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City gives housing buyer until Monday to make assurances

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:15 a.m. HST, Jan 4, 2014

The partnership that agreed to a $142 million purchase of 12 Honolulu affordable housing complexes from the city has until 4 p.m. Monday to provide financial assurances or the deal likely will be nixed, Honolulu Managing Director Ember Shinn told members of a City Council committee Friday.

"This is a collapsing deal," Shinn told the Executive Matters and Legislative Affairs Committee. "If it is salvageable, it will be through some efforts that are extraordinary."

Shinn, serving as acting mayor during Mayor Kirk Caldwell's 17-day family vacation, described the complex transaction known as the Honolulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative as "probably the largest financial deal the city has done in a very long time." 

The Caldwell administration stands ready to do "anything" to close the deal with Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC, Shinn said, including extending "seller financing" that would allow the buyers to use the city's leverage to meet its financing obligations.

But first city officials want to hear by the end of Monday's business day from the partnership that they intend to complete the deal by the scheduled closing date of March 31. 

"If we do not hear from them, then I would say there is a good chance that the deal is dead," Shinn said.

No representatives from the partnership attended Friday's committee meeting.

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