Council: Ala Moana developer must answer 'poor door' critique

Council: Ala Moana developer must answer 'poor door' critique

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Objections over plans to provide separate entrances for luxury condo owners and the tenants of affordable rentals has delayed approval for an Ala Moana highrise.

The developer of Prospac Tower was supposed to have a hearing Tuesday on its plan for a 41-story, 400-foot project at the Honolulu City Council's Zoning Committee.

But affordable housing advocates objected to renters being required to use a different entrance, which they called the "poor door."

In response, Zoning Chairwoman Kymberly Pine cancelled the hearing and asked the developer to explain his plans to critics.

The condo is slated for the corner of Keeaumoku Avenue and Makaloa Street, one block mauka of Ala Moana Center.

There would be about 350 market priced condo units, which would have an entrance on Keeaumoku.

Another area would have 79 affordable rentals with a separate entrance on Makaloa.

The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice has called the separate entrance offensive.

"Ultimately this will be the first time we will have approved a mixed-use residential project with separate entrances," center co-Director Victor Geminiani told Hawaii News Now. "That sends messages to all of us."

But ProsPac Holdings said separate entrance was a logical way to provide two buildings, with different clientele and amenities, on the same block.

"While most developers create a market rate tower in one location and an affordable tower in another location, our solution allows both projects to exist on the same block in the heart of Honolulu's Ala Moana neighborhood," ProsPac Holdings Assistant Director William Chen said last week, in a statement.

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