United States | May 31, 2023

Opportunity Zone investors bet $5 million on a Pennsylvania factory supporting the green building transition

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, May 31 – In a previous career, John Wolfington redeveloped defunct factories and brownfield sites for residential and commercial use. Now, he’s manufacturing materials so other developers can make buildings greener and more efficient.

Exceler Building Solutions has raised $5 million to produce prefabricated panels at its factory in Hazleton, Pa., in once-thriving coal country. Investors get special tax treatment because the company is located in a designated Opportunity Zone. 

Exceler makes precast building panels using software that dramatically cuts material waste. It also secures licenses to manufacture other green material designers’ products. One potential partner designs solar panels that look like brick and can be affixed to any building. Another, based in Belgium, designs green building materials for hospitals and data centers.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re just trying to make it roll better,” Wolfington told ImpactAlpha.

Exceler is looking to raise up to $20 million as an Opportunity Zone investment. The company is ramping up production in Hazelton and has plans for a new facility in an Opportunity Zone in the Florida Panhandle. It will also be used to grow Exceler’s project management teams in areas with growing demand, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Georgia.

Green materials “aren’t a huge market yet, but that’s where we’re going,” Wolfington said. “Everyone is trying to reach net zero.”