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Forest City selected to build Super Tower in Kakaako

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 11:58 a.m. HST, Dec 13, 2012

The Hawaii Community Development Authority today selected Ohio-based developer Forest City Enterprises Inc. to build a potential 650-foot rental apartment tower in Kakaako.

Forest City beat out Australia-based Lend Lease to develop the project known as 690 Pohukaina. At 650 feet, the tower would be 250 feet above current height limits.

The state agency unanimously picked Forest City’s $293 million project in a vote by its nine board members. The agency now will work to negotiate a detailed development agreement with the developer.

Forest City proposed 804 rental units in a single 650-foot tower or two smaller towers. Of those units, 390 would be affordable to tenants earning no more than 120 percent of Honolulu’s median income. Another 390 would be for tenants earning up to 140 percent of the median income. There also would be 24 luxury penthouse apartments.

Lend Lease proposed 1,002 fee-simple condominium units for sale in two towers. Of those units, 526 would be affordable to people earning no more than 140 percent of Honolulu’s median income. The other 476 units would be sold at market prices.

A committee of three agency board directors scored the two proposals, and out of a maximum 500 points Forest City scored 480 to Lend Lease’s 461.

Forest City outscored Lend Lease in each of four criteria areas — experience, concept, financing plan and state benefit.

Construction is projected to begin as early as mid-2016, with completion three years after that.

Before construction can start, the agency has to complete an environmental impact statement and modify development rules to allow the 650-foot height limit.

The tower is to be built on a 2-acre site owned by the state and bordered by Keawe Street, Pohukaina Street and Mother Waldron Park.

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