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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: 02:13 a.m. HST, Oct 30, 2012

Craig T. kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.comBetty Lam-Frederick and daughter Daryl Frederick were in line Monday at 7 a.m. to fill out an application for Six Eighty, a low-rise in Kakaako which landowner Kamehameha Schools has converted into apartments.

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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bobbob wrote:
"but the project wasn't a one-day sellout." - don't they mean rentout? $1100 for a studio with no parking (can rent parking also f0r $75 a month) is really expensive. Of course it isn't "new", but you can rent places with double the living space for that much in town.
on October 30,2012 | 02:45AM
allie wrote:
yikes..they are just closets
on October 30,2012 | 06:44AM
Larry01 wrote:
What do you expect for affordable apartments? 1500 square feet?
on October 30,2012 | 08:42AM
cojef wrote:
Friend is letting a 1100 sq.ft. property unfurnished for $1650, without garage next to Don Quijote on Kaheka. It is a 4 story building with ground level parking below the units. Ala Moana Mall is nearby and convenient. It is currently occupied. It is not a cracker box like the article.
on October 30,2012 | 03:07PM
Mike174 wrote:
Can't wait to see the reception for a 60 story building...
on October 30,2012 | 08:08AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Rabbit hutches. Usagigoya.

The future of urban living under transit oriented development. Is this what you want Hawaii? Teeny tiny boxes at high prices, parking extra if available at all, with not much view, next to roads and rail lines?

on October 30,2012 | 09:23AM
Dragonman wrote:
Yikes, sounds like New York.
on October 30,2012 | 09:32AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 12:37PM
PCTekHI wrote:
why not have a capsule hotels like in japan? you could fit a few capsules within those rentals
on October 30,2012 | 06:07PM
false wrote:
If apartments are reserved for residents in the 57,890 to 74,430 range, why does an attorney qualify? Clients must really be scarce.
on October 30,2012 | 09:42AM
Larry01 wrote:
Not all attorneys make big bucks. I've known a few who have barely scraped by for a number of reasons. If the guy in the article is 67, could be he's only working part time, too.
on October 30,2012 | 10:50AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Good observation. They should watch out for this type of renter. He will probably rent a unit in his daughter's name (student at UH Manoa) and then live there himself. These kind of "affordable" housing projects are corrupt to the core.
on October 30,2012 | 12:09PM
from_da_cheapseats wrote:
Hawaiians: this is your Bishop Estate at work, growing their endowment for the education of future generations. Or getting a little money to buy a wetland at Haliewa. While I salute the effort, as it costs them very little, and gives something back to poor people, it doesn't do much. Why don't you pay attention to getting something really going - like Pucks Alley, Varsity Threatre, Keauhou, etc. You trade Pearl City Drive-in for Varisty theatre, and the guys you give it to plan a major development in 3-4 years, while nothing nothing nothing happens to Varisty theatre.
on October 30,2012 | 09:55AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Notice the "maximum family size" allowed at this development is 3 people? Yeah, that certainly matches well with the KS mission demographic.
on October 30,2012 | 12:01PM
Larry01 wrote:
KS's mission is education, but they fulfill that mission partly by making profitable business decisions. The business arm isn't bound by the mission, they make the mission possible. Not to say they're not real pills about it sometimes.
on October 30,2012 | 03:01PM
stanmanley wrote:
Amazing what advertising does. My wife saw the ad for the low cost rentals. After looking at the square footage and rent costs, I was very unimpressed. There are rentals out there for less and more square footage in the Mccully, Kapahulu and Makiki area.
on October 30,2012 | 12:48PM
kauai999 wrote:
is the rental market that tight in honolulu? the rent here for 680 ala moana, which is a 52 year old building, and about 60% of the square footage and almost TWICE as much of what I pay here in hillsboro, oregon.
on October 30,2012 | 02:50PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
There are many Federal studies that prove that people confined in spaces under 400 square feet for extended periods ultimately end up chewing off each other's body parts. It's true, you can Google it.
on October 30,2012 | 04:38PM
tiki886 wrote:
#1 This is the free market at work. On the first day it was one third rented out with 18 applications. 18 people or more disagreed with all of you whiners and naysayers. If the rents were any lower, it would have been 100% rented out on the first day and that would mean the rents were too low.

#2 You are also whining because you know your current rent or mortgage is either much lower than this project is offering or because you don't see value in the rent being offered. What does that mean? Thank your "greedy" landlord if you are renting and thank your "greedy" developer from whom you bought your home.

It means we need to build more homes faster and in a much larger volume to reduce prices by satisfying the demand.

on October 30,2012 | 06:51PM
tiki886 wrote:
I'm also waiting for one of you to say it's the "greedy" foreigner's kids from China who are renting these units. Oooooo scary foreign investors are not only buying Hawaii properties, they're also renting our properties! Oooooo, I'm shaking in my boots....
on October 30,2012 | 07:04PM
sailfish1 wrote:
#2 doesn't make any sense
on October 30,2012 | 07:57PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
We never understand him. He likes developers a lot. Beyond that.....who knows what he's talking about.
on October 30,2012 | 09:21PM
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