The Reinvestment Fund

Ambler Boiler House

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Category: Energy | Geography: Pennsylvania

The LEED-Platinum certified Ambler Boiler House incorporates cutting-edge green design while preserving its late 19th century structure.

TRF is providing $2.2 million in financing to support the redevelopment and rebirth of the Amber Boiler House. This former power generating station for the Keasbey & Mattison Company asbestos manufacturer had become a Brownfield site. It will soon be rehabbed into a clean, green and LEED-Platinum-certified state-of-the art office space and transit-oriented development. The building has incorporated cutting-edge green design and adaptive reuse techniques while preserving many of the original components of its late 19th century structure. The project exemplifies the current state of revitalization and optimism in Ambler.

The successful remediation and renovation of the Ambler Boiler House will eliminate a threat to public safety, return a vacant, deteriorating building to the tax rolls, and provide a permanent employment center for the Ambler community that is a stone’s throw from the Ambler regional rail station. The location of the project, near existing roadways and available utility services, is ideal. This transportation link will encourage more commercial development and public transportation, and it will merge the site into the existing downtown Ambler business district.

Perhaps the most exciting aspects of the Ambler Boiler House are the green features within the building. From the low-energy, thermal break windows to the stormwater retention tanks to the geothermal energy that will provide all of the building’s heating and cooling, Ambler Boiler House is suited for substantial energy efficiency. In fact, the energy consumption for the project, 55kBtu/square foot/year, is 43.9% lower than the average office building in the mid-Atlantic region. This positions the Ambler Boiler House strongly for LEED-Platinum certification.

This former power generating station for the Keasbey & Mattison Company asbestos manufacturer, pictured here from 1901, will be rehabbed into a clean, green and LEED-Platinum-certified state-of-the art office space and transit-oriented development.

TRF is one of several capital sources on the $14.96 million project. In addition to our loan, sources include a variety of state and federal grants and loans administered by the Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA) and Montgomery County, as well as a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant. TRF’s financing comes in the form of a $2.2 million energy loan, a combination of Green Energy Loan Fund (GELF) financing ($1.5 million from TRF) and EnergyWorks financing (of which $75,000 is from TRF and $625,000 is from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation). This financing will act as the last dollars in after substantial completion of primary construction. The developer, John Zaharchuck of Briarwood Holdings and Summit Realty, has already moved the Summit Realty office into the Ambler Boiler House.

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