Category Archives: Clients

Caljet – A Leader in Phoenix’s Vibrant Energy Sector

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(l to r) Bill Aust, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Dave Alexander, Caljet LLC, Rich Endicott, the Biltmore Bank of Arizona

One of the most exciting aspects of being a banker is getting to know and learn about a wide variety of industries and businesses. Ever wondered what it takes to create an enormous petroleum storage tank? Through our work with Caljet, we’re able to share this fascinating time-lapse video with you of their work to construct a very large tank.

Caljet is one of the dominant fuel terminal companies in Arizona, with $50 million in annual revenues, over 1,100,000 barrels of tankage and state-of-the-art loading and blending capabilities. The company provides storage space to petroleum companies for their products. Refined products and biofuels are brought in through a series of pipelines, rail cars and trucks to a large tank operation in west Phoenix. Tanker trucks fill up daily at Caljet’s facilities, and then go on to distribute fuel throughout Arizona.

Caljet was founded in 1982 by Managing Member Dave Alexander, who started the business with a $1,000 credit card loan. When The Biltmore Bank of Arizona opened in 2003, Dave approached recently retired Senior Relationship Manager Bill Aust for a loan to construct a new petroleum storage tank that would enable him to expand the scope of his operations. Not only was Dave Biltmore’s first customer — he was also the bank’s first customer in the petroleum industry.

As a veteran relationship manager, Bill took the time to learn about many of the complexities Dave faced, so that he could provide the banking services to meet Caljet’s needs. As part of this process, Dave introduced Bill to the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association (APMA). For the last nine years, both Dave and Bill served on the APMA and APMA Scholarship Foundation Boards of Directors, and both men received awards from the APMA for their work. Over the years, Dave and Bill developed a close, personal friendship.

The company’s growth over the years has been no small achievement. Caljet began with tankage space of 135,000 barrels, and the enterprise now operates from an expanded facility that supports in excess of 46 million gallons of storage, servicing 30 percent of the fuel needs in Arizona.

Since forming our relationship with Caljet and through Bill’s involvement in the APMA, we have been fortunate to work with dozens of clients in the fuel industry and offer a sophisticated level of understanding for their unique businesses.

We have applied this specialized market strategy to a number of different industry niches, such as solar and self-storage. As the Biltmore team continues to develop expertise in these specialty markets, we are retaining our focus on serving our core commercial and industrial clients through the financing of owner-occupied real estate, commercial investment real estate, and manufacturing and distribution operating companies in the greater Maricopa County area of Arizona.

Congratulations to the Caljet team on their continued growth and success. We appreciate the opportunity to learn so much about their industry, as well as others. At Biltmore Bank, we find great fulfillment in spending time with our clients to understand their goals and then open doors to help them achieve these goals.

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Creating niche expertise in the renewable energy industry

Rich_Endicott-2542_portraitBy Rich Endicott, President, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

Solar power is no longer a new technology; it’s a proven alternative energy source, which I’ve even put to work at my own home. The result is that I’m paying much less than I used to pay in energy costs. I know that many of the projects that The Biltmore Bank of Arizona has funded have brought similar savings to businesses, homeowners and non-profit organizations.

Biltmore’s working relationship with Main Street Power and MS Solar Solutions has allowed the bank to support the solar power industry but also to participate in projects that support our local community. Organizations like the Paradise Valley School District, Boys & Girls Clubs, Yuma Airport, Arizona State University and Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center

It is always smart to do your homework, so before making our first renewable energy loan, we spent 18 months educating ourselves on the industry nuances and developing alliances with market leaders and solar industry experts. We drew upon their knowledge, and then we applied our decades of banking expertise to develop niche products and services that support the unique needs of the solar industry.

We believe in the tremendous potential of the renewable energy industry, and, today, we have established ourselves as a premier solar finance provider for businesses, government offices, schools and homeowners across the Southwest and beyond.

Main Street Power and MS Solar Solutions

Biltmore’s partnership with Main Street Power, a developer of distributed solar projects in the 300-kilowatt to 5-megawatt range (which was recently acquired by AES), and MS Solar Solutions (MSSS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, began early in 2010. We used our 30-plus years of banking experience to establish renewable energy loan structures that provide long-term solar energy financing solutions. The significant relationship we have today comprising several large financial commitments is a result of our continued friendships with Phil Henson of AES Main Street Power↗ and Jorge Vargas at MSSS.↗

In 2011, Biltmore participated in the first solar project with MSSS and Main Street, and we have become a primary debt financing partner on many of their Arizona-based solar projects. To date, Biltmore has helped Main Street and MSSS complete several high-profile state, county and municipal solar projects, as well as private projects. In total, Biltmore has participated in projects approaching $100 million dollars.

AES Main Street and MSSS tell us that they continue to work with the Biltmore team because they appreciate our responsiveness when it comes to identifying, reviewing and taking action on potential projects. They also value the increased capabilities that Biltmore can offer as part of the Grandpoint Bank family.

Today, providing financing for our clients’ individual projects, from modest to upwards of $30 million, is well within our reach. For Biltmore’s part, we enjoy the ability to partner with organizations that have a significant understanding and strong track record in the renewable energy space.

We look forward to pursuing the potential the solar industry sector offers to Arizona for as long as the sun shines.

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