Former home of Tokai college in Moiliili acquired by city for affordable housing
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday announced that the city has finalized a $37.75 million acquisition of the former home of Hawaii Tokai International College.
The property will add more than 100 new affordable housing rental units to Oahu’s inventory.
The city said the 19-floor, 172,036-square-foot Waikiki Vista building, which is located on Kapiolani Boulevard in Moiliili, is its largest and most significant investment in affordable housing.
Once completed, rents could be as low at $1,350 and $1,500 a month, the city said.
“We just saw an opportunity that we thought was too good to not make happen,” Blangiardi said.
“It is very exciting to see what was yesterday a dream, a vision ― and maybe even a maybe ― become a reality.”
Since 2017, when Hawaii Tokai International College sold the building to an investment group, the property has been used as a housing facility for students, mostly attending Hawaii Pacific University.
Students who currently live there can stay until the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
“A lot of work went into this, that’s what I want to stress in our efforts to deal with the affordable housing crisis,” Blangiardi said.
The deal is part of the city’s ― and the state’s ― ambitious plans to build thousands of affordable housing units over the next several years.
“We are step by step achieving our goals of that 22,000 (new affordable) units that we need here in the state of Hawaii,” said City Councilmember Calvin Say.
The project also includes 35 parking stalls and is located next to transit lines and is within walking distance of major recreational and retail centers.
“We’re on the bus route for the general public at large, we’re close to Ala Moana Shopping Center, we’re close to the Ala Wai Golf Course for those families that want to go and golf,” said Say.
The city said it plans to hire a contractor to renovate the building after the HPU students move out. The construction could add additional units or the project could be refurbished to house senior citizens.
The city said the deal is being funded with federal money.
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