Ward Village switches building plan from for-sale to affordable rentals

Rendering: Ward Village

Ward Village has revised plans for its 988 Halekauwila project that would provide more affordable rentals to residents in urban Honolulu.

The plan is pending approval by the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA).

The developer submitted a motion to the HCDA for the option to allow the previously approved for-sale residences at 988 Halekauwila to be built as workforce rentals. If approved, Ward Village would be able to offer homes to local families and individuals earning 80 to 100 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The building would be Honolulu’s largest affordable rental development in decades.

“Ward Village is master-planned to provide quality homes for owners and renters at different income levels,” said David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “We want local individuals and families who live and work in the area to find their future home at Ward Village and are requesting this change to help fulfill the need for workforce housing in Honolulu, offering more local residents the opportunity to live in a master-planned neighborhood complete with community amenities.”

Rendering: Ward Village
Rendering: Ward Village

The 988 Halekauwila project is currently approved as for-sale and would be reserved for residents making 100 to 140 percent of AMI.

Rental units, which are available to those with lower average median incomes making 80 to 100 percent of the AMI, help meet the community’s need for long-term affordable housing. For a single person, 80 to 100 percent of AMI equates to an annual salary of $53,700 to $57,820. This offers greater affordability than the for-sale option for individuals making up to 140 percent of AMI, which equates to an annual salary of $80,948.

An additional 49 rentals in the 424-unit building will also be for-rent, if the request is approved. They will rent at market rate and be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The change to offer units as rental will not change the number of reserved housing units – 375 – offered by the project. It will also extend the period of affordability required for the units from two to five years (for-sale) to 15 years (for-rental).

“The addition of affordable rentals for our local community is a positive step in the right direction,” said Rev. Bob Nakata, co-chair of the Housing Task Force for Faith Action for Community Equity. “This request is a good beginning and positive sign that developers and the HCDA are paying attention to and building what the community needs.”

Ward Village’s 988 Halekauwila project exceeds the number of units required by the HCDA for Phase One of the Ward Village Master Plan by three times the amount.

Located on the mauka-ewa corner of Ward Avenue and Halekauwila Street, 988 Halekauwila will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom workforce housing residences within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, parks, beaches and the revitalized Kewalo Harbor. The building will target LEED certification as part of Ward Village, which is certified as the state’s only LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Platinum-Certified community.

Ward Village will offer a four acre privately-maintained public park, complete streets with wide, shaded, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and bike lanes and is in close proximity to existing bus lines and the future Ward Village rail station. Retail located on the ground floor of the building will provide convenient shopping options for the residents.

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