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Symphony tower wins variance on orientation of new condo

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:47 p.m. HST, May 02, 2012


A developer won state approval today to position a Kakaako high-rise condominium in a way that deviates from a new rule intended to preserve mauka-makai views.

The planned 400-foot Symphony Honolulu luxury condo was granted a variance from a tower orientation rule of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency governing development in Kakaako.

The rule, which became effective in November, requires that the long side of towers run parallel to the nearest of five mauka-makai streets — Punchbowl, South, Cooke, Ward and Piikoi — within an allowed 20-degree deviation.

Symphony Honolulu's developer, San Diego-based OliverMcMillan, asked to build the tower with the long side parallel to the Ewa-Diamond Head direction. The company said characteristics of its lot restricted it from the highest and best use of the site under the rule.

HCDA's board voted 10-1 to approve the variance. The $380 million project still needs a development permit from the agency, though the variance request was a controversial preliminary issue that needed to be considered first.






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