Developer gets waiver for Honolulu condo on Kakaako glass rule, HCDA rules

The 801 South St. project in Kakaako is one of the workforce housing projects in the area.

The 801 South St. project in Kakaako is one of the workforce housing projects in the area.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has given the developer of a Kakaako condominium a waiver regarding a glass rule issue.

The state agency regulating development in the Honolulu neighborhood on Wednesday unanimously approved Downtown Capital LLC’s petition for a waiver to the rule, and deleted a section of the developer’s development permit for its 801 South St. “Tower A” workforce condo.

However, the decision does not suspend the glass rule for the area as a whole.

Ryan Harada, a principal with Downtown Capital, said that it is pleased with the decision by the HCDA and it appreciates the work done by the staff that posed no disruption to the residents of the completed condo tower.

The issue dealt with the window glazing at he 801 South St.’s first condo tower.

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 the developer 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 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.

In September, 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