Back in April, I wrote a blog post about the ever-rising apartment prices in Hawaii and the lack of options for lower-income renters. It seems as though the world, and state boards like the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp, has heard our pleas and more affordable housing is coming to Honolulu. Andrew Gomes of the Star Advertiser has written an exciting piece about a new planned condominium tower near Ala Moana Center. It seems as though because they are offering enough affordable units, they have been able to bypass city zoning and regulations to begin breaking ground in May.
As Mr. Gomes writes in his article, “SamKoo Pacific LLC, developer of the 485-unit tower dubbed Kapiolani Residence, obtained 10 exemptions to city zoning rules Thursday from the board of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., a state agency that facilitates affordable-housing development…Kapiolani Residence is the latest tower to receive exemptions or variances from city or state development rules. Others include the Holomua condo, which was built higher than allowed at 1315 Kalakaua Ave in Makiki as an HHFDC-approved affordable-housing project; the low-income senior rental apartment complex Meheula Vista being developed on land zoned for commercial use in Mililani Mauka; and two towers at 801 South St in Kakaako that received a 100 percent density bonus under a Hawaii Community Development Authority affordable-housing rule.”
We at Bratton Realty Advisers believe that this is a turn for the better and are very excited by these new affordable housing exemptions and projects. This is a great use by local planners to encourage new development, particularly for affordable housing, which we desperately need in Honolulu. We are certain we will continue to see affordable projects cropping up and grabbing those exemptions wherever they can.