The Hawaii Community Development Authority finalized an amended development permit Wednesday requiring construction to start on the moderate-priced 988 Halekauwila condominium tower in Kakaako before an initial luxury tower can be occupied at Ward Village.
The order adopted by the agency’s board followed contentious hearings over the last three months during which 988 Halekauwila developer Howard Hughes Corp. sought to convert its 2013 permit for the tower so that rental apartments could satisfy an HCDA affordable-housing rule instead of condos.
Under the original permit, 375 units in the 424-unit condo tower were to be affordable to moderate-income residents. Hughes Corp. wanted to instead satisfy the rule by providing moderate-priced rentals for 15 years, and suggested that it would reduce the number of affordable condos and start building them as late as 2018 if its request was rejected.
HCDA’s board responded by voting to amend the 988 Halekauwila permit so that 375 affordable condo units must be in the tower. The board also accelerated a development timetable for the tower so that construction must start before the developer’s first luxury tower is completed and can be occupied. Two luxury towers are under construction at Ward Village, and the first one anticipated to be finished is Waiea by the end of next year.