Coastal Commercial Resiliency Financing

HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners

During the research phase of Rebuild by Design, we engaged local business owners and stakeholders in communities representing barrier islands, mainland coastal communities, and dense urban districts – typologies that represent common problems and potential solutions. Many design strategies (such as elevation, flood gates and sandbags) for protecting commercial buildings and corridors hinder ground floor business operations. Many strategies are also challenging to finance and implement, especially for struggling small businesses.

Through our work in Stage 3, we will create an organizational framework for a financing mechanism to enable business owners to implement strategies for improving resiliency of their businesses, buildings, and corridors. Ideally, financing will be tied to a commitment to create a stronger, more resilient district, either through the sum of individual improvements or larger-scale improvements such as sidewalk berms, porous roadways, and other design and engineering strategies. Our team will begin with outreach to local business owners and business leader groups to gauge interest in participation; identify, and if necessary design, the appropriate interventions to enhance resiliency of businesses, buildings, and corridors; and estimate the funds required to make improvements to enhance resiliency. We will also reach out to funders who specialize in lending to small businesses and in disaster recovery to determine the appropriate mechanism for lending and understand the qualifications necessary to attract an administrator for implementation. Finally, the team will work to create conceptual materials to support program administration and technical assistance, should pilot programs move forward.


Go to team page

Project Updates


November 15, 2013 1:24 pm
from Wayne Cobleigh

A new performing long-term loan mechanism C-PACE has been initiated by CEFIA in CT in 2013 to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments on commercial properties and lower the owner’s energy costs. This finance method has the potential to be modified to also cover investments in flood loss reduction measures that lower the owner’s insurance costs. C-PACE has exceeded the State’s expectations in its first year. The loans are provided by private lenders who compete for the projects that are audited and reviewed by consultants qualified to determine if the investment will produce net savings and public benefits.The State of CT is now evaluating how C-PACE could help finance more resilient buildings in areas vulnerable to flooding and the associated surging insurance premiums under NFIP and private property casualty insurance.


November 21, 2013 9:53 am
from Isaura and Michael Horenstein

As long-time residents of Red Hook, over the course of thirty years, we have deeply experienced the changes that have occurred in our community. Following Superstorm Sandy, we have seen neighbors more than willing to remain in Red Hook by doggedly rebuilding. We have seen our businesses renovate, restore and and reopen, bringing back the vibrancy that evokes the spirit of our neighborhood. We have further witnessed new or planned residential construction that follows required elevation codes. All this means to us is that people truly want to live in Red Hook.

But in order for people to have a future here, we need a comfort zone – a level of defense that will ensure this future. It is our heart-felt belief that proposed coastal protection efforts can provide this sense of security. However, a basic band-aid plan would not be nearly sufficient to stem the tide!

Isaura and Michael Horenstein
Richards Street – emphatically -
Red Hook


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