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Rentals lure would-be tenants

680 Ala Moana Blvd. has 54 apartments that Kamehameha Schools is offering

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 2:13 a.m. HST, Oct 30, 2012

The chance to live in new loft-style apartments between downtown Hono­lulu and Waikiki attracted a line of prospective tenants Monday, including some who arrived before dawn, but the project wasn't a one-day sellout.

Prospective tenants turned in 18 applications for 54 units at the project dubbed Six Eighty, a former office low-rise at 680 Ala Moana Blvd. in Kakaako which landowner Kamehameha Schools has converted into apartments.

Pearl City residents Mark and Nora Worsham were the first to line up outside the Waikiki office of the project's rental agent, Cirrus Asset Management, at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Mark Worsham, a 67-year-old attorney, said reducing expenses and time commuting to work downtown will be a plus for his family, including a daughter enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also said he's looking forward to living in a neighborhood in the midst of a planned renewal.

"It just seems like an inviting place to be," he said.

Kamehameha Schools has a master plan to redevelop 29 acres in Kakaako with new restaurants, stores and up to 2,750 housing units largely in condominium towers over the next 15 years.

Six Eighty is the first residential component of the master plan. The trust expects to have initial units ready for occupancy next month. A Starbucks opened on the ground floor last month, and a 60,000-square-foot retail complex mauka of Six Eighty is in the works.

Erin Kinney, a Kamehameha Schools spokes­woman, said many people have asked to see finished units at Six Eighty, so arrangements are being made for an open house or tour.

One model unit is decorated in the building, which features 12-foot ceilings, laundry facilities on each floor, a game room, a media room and a recreation deck with barbecue and lounge areas.

Hoku Mundon, 27, and Carly Dye, 30, live in Hawaii Kai and work at Duke's Waikiki. They were interested in the project without seeing a unit, and arrived at the rental office shortly before 7 a.m. Monday.

Mundon said the building's location is attractive. "We want to be close to town," he said.

Rents range from $1,100 to $1,400 a month.

Location and price are two elements that make Six Eighty inviting. But living spaces are small.

Spaces range from 304 to 613 square feet.

The rental rates are significantly below affordable limits set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Apartments are reserved for residents earning no more than Hono­lulu's median income, which is $57,890 for a single person, $66,160 for a couple or $74,430 for a family of three, which is the maximum family size for units at Six Eighty.

Other restrictions for Six Eighty include an asset limit and a requirement to live in the unit. Tenants also cannot have owned a majority interest in a principal residence in the past three years.

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