HCDA starts taking at look at glass issue for another Kakaako condominium

pg28801-south-street-750xx600-338-0-121The Hawaii Community Development Authority held its first public hearing Wednesday that addressed a glass rule issue at a second Kakaako condominium, which lasted nearly an hour with no questions from the board and no public testimony.

The issue deals with the window glazing at Downtown Capital LLC’s completed 801 South St. “Tower A” workforce condominium in the growing Honolulu neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for Downtown Capital told PBN that the 801 South St. Association of Apartment Owners, which now owns the tower, provided a resolution saying that the residents do not want to change the windows.

In August, Downtown Capital filed a petition for a waiver or suspension of the area’s glass rule as it pertains to the 801 South St. project, and to amend its development permit.

The developer also asked that the waiver or permanent suspension of the rule become effective Dec. 5, 2012.

Shortly after receiving Downtown Capital’s petition, the state agency, which regulates development in Kakaako, issued a notice of violation to Downtown Capital regarding the glass rule.

The glass rule says that window glazing shall be transparent with clear or limited UV tint so as to provide views out of and into the building, and that the visible light transmission level of windows on the ground floor shall be 70 percent or greater.

The rule also noted that on all other floors, the visible light transmission level shall be 50 percent or greater.

The HCDA said that, based on the report done by its consultant on this issue, Douglas Engineering Pacific Inc., it believes that there are several glazing products that could have been used in the project that would have met the requirements of the glass rule.

The state agency is scheduled to hold a second public hearing on this issue on Thursday, starting at 9 a.m.

The HCDA has scheduled a decision-making hearing for December 2 at 1 p.m.

All hearings are being held at the second floor of the HCDA offices at 547 Queen St. in Honolulu.

The developer of the 801 South St. project, which has already completed Tower A, is now working on the project’s second tower or “Tower B.”

Together, the two towers are expected to have a total of more than 1,000 units.

Last month, the HCDA let San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan proceed with its Symphony Honolulu condo tower without making changes to the building’s glass curtain after deciding that it was a standard it could not defend.

The state agency and the developer reached a $1 million settlement over the glass issue.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News