New tower brings more affordable units to urban core
A predominantly affordable-housing condominium tower in urban Honolulu began filling up Monday with an initial group of new homeowners moving in.
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A predominantly affordable-housing condominium tower in urban Honolulu
began filling up Monday with an initial group of new homeowners moving in.
The Kapiolani Residence mauka of Ala Moana Center was the second new tower to open in the urban core in less than a week — adding close to 1,000 new households in a part of Oahu undergoing major redevelopment driven by conversion of mainly low-rise commercial properties into new high-rise homes.
While the Kakaako tower called Ae‘o opened Thursday with 466 units selling out for $1 million on average, most Kapiolani Residence units sold for under $590,000 with the top unit selling at $989,500.
Kapiolani Residence developer SamKoo Pacific LLC, under a state program, was able to make the tower taller and denser than allowed under zoning rules in return for reserving 60 percent of units at below-market prices for local residents with moderate incomes.
SamKoo Pacific, an affiliate of a Korean company, also received breaks on city permit fees and state general excise taxes for its
1631 Kapiolani Blvd. project, which took two years to build.
“We are proud to partner with the state of Hawaii and the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to help qualified buyers achieve home ownership in a prime
location in urban Honolulu,” Timothy Yi, SamKoo Pacific president, said in a statement.
To qualify, buyers could earn from
80 to 120 percent of Honolulu’s median household income, which was $80,400 to $120,600 for a family of four two years ago when sales were made.
buyers for the 292 affordable homes — which were priced from $270,800 to $589,900 for studios up
to three-bedroom units — through a lottery that
attracted 900 applicants.
Liz Makarra, who works for a local nonprofit organization, was one of the lucky lottery selectees.
“I’m extremely grateful
to have this opportunity to live here,” she said Monday after scheduling a move-in date for next month. “I’ve been renting for 11 years and saving. This is my first home (purchase). I’m really excited.”
Kapiolani Residence manager Donald Davis said about 11 homeowners daily are scheduled to move in with furniture and other belongings through January. A few also took advantage of picking up their keys Friday to camp out ahead of a building dedication ceremony Saturday.
Kapiolani Residence is SamKoo’s first project in
Sales recently began at
a second tower, named The Central Ala Moana, at a site two blocks Ewa of Kapiolani Residence. Of the
513 units planned there,
60 percent also will be
offered to residents with moderate incomes under the same state affordable-housing program.