City Council approves plan to fast-track 43-story affordable housing condo in Moiliili
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of affordable condos are on the way as the city fast-tracks a new condo tower on the east end of Kapiolani Boulevard near Market City Shopping Center.
The Honolulu City Council unanimously voted to approve exemptions for construction fees of Kuilei Place condo that would have cost the developer Kobayashi Group $12.3 million.
The 43-story high rise is walking distance to public transportation, schools, stores, and eateries.
It will offer about 402 units at market rates and 603 units will be set aside for lower-income tenants.
Council Chairman Tommy Waters says the city is waiving fees to get developers to build more affordable housing. “Priority is given to local people, you have to be owner occupied, and you have to stay there for 10 years,” said Waters. “And that to me really, really helped persuade me to vote up on this project.”
Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, managing partner and executive vice president of Kobayashi Group, said Kuilei Place “will create 1,005 quality, thoughtfully designed homes that meet the needs of our local families.
More than 500 testified in support of the resolution, including Realtor Lee Wang.
“Projects like this help keep locals here,” said Wang.
“This is positive change in in my eyes for sure, for not just this generation but generations to come.”
But longtime Moiliili Resident Laura Ruby is one of 16 people who testified against the project.
She said it’s happening too quickly, without enough public discussion.
“There was zero here, just absolutely zero, they just thought they could steamroll it through and that is offensive to all of us,” said Ruby.
Waters said state law requires them to act on the project within 45 days or it moves ahead automatically.
Laura Alexander, who lives right next to site, just learned about the project.
Her place is safe, but she’s worried about her neighbors who have been given notice to move out.
“When you’re low income you need to actually live in places where you can walk to,” said Alexander.
“They actually can have easy access to the food that they need and the work that they need to get to, I mean what about the low-income people?”
The developer said those residents will remain there until construction begins.
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