Making a Green Commercial Loan

Our Green Journey has the first part up of what will be a two-part series on "What Makes a Commercial Real Estate Loan Green?"

It's a response to what the author says is a burst of pronouncements from lenders and fund managers pledging to fund green development, but doing so without much of a description of what they will consider to meet that criteria.

Defining “green” up front gets lenders and investors on the same page about those expectations in order to assure that each party gets what they paid for. In the integrated design process, the project team conducts charrettes with designers, the owner and community representatives to reduce the risk of stakeholders not having their expectations addressed. However, at this stage of the process, the mortgage lender is no where in sight. Often regarded as the ‘boring' part of a deal, defining is critical because the particular risks of the green project stem from the failure of the finished property to perform to stakeholder expectations – i.e. green components and systems not delivering the promised savings and performance enhancements that the lender, investor, tenant or city official was anticipating.

The Green Journey take on this is that the definition of green for a real estate transaction contains specifics about 1) the rating system to be used, 2) the certification level within that rating system to be achieved and 3) quantifying certain performance thresholds that are to be achieved either during construction or upon stabilization.

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