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Utility Conversions Increase Value

TDG is Getting Busy Servicing the Great Demand for Utility Conversion

John MajeskiTypical of older multifamily buildings: one centralized plant servicing all heating and cooling of the apartments. Newer trend: individual controls in each apartment, giving tenants more control. The Donaldson Group (TDG) is getting busy servicing the great demand for this utility conversion, identifying older multifamily properties with existing central utility plant systems and upgrading them. Senior VP John Majeski tells us these existing heating and cooling systems are typically inefficient; performing utility conversions can present an opportunity for a significant return on investment, as well as creating a higher product class for future renters. Another added value: an increased buyer pool when the time comes to sell. How the conversion works: abandoning the central plant and installing individually metered electric heat pumps or individually metered gas furnaces in each apartment. TDG is currently operating a third-party utility conversion for Harbor Group International; Jefferson at Orchard Pond Apartments, Gaithersburg, MD, with 748 units built in 1975. Recent TDG utility conversions include Regency Pointe Apartments, Forestville, MD, 599 units built in 1963: utility expense savings over 60%; and Andrew’s Ridge Apartments, Suitland, MD, 492 units built in 1965: utility expense savings over 60%. Conversions in progress include the Cider Mill Apts, Montgomery Village, MD, 864 units built in 1971: estimated utility expense savings: 50%.