Amalgamated Bank’s Real Estate Finance Group is providing financing to a co-operative apartment building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, that will be used to install a 21st century solar energy system by the end of this year.
When the project is completed, residents of Sungarden Homes Association Inc. will reduce their electricity costs, make the 88-year old building more environmentally sustainable, and receive both incentive grants and tax benefits.
And, the co-op will significantly reduce its dependence on the power grid.
By equipping its building with an advanced solar array, the co-op qualifies for tax credits from New York State and City and will receive an incentive grant from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority).
With NYSERDA’s incentive, the $249,999 unsecured capital improvement loan from Amalgamated, and the co-op’s sales tax exemption, the Sungarden board will have all the funding necessary to pay for its renewable energy system.
The co-op’s 50 kilowatt Photovoltaic (PV) equipment will be mounted on the roof of its four-story apartment building. Residents in the property’s 69-living units, which includes studios as well as one, two and three bedroom apartments, will consume much of the electricity that the solar-powered system produces. Also, the PV gear will be connected to the utility grid and any surplus solar energy can be sold to the local power company.
In discussing the project, Sungarden Homes Association Board President Mcgowan Southworth said, “Amalgamated’s lending team understood the NYSERDA incentives and many of the other factors that are related to a successful solar energy installation.
“They worked with our board, vetted the budgeting process and helped us to pursue a 2012 completion in order to receive the maximum amount of incentives.”
“For over 20 years, Amalgamated has financed the capital improvements that are needed to maintain and upgrade New York City’s affordable, multifamily housing units,” said the Bank’s executive vice president Gardner Semet, who directs the Real Estate Finance Group.
“Sungarden is a notable example of a co-op where working men and women have been living with their families for over eight decades. When the improvements are completed, the cost of running the building will be reduced.”
Amalgamated’s Sunset Park branch is located at 4502 Fifth Avenue at 45th Street, which is less than a half mile from Sungarden Homes at 637-661 41st Street.
The Bank opened its branch because Sunset Park is largely an underbanked neighborhood. The co-op loan reflects Amalgamated’s commitment to investing in the communities it serves.