Neighbors raise concerns about proposed condo in Kakaako

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A new affordable workforce condominium is being planned in Kakaako, but neighbors worry the proposed building will take away their views and could add to traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard.

The half-acre lot at 803 Waimanu is now a series of warehouses, but if MJF Development Corp. gets approval, it will soon be a 192-unit workforce housing project.

Developers of the 29-floor building pitched their proposal to the Hawaii Community Development Authority. They asked for design approvals that would allow the building to be built less than 40 feet away from the larger Imperial Plaza condominium.

“I don’t know if you can imagine waking up in the morning and seeing your neighbor 38 feet away eating breakfast. This room is 50 feet wide, so less than that,” Imperial Plaza resident Bernard Nunies said.

Neighbors have also complained of a lack of communication about the development.

“Are really being driven by one critical element that is the lack of prior notice to the residents immediate adjacent to the project,” Honolulu City Councilmember Carol Fukunaga said.

That prompted a response from the developer.

“We want to be good neighbors, we want to set up a meeting and take them through the design and landscaping and I thought that we can come up with some common ground,” MJF Development Corp. President Franco Mola said.

“We would be happy to facilitate a meeting before the next board meeting,” Rep. Fukunaga said.

The Development Authority will have another meeting for public testimony on June 15 and will present their approval or denial of the developer’s permit application.

If approved, sales and construction could begin this fall and the building could be finished by spring 2015.

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