Planned Ala Moana luxury condos marketed in China face opposition
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The City Council's Zoning Committee will likely place a hold on plans to build a 26-story condo transit-oriented development project on Sheridan Street.
Councilman Ikaika Anderson said the Hawaii City Plaza project provides little relief for an overheated housing market since up to 60 percent of the units are being marketed in China.
"Where is the benefit to the Hawaii working family? Where is the benefit to the Hawaii resident who is looking for housing? I don't see it with this property," Anderson said.
Developer Jay Fang applied for the TOD designation, which would allow him to build 164 condos on the property. Normal zoning would allow 115 units.
Even though it's a TOD project, Fang conceded that most of his buyers won't even ride the rail, saying mass transit is for "old people, unemployed people or someone who can't afford the expense of a private car." Prices range from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
During a hearing last week, Fang also said he will only use non-union workers.
"We will not work with the union. The reason why is their work rate is 200 percent -- double -- the market rates," Fang said.
"Some people suggest directly or indirectly to work with the union, but we have been suspicious of the unions of Hawaii."
But Anderson said that many of Fang's hires will come from out of the state.
"Where are these workers going to come from? How are we to know this labor force is made up of people who are skilled workers. How do we know that these people are even from Hawaii," he said.
"This project has to benefit the people of Honolulu and the people of Hawaii and unless it does, the City Council should not consider it."
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