A Guide to Chicago PACE

Download the Chicago PACE program overview.

Created to help introduce the marketplace to the basics of PACE and the particulars of the Chicago program, this document is a must-read. Download today and we’ll keep you up-to-date on edits and updates.

Chicago C-PACE

Long-term financing for energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy improvements made to commercial and multifamily properties with repayment through a property tax assessment. 

  • Non-recourse, non-accelerating capital for commercial, multifamily and industrial property types
  • 100% project financing includes hard, soft and related costs
  • Serves as a critical component of the commercial real estate capital stack for new construction and property rehabilitation/repositioning
  • Payments may be deferred for several years or structured with an interest-only period
  • Facilitates corporate sustainability goals and participation in programs such as Retrofit Chicago.

How C-PACE works

C-PACE programs are public-private partnerships that foster the adoption of energy efficiency, renewable energy and resiliency improvements by commercial properties by helping ‘green’ and resilient infrastructure investments make economic sense.

  • property owners gain access to private capital to reduce operational expenses and manage their capital stack effectively
  • communities are able to provide an incentive for carbon reduction, public safety, and economic development at zero cost to taxpayers
  • building tenants and occupants can benefit from reduced utility costs, increased building performance, and operational resiliency
  • state and local legislators can address specific social objectives such as carbon emission reduction goals


Amped: a Chicago Case Study

CSRE recently sat down with Chicago PACE and the owners of Amped Kitchens, a multi-tenant commercial kitchen in Chicago, which deployed $4.6 million in PACE financing alongside new market tax credit funding to build out a former Zenith television factory. The 113,000-square-foot facility now features 64 kitchens for lease to food manufacturers ranging from mom-and-pop operations to large corporate brands. View the “Amped for PACE” story at right. 


Video used with permission from Loop-Counterpointe PACE LLC

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(855) 431.4400

C-PACE program details

PACE Eligible Improvements

From roofing and building envelope to HVAC and lighting on the efficiency side to renewable energy, water conservation and resiliency to storm, flood and seismic events, PACE financing covers endless improvements to new and existing properties.

Retroactive PACE

PACE financing can be applied to completed projects to recapitalize energy efficiency, renewable and resiliency investments. Refinance is important in newer PACE markets where the legislation may follow an owner’s investment and is a strategic resource for owners.

PACE for Green Roofs

Using PACE financing for a Green roof can yield a cash flow positive improvement that adds value by increasing energy efficiency, reducing storm-water run-off and transforming unused space into a building amenity to be enjoyed by tenants. 


PACE is an acronym that bears some explaining. In fact, it’s a little misleading because it’s not just for “clean energy.”  Some answers to common questions are provided here, but ask your own by clicking below.

What can I do if PACE is not available for my ownership structure or property type?

CounterpointeSRE is focused on the finance of sustainable real estate, so when PACE is not available, we will explore activating the region for you with local administrators while simultaneously offering additional finance options such as EEAS or ESAs and PPAs.

How much PACE financing can my property support?

Financing parameters generally allow for a lien to value of up to 35% for a retrofit and 20% for new construction based on the as-is or stabilized property value.  Of course, this varies by property type and location.  Get a quote today or ask a question to evaluate your options with a financing expert.

What are the financing terms and rates for C-PACE financing?

The length of the loan or assessment is generally based on the average useful life of the equipment to be installed and can vary from 5 to 30 years.  The loan is fully amortizing, with no guarantees of covenants required. Interest rates are fixed and vary by location, term, project size and property type please “get a quote” for current rates.