to it,” Brunswick said.