The developer of the first rental apartment tower built in Waikiki in over 20 years has scheduled a lottery to pick tenants for 38 studios reserved for households with lower-moderate income.
Brookfield Properties last week made applications available for the affordable-housing offering in its Lilia Waikiki high-rise, slated to open in May, fronting Kuhio Avenue between Walina and Kanekapolei streets, after more than two years of construction.
The deadline to apply is March 1 for the lottery to be held March 3.
To qualify, applicants must have an annual household income at or below 80% of the median for Honolulu. This limit equates to $67,680 for a single person and $77,360 for a couple.
Initial monthly rent is expected to be $1,320 for the 38 studios with living areas from 326 to 443 square feet, though rent could change when the city updates its median income calculation later this year.
Kris Hui, vice president of mixed-use development at Brookfield, said the company is excited about holding the lottery, given what he described as a housing market in Honolulu where rentals are in short supply and ownership is too costly for many residents.
“These units are essential to serving our workforce, many who are returning to work in our hospitality and service industries as Waikiki continues to reopen following the pandemic,” he said in a statement. “They will have the opportunity to live in the vibrant community where they work, lessening commute times and ultimately improving quality of life.”
At $1,320 a month, the affordable Lilia apartments represent below-market housing in the area where 360-square-foot studios in the nearby Waikiki Walina Apartments are advertised for about $1,600 a month.
Lilia’s 38 affordable studios satisfy a portion of a city affordable- housing requirement tied to new housing construction.
Brookfield previously satisfied its balance about two years ago, shortly after beginning construction on the tower in late 2019, by providing 53 units in three existing adjacent low-rise apartment buildings that the company renovated and rented to households with up to five people earning up to 80% of the median income adjusted for family size.
Initial monthly rents for units in these buildings, now known as the Kanekapolei Collection, were $1,406 for one-bedroom apartments with 500 square feet of living space on average and $1,852 for two-bedroom apartments with 900 square feet of living space on average.
All 91 affordable apartments tied to Lilia must be reserved for qualified tenants at affordable rents for 30 years.
Brookfield is building Lilia on land leased for 65 years by an affiliate of The Queen’s Health Systems.
Lilia will include 363 market- priced luxury apartments with one, two and three bedrooms plus some studios and penthouse units where monthly rents are projected to start at $2,500 and rise up to an amount Brookfield said it has yet to determine.
The developer expects to solicit applications for market units by March.
Amenities being built in the 28-story tower for all Lilia residents include a resort-style pool and spa, a fitness center, private cabanas for outdoor dining, food grills and an outdoor lounge area around a historic banyan tree that was preserved on the property.
A two-story grocery store dubbed Waikiki Market, to be operated by an affiliate of the local Foodland chain, also is slated to open in the tower on the site that had long been partly occupied by Foodland’s Food Pantry grocery store. A collection of retail stores and restaurants also is planned in the bottom of the tower.
HOW TO APPLY
>> Applications are available online at liliawaikiki.com/affordablehousing or at 441 Walina St., Suite 100.
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