Some residents have problems with a proposed 30-story tower at Ala Moana Center

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Updated: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A proposed all-rental high-rise at Ala Moana Center was praised by the construction industry and the city ― but strongly opposed by neighbors.

The 400-foot Ala Moana Plaza would feature 583 rental units with 20% set aside as affordable.  

Neighbors of existing towers worry it would reduce property values, impair views and worsen traffic.

“This developer’s proposal, is ill conceived, rushed during this global pandemic and will reduce the values of our homes in the surrounding towers, bring our traffic to a standstill and overwhelm the infrastructure,” resident George Kailiwai said.

Those in the construction and development industry feel concerns like that are contributing to the housing crisis and economic divide among Hawaii residents.

“I find that offensive and parochial, and it is showing a very distinctive difference between those who have money and those who don’t. One of the best things about this project is that this property, it is 100% rental,” construction industry advocate Nathaniel Kinney said.

The area’s councilman Tommy Waters says the city should be getting more give-backs from the developer, which also owns the shopping center

“And what we are talking about here is 30 stories. 30 stories and packed as much as you can pack into those 30 extra stories with the FAR of 7.0. That’s valuable. And we are about to do this for the whole Ala Moana Shopping Center,” Waters said.

He also said that the center should donate or give up more land for the planned rail line in return for the permission to build the high rises. Although he did agree that this was a good project.  

The proposal was kept alive and has more hearings coming up where new conditions could be added.

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