Hawaii Governor David Ige, other state, and local officials, along with community leaders and members of the development team joined together recently to officially break ground on the $130 million Kulana Hale mixed-use and senior affordable apartment community.
Located at 1020 Wakea Street in Kapolei on the island of Oahu, the project consists of three components to be built in three phases located on a single three-acre block and includes two 13-story towers and single-story commercial space. Highridge Costa Companies of Gardena, California and Coastal Rim Properties of Honolulu, owned by Franco Mola, are developing Kulana Hale jointly. The project was designed by SVA Architects and is being built by Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company.
The $64 million first phase will provide much-needed housing for seniors earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). The first tower in the new community will feature a total of 154 affordable apartment units, offering 22 studio apartments, 109 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments, and a single one-bedroom manager’s unit. As all essential utilities will be paid by the owner residents will not be responsible for electricity and water costs.
Project amenities will include a community meeting room, picnic area, community workspace with high-speed internet access, and neighborhood-serving retail on the ground floor. All units will come equipped with an oven, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. Phase I of Kulana Hale will feature exceptional energy efficiency in design and operations, including a rooftop photovoltaic array to reduce energy consumption and minimize the project’s carbon footprint. The project will be built to the LEED Platinum standard, representing the development team’s commitment to sustainable communities.
The second phase will add a second tower with 143 affordable units for families as well as additional ground floor retail space and is anticipated to start construction in 2019. The final phase will be comprised of single-story retail space to serve the residents and the larger community. The development will be financed with a combination of tax-exempt bonds, tax credit equity, and a $10.7 Million Rental Housing Revolving Fund Loan from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC). Citibank will be the construction lender and Aegon will be the tax credit investor.
“My administration has been working hard to expand affordable rental housing options across the state for seniors and families who struggle to find homes they can afford. Kulana Hale is a great example of using state funding to attract private investment in our communities,” said Governor David Ige.
“For over 25 years Highridge Costa has been creating quality new affordable senior and family housing in partnership with states throughout the U.S., including Hawaii. We are very excited and proud to announce the groundbreaking of our newest affordable senior community, Kulana Hale in Kapolei, Hawaii, developed in partnership with Hawaii’s State Housing Agency. Kulana Hale will enrich the lives of many seniors living with low and very low incomes while being an asset that both the State of Hawaii and Highridge Costa will be proud of for many years to come,” said Michael Costa President and CEO of Highridge Costa Companies.
“On behalf of myself and the entire Highridge Costa team, I would like to thank the myriad of contributors who came together to make this affordable senior community a reality. Such achievements are only possible when individuals and organizations across the private and public sectors are motivated to bring real change and improvement to the communities in which they live and work,” said Mohannad H. Mohanna, President and Managing Member of Highridge Costa Development Company, LLC.