Local Connection: Developer spars with City Council - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Developer spars with City Council

A Chinese developer planning two multi-million dollar high-rise near Ala Moana has run into a troubling road block at the city council.

Developer Jay Fang's proposed luxury condo is supported by the Mayor's planning department. He's so far agreed to the city's terms, including building some affordable units.  

He seems to have the money he needs. He's using Chinese investors who can get a green card for investing half a million dollars.

But the council is stonewalling the project because Council leaders apparently believe the million-dollar condos will be sold mostly to foreign buyers, and will not help with the housing shortage for local people.  

Fang's been candid, if not blunt, in his comments which hasn't helped. Even though he's getting breaks for building near a rail station - he said his buyers would be too rich for mass transit. He also said the councilmembers are biased against Chinese, and complained that doing business in Honolulu is harder than in China.

Unfortunately, he may have a point.

If the council has legitimate doubts about this type of project, they should change the rules for everyone. Otherwise, stalling a project because you don't like a developer or his customers is inappropriate. And, once again, sends a message that Hawaii is a terrible place to come and do business. 

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