Long-awaited Chinatown senior affordable housing project breaks ground

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:45 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 4:21 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After years of delay, the $93.3 million Halewaiolu Senior Residences in Chinatown will begin construction.

Gov. David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and a host of other elected officials and real estate executives were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The 17-story project will include 156 one- and two-bedroom units, with rents starting at $547 a month.

“This is exactly what we want: Affordable housing in the urban core for our kupuna, for people in low and median incomes,” said Blangiardi.

The project replaces a run-down commercial building, which has been a magnet for crime and the homeless for years.

“This project has been on the books for a while and it really is what I think is special about affordable housing project in Hawaii,” said Ige.

The governor was referring to neighborhood opposition, which stalled the project for years.

But with a new mayor and new City Council, the project got new momentum.

With the median price of a single-family home on Oahu approaching $1 million, the project’s developer said there’s no shortage of demand for projects like theirs.

“It’s unending because we can’t get caught up,” said Karen Seddon, regional vice president for The Michaels Organization.

“All of the affordable housing developers are working on going as fast as we can but we can’t get caught up.”

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