PACE Equity Fills Gap for Historic Hotel Retlaw Renovation


(Milwaukee, WI) PACE Equity, the leading CPACE (Commercial PACE) funder of commercial real estate development projects in the US, announces PACE completion and funding for the renovation of the historic Hotel Retlaw in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The building represents an investment of nearly $21m to the area and is the largest PACE project completed within the PACE Wisconsin program to date. PACE Equity provided project governance, energy engineering, funding and an energy savings guarantee.

Originally opening in 1924, the hotel fell on hard times due to an underinvestment in the building. After being acquired in 2015, the owners have been working to secure financing to complete a total rehabilitation of the 128,000 sq. ft. 126 room hotel. After obtaining historic tax credits, TIF financing from the city of Fond du Lac, a bank construction loan and a grant from WHEDA, the project needed the last element of the capital stack in order to begin the renovations, which PACE Equity filled. Nearly $2,400,000, approximately 11% of the financing, was provided by PACE Equity in order to close the gap and see the project move forward.


Dennis Doucette, Principal-Partner of Legendary Hotels, who is the property developer and management company, said, “Revitalizing the Retlaw is a key component to the revitalization of downtown Fond du Lac. Our renovation will reposition the hotel back to its rightful place as one of Wisconsin’s premier properties, while serving as a preferred destination for social venues, leisure travelers and corporate business. Working with PACE Equity enabled us to complete the financing needed for the project move forward.”

“This is an exciting renovation project which will be great for Fond du Lac,” said Beau Engman, PACE Equity Founder & President. “This is a great example of how historic properties and communities can obtain additional financing through PACE Equity to see projects come to fruition.”

This is PACE Equity’s 9th closed project in Wisconsin and to date, has invested almost $20m in the state. The PACE Equity project & sustainable features include LED lighting, HVAC and windows. Learn about other projects that we have completed in Wisconsin on our resources page or by clicking the case study below.

Download the Case Study for PACE Equity's Historic Building Redevelopment Project

“PACE Wisconsin is excited to be part of the economic development solution in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Redevelopment of the Hotel Retlaw is a good example of how PACE financing can help promote reinvestment in Wisconsin communities,” stated Jason Stringer, Program Administrator, PACE Wisconsin.

About PACE Equity

PACE Equity is the leading CPACE funder of commercial real estate development projects in the US. PACE Equity is an excellent addition to the capital stack to boost return on investment while making buildings more sustainable. Utilizing a turnkey approach to CPACE, PACE Equity has unmatched expertise in development projects as they pioneered CPACE for new construction, completed the first new construction projects in several asset classes and completed the first PACE projects to utilize Historic and New Markets Tax Credits.  PACE Equity has a local presence in 20 PACE markets and can fund projects on a national basis. For information on PACE Equity, please contact Ethan Elser at (414)-446-3645 or visit

What is PACE?

PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a simple and effective way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to buildings. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more. It can be used for almost any property – commercial, industrial, multifamily, non-profit, and agricultural properties.

PACE is designed to breakdown longstanding barriers to energy efficiency and promote job creation through economic development.  

About PACE Wisconsin 

PACE Wisconsin offers an open-market solution for building owners in participating Wisconsin communities. Interested communities should contact the administrator at or view more information at PACE Wisconsin is administered by Energy Finance Solutions.

About Energy Finance Solutions (EFS)

WECC’s EFS specializes in financing program consultation, design, and delivery services in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Through partnerships with utilities, contractors, and other agencies, EFS offers customers simple, affordable ways to finance energy improvements. EFS is the financing services division of WECC.

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