KEALAKEHE, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Armstrong Builders, LLC, presented ceremonial keys to the newest families moving into homesteads within the Villages of La'i 'Ôpua, located in Kealakehe, Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i.
The new homes in Village 5, constructed by Armstrong Builders, is the department's first new "green" residential project in North Kona.
Tuesday's ceremony also included a traditional Hawaiian blessing led by Kahu Larry Kahekili Ursua and remarks by Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Alapaki Nahale-a and Armstrong Builders CEO Bob Armstrong.
"We rejoice with these families who will be living Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole's dream of returning native Hawaiians to the 'aina to flourish in a sustainable lifestyle," Nahale-a said.
"These new homesteads in Kona are just the beginning of more homesteading opportunities being planned for development in West Hawai'i."
Combining modern technology with Hawaii Island's natural renewable resources, the homes range from three to five bedrooms and offer a number of green features including solar photovoltaic panels, large windows, low-flush toilets, and a Rainwater HOG that collects rainwater for watering plants or washing down the driveway.
"Our vision was to create energy efficient, green sustainable homes that will last for generations," said James R. Keller, President of Armstrong Builders. "We believe that quality is not something that you should pay extra for; it should be expected, and that is what we strive to achieve."
Currently, there are 43 homes being built in ''Phase 5 of La'i 'Ôpua, which is scheduled to be completed by September 2011.
Future plans call for a total of 100 homes in the neighborhood.