The Whitney Restaurant Joins Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program


The Whitney, a historical restaurant in Detroit for more than three decades, today announced participation in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. With the goal of increasing energy efficiency and improving the guest experience, The Whitney will invest more than $850,000 in new HVAC systems, lighting, windows, kitchen equipment, and building controls to replace systems that date back to 1986.

The renovations will be funded by a $860,000 PACE loan, which enables property owners to retrofit their buildings with energy efficient systems by borrowing from a private lender and repaying via a special assessment on their property tax.

Paybacks are made from guaranteed cost savings generated by the new systems, and The Whitney’s project will be coordinated by Newman Consulting Group.

“The Whitney is enjoying its best year in more than a decade and reinvesting our profits back into the business,” says Bud Liebler, owner of The Whitney. “We’re buying new chairs, new carpeting and draperies, and touching up the paint.  But this is the right time for us to take on major operational projects that have needed to be addressed, and we couldn’t afford this kind of investment without the PACE program.

“PACE enables us to reduce energy costs while providing the basic things our guests expect like uniform heating and cooling, up-to-date, easy on the eyes lighting, air tight windows, and state-of-the-art kitchen equipment.”

The Whitney was built in 1894 by lumber baron David Whitney, Detroit’s wealthiest citizen at the time. The 21,000-square foot, 52 room mansion was called “the most pretentious house in the west,” and has served as a private residence, offices, and now a restaurant. The building’s original hand carved woodwork, Tiffany and Co. windows, 21 fireplaces, and antique wallpapers and furnishings will be preserved throughout the renovation.

“Anyone who knows Detroit knows The Whitney which has stood sentinel on Woodward Avenue through all the ups and downs since the days of the lumber barons,” adds Andy Levin, president of Lean and Green Michigan, and administrator of the PACE program.  “It is beyond gratifying to help make this gorgeous Detroit fixture a symbol of our smart, low carbon future.”

More information about The Whitney can be found here.