“This project will reduce energy use, improve comfort in the historic building, and replace aging equipment that would have otherwise required increased fees or special assessments to our residents. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ for owners and for the environment.”
Wornall Plaza (310 W. 49th Street, Inc.) is a 12-story, 125,000 square foot, co-op high rise managed by Signature Property Management. The building is located just southeast of Kansas City’s historic Country Club Plaza, an upscale shopping district and residential neighborhood that was the first in the world designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile.
Residents of the building and representatives from Signature Property Management realized that the building was in need of major renovations to the heating and cooling systems, and that the costs were likely going to have to be passed on to the residents. Taking a “typical” approach to replacing the systems would have resulted in the co-op having to dip into capital reserves and raising assessments for the residents, an unpopular solution.
ESP was able to structure a guaranteed energy savings program so that the energy and operational savings generated by the improvements could fund the project. In addition, ESP worked with KCP&L to obtain over $12,000 in rebates for Wornall Plaza on qualifying improvements and got the property switched to a more favorable electric rate.
The renovations included installing low-wattage LED and fluorescent lighting, renovating key parts of the building’s heating and cooling system to make it more efficient, and adding enhanced building controls.
The project was also the first in Missouri to be financed through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Through the PACE program, project financing is provided or arranged by a local government for up to 100 percent of a commercial project’s costs, and is repaid with an assessment over a term of up to 20 years. PACE funding removes a number of barriers to property owners who may have an interest in upgrading their business property but who wish to avoid debt, may not be able to afford the up-front costs, and do not know how long they will remain on the property. The program’s financing is available for all types of commercial and industrial properties, large and small, and may also be available to non-profits and government facilities.
By engaging ESP, the co-op was able to avoid increased assessments, and is instead leveraging energy and operational savings to pay for the upgrades. Utilizing PACE allowed for the repayment to be tied to the property, rather than to individual residents. Building managers now have greater control and remote monitoring capability of major energy consuming systems, along with far more data about building operations.
The project received a Capstone Award in Green Design from the Kansas City Business Journal, and has been featured in several other publications.
Total Square Feet
Number of Buildings
1 (88 living units)
Total Project Cost
Carbon Footprint Reduction
2,300,000 lbs. CO2e
Equivalent to the annual electric use of 142 homes
The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is providing a way for old buildings to get major energy upgrades. The energy savings cover the big upfront cost of the improvements, which also benefit the environment and provide jobs.Read More
The new PACE financed project will help Signature Property Management save more than $55,000 a year in utility and operating costs for Wornall Plaza Condominiums following $670,000 worth of renovations.Read More
ESP’s work was among the 32 projects chosen to receive a 2015 Capstone Award.Read More