Thousands vie for units in new property near Ala Moana Center priced below market

Hopeful homeowners aim to land affordable unit along Honolulu's rail line

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Another new housing project has several thousand people competing for an affordable home along Honolulu’s rail line.

About 1,000 people lined up on Monday to get a first look at developer SamKoo’s newest condominium project: The Central Ala Moana. Over the weekend, about 2,000 people came out, many seeking to apply for units.

The 513-unit building near Ala Moana Shopping Center will include 310 affordable units.

For affordable housing, prices range from $286,000 for studios to $708,000 for a three-bedroom apartment.

Nathan Obando is on the market for a new home. He says there are a lot of restrictions with buying affordable housing.

“It’s a 10-year owner-occupied. So, someone like myself when I’m a millennial, I’m 28. By the time I move in, by the time they finish it, it’s already been two years. That doesn’t start the clock for the 10 years," he said.

“So, by the time I can move out, when the restrictions are over, I’m gonna be 41 years old. So, if I’m trying to start a family, that’s tough.”

There are also rules about minimum and maximum incomes for this project.

Seminars were held this past weekend to help with questions and help potential buyers find loans.

“It’s a lengthy process. About three to four-month process before they can choose their unit," said Timothy Yi, president of SamKoo Pacific, LLC. “So, we just wanted to make sure that people understand the process of affordable housing selection.”

It’s SamKoo’s second affordable housing complex along Kapiolani Boulevard.

"With the first project, Kapiolani Residence, we saw the demands out there. We had over 4,000 people showed up to our seminar for 292 affordable housing units. So, we definitely saw the need of the market,” Yi said.

Yi said they are looking at a third project on Oahu but did not specify where.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.