$135M renovation unveiled at Kalihi public housing facility

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It was a much needed overhaul. And thanks to a deal the state made with a private company, it happened at no cost to taxpayers, giving everyone involved a reason to celebrate.

A blessing ceremony that was highly anticipated. This was the time to celebrate the newly renovated Towers at Kuhio Park. It was originally built 48 years ago so nearly everything was broken down, especially the elevators.

“Always, always, there wasn’t a day when you go like this, oh only one elevator now,” explained resident Clyde Ammons.

$135 mill spent on the two towers, which have 16 floors each for a total of 555 units. Organizers say each unit received $97,000 of improvements, leaving roughly $80 million for the infrastructure and common areas. It’s a major undertaking to get it done. A moving company had to give residents moving classes.

“They actually provided all the moving supplies and train the residents on how to pack their possessions so that way everything could stay on schedule so that way,” said Monika Mordasini of Michaels Development Company.

There’s a brand new fitness center, which is a first. Inside the apartments, there’s more living space. Each unit got new cabinets and new appliances. The bathrooms were redone with new tiles, sinks and low flow toilets. Clyde Ammons grew up here, and is grateful for the improvements. He remembers when things were so run down, that when his mom came to visit him for the first time.

“She looked at me and said I’m not coming here no more,” said Ammons.

With full time security and surveillance cameras now in place and the renovations, he says residents are taking more pride, but there’s still more work ahead.

“There’s a few knuckleheads still yet that are not really grateful, said Ammons.

More renovations are also ahead. There are 174 low rise units that will be redone sometime next year.

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