Home Vendor News Peachtree Group Provides $40 Million in CPACE Financing for AC Hotel

Peachtree Group Provides $40 Million in CPACE Financing for AC Hotel

AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter

ATLANTA—With ongoing credit market dislocations, Peachtree Group originated a $40 million retroactive CPACE loan to BLG SAN DIEGO, LLC (BLG) for its recently opened 147-room AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter in Calif. The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) financing was amortized over 30 years and required no payment for a year, followed by five years of interest-only payments. Also, the proceeds allowed BLG to pay down its senior loan with California-based Preferred Bank and E.Sun Commercial Bank, Ltd. to under $20 million, thereby mitigating the banks’ exposure.

“This innovative capital structure significantly alleviated the immediate financial pressures, enabling the hotel to establish a solid cash flow foundation during its initial years of operation,” said Greg Friedman, Peachtree Group’s Managing Principal and CEO.

Despite the U.S. hotel industry’s strong RevPAR performance, multiple headwinds exacerbate financial stress for owners. These headwinds include the lagging profitability of U.S. hotels, persistently high interest rates and historically high property insurance costs.

“When we opened the AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter in March 2023, there was a sizeable disconnect between hospitality fundamentals, which are strong, particularly in San Diego, while the debt markets were deteriorating meaningfully,” said Brad Honigfeld, founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of the New Jersey-based Briad Group. “The Fed’s tightening process and rising fund rates drove up the cost of debt considerably.”

Refinancing Has Gotten Harder

Hotel and commercial real estate owners have faced a tough few years as trillions of dollars in debt come due, and refinancing gets harder, compounded by banks’ tightened lending standards.

According to JLL Research, by the end of 2024, $5.8 billion worth of U.S. hotel-securitized loans will be due for repayment, requiring full payment, refinancing, extension or sale. However, if these loans were refinanced at current interest rates, most would struggle to generate enough income to cover their debt costs.

In this challenging lending market, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) financing has become a vital source of liquidity. This option is growing in importance as owners face impending debt maturities and scarce refinancing opportunities.

CPACE financing has rapidly gained traction in the commercial real estate market, reaching a cumulative $7.2 billion in the U.S. in just over a decade, according to PACENation. This significant milestone underscores the growing acceptance and adoption of CPACE financing as an innovative and effective solution. Peachtree Group, a key player in this market, has demonstrated its commitment to CPACE financing, with over $800 million in CPACE originations.

Hotel in Excellent Location

The AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter is in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, known for its restaurants, shops and nightlife.

“Our hotel was benefiting from its location and performing to its original underwriting, but the debt costs were straining cash flows,” Honigfeld said.

Retroactive CPACE funding offers unique advantages for property owners. It operates similarly to normal pre-project funding, with one key difference: 100 percent of the loan proceeds can be used to reimburse the property owner for costs already incurred. This feature makes retroactive CPACE a valuable resource for property owners seeking better loan terms or improved cash flow for completed projects.

“The financial relief it provides not only ensures the hotel’s success but also positions it for long-term stability. By reducing the financial burden in the early years, owners can focus on delivering exceptional guest experiences and achieving operational excellence,” Friedman said.

This strategic approach paves the way for the asset to transition to a more favorable financing market in the future, ensuring its sustained profitability and growth.