The Howard Hughes Corp. advances Kakaako rental project

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s planned rental project at 988 Halekauwila, part of the developer's 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community.

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.’s planned rental project at 988 Halekauwila, part of the developer’s 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has officially requested the ability to proceed with its previously approved residential project at 988 Halekauwila across from Sports Authority in Honolulu as a rental development, a senior vice president for the Texas-based developer confirmed to PBN.

“By offering rental units, we will be able to better meet the need for affordable housing by reaching significantly more people at lower average median incomes,” Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village, told PBN in an email. “Approval of this request would extend the length of regulations keeping the units affordable to 15 years at 80 percent to 100 percent of median income compared to for-sale units that would only remain affordable for two to five years at 100 percent to 140 percent of median income.”

For a single person, the Honolulu area median income at 80 percent is $46,256, while it’s $57,820 at 100 percent and $80,948 at 140 percent, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Vanderboom said that if this change happens, it will in no way impact the number of reserved housing units — 375 — provided at 988 Halekauwila, which represents three time the number of units required for phase one of Ward Village.

“This project also fulfills the reserved housing requirements for future phases of Ward Village in response to the demand for affordable homes in Honolulu,” he said. “Ward Village is dedicated to providing a range of housing in our community for local residents.”

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency overseeing the redevelopment of Kakaako, has not set a meeting date on the project, a spokeswoman for The Howard Hughes Corp. told PBN.

The project, which will be located on what is the former site of the Kanpai Bar & Grill and the current California Rock ‘N Sushi, is part of the developer’s first phase of its 60-acre Ward Village master plan.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News