Developer offers lottery for "workplace housing" condos

Developer offers lottery for "workplace housing" condos

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Countless headlines were written at the old Honolulu Advertiser building and put into newspapers for people to read at home. But soon the site itself will be home to hundreds of people.

The 801 South Street high rise will feature 635 units in 46 stories with studios, one and two bedroom condos.  The units are listed between $250,000 to $550,000. In all seventy five percent of them will be offered to the lower income.

"It's a segment of our market that is just starving for inventory," said Jason Nishikawa, Marcus and Associates Project Broker.

It's the first project under the Kakaako workforce housing ordinance focusing on the working class.  It's affordable but not government assisted.

"This is not affordable housing in the sense that a lot of people know. This is a workforce housing project that just happens to have affordably priced units," said Nishikawa.

The real estate office at the corner of Queen and Keawe Street opens Saturday but people like Leroy Nosaka are dropping in early.  He's checking out the place for his daughter in Kahaluu.

"She is temporarily living with me so we are trying to find a place that is convenient and agreeable to her and this is the place," said Nosaka.

To qualify a single person must make less than $85,000 and a family of four less than $120,000.  Keep in mind these are not luxury units.  To stay affordable there isn't a pool or gym.  All the units are smaller than 820 square feet. But maintenance fees are also under $300.

Developers are expecting high demand so instead of waiting in long lines they will have a lottery.  People can pick up a packet and return the documents later.

"No camping out necessary," said Nishikawa. "In the documents itself you would need to provide two years of tax returns, W2's, current pay stubs and that's pretty much it."

"I was always unlucky at Las Vegas, maybe my luck, her luck might be better," said Nosaka.

Prospective buyers will have to get their paperwork together quickly.  The lottery for eligible buyers will be March 23. Just two weeks away.

The Hawaii 5-0 crew, which has been filming at the old Advertiser building, will be moving to Diamond Head in May.  Construction on the 801 South St high rise will begin this summer and finish in 2015.

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