DHHL seeks developer for old Bowl-O-Drome site
The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is looking for a developer to build affordable rental housing for beneficiaries on a former bowling alley site in Moiliili after years of contemplation.
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The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is seeking a developer to build affordable rental housing for beneficiaries on a former bowling alley site in Moiliili after years of contemplation.
DHHL on Monday issued a request for proposals to develop and operate a rental apartment complex on the 1.9-acre former Stadium Bowl-O-Drome property at 830 Isenberg St.
The agency is seeking a developer to operate the
project for up to
65 years, and envisions that revenue from retail or other commercial space on the ground floor would help subsidize rents.
DHHL unsuccessfully tried for several years to enhance commercial use of the property before taking up planning for residential use in more recent years. Part of the slow progress for realizing its current vision has to do with permission to provide rental housing to beneficiaries.
The agency said board members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission only recently adopted new administrative rules to allow DHHL to administer rentals on its lands. These new rules are awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature, DHHL said.
DHHL, which has about 28,000 Native Hawaiians on its waiting list for homestead lot leases that cost
$1 a year, said in the proposal request that fewer than 27% of applicants could make a 10% down payment for a $150,000 home on a lot and that about 5% of applicants would prefer an affordable rental.
“This project brings forward another option for our beneficiaries,” William Aila Jr., commission chairman and DHHL director, said in
DHHL acquired the Bowl-O-Drome property from another state agency in 1995 as part of a state land-use settlement but has been slow to achieve a higher and better use of the site.
The bowling alley opened in 1955 and operated until 1999. Another operator of the 24-lane bowling alley resurrected operations from mid-2000 to mid-2004.
In 2002 DHHL solicited commercial redevelopment proposals that didn’t result in a deal. A similar attempt in 2006 also failed, though a tow truck company rented the parking lot from 2003 to mid-2017.
DHHL identified the
Moiliili site in a 2014 plan
as being suited for up to
126 residences in a two- to 10-story building. However, the agency said Monday that developers have flexibility to diverge from that scenario and build more homes.
“We are looking forward to seeing what creative
solutions the proposals bring to light,” Aila said in his statement.
Developers have until
2 p.m. Oct. 18 to submit
proposals. DHHL anticipates making a selection from sealed bids Dec. 2.