Hawaiian Homes Commission Approves Purchase of Kamehameha Schools Real Estate
News Release from DHHL, January 28, 2020
(KAPOLEI, HI) –The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) approved the purchase of approximately one acre of real estate in Mōʻiliʻili from Kamehameha Schools on Tuesday, Jan. 28. There are currently two vacant apartment buildings with 31 units on the three parcels between Isenberg and Coolidge Streets. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) intends to rehabilitate those buildings immediately and deploy them as affordable rentals to applicants on the wait list using recently approved rules for rentals on Hawaiian Home Lands.
“The greatest demand on the DHHL wait list is for O`ahu with over 9,000 residential applications,” said William J. Ailā, Jr., HHC Chairman. “O`ahu is also where we have the least amount of available land, roughly three percent of the Department’s total land inventory. Securing additional lands on O`ahu suitable for residential development will help to serve our beneficiaries.”
DHHL’s long term plans are to develop a high rise on the property. The Department released Requests for Proposals at the end of 2019 to develop a high rise at 820 Isenberg Street, the former Bowl-O-Drome location, which is across the street from the Kamehameha Schools parcels. The selection of a Developer for 820 Isenberg Street project will be announced in the coming months.
“Kamehameha Schools’ ability to make these lands available for sale to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands provides a vital housing option to those native Hawaiian families we serve,” said Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Jack Wong. “Our organizations want to see every Hawaiian lead a healthy, successful life and this project represents that possibility for generations to come.”
Kamehameha Schools and the DHHL have agreed upon a $7.8 million sale price, which is the most recent Tax Assessed Valuation for the properties. DHHL is using a $6.9 million appropriation from the Hawai`i State Legislature and $1.75 million of trust funds to purchase the real estate and rehabilitate the buildings.
In 2016, HHC accepted a donation of agricultural land from Castle & Cooke Hawai`i at Whitmore Village in Wahiawa, O`ahu. The properties, which came with reservations and covenants, were not considered as available lands as defined in Section 203 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended. In an effort to provide financial resources to DHHL to purchase lands on O`ahu to add to its inventory while also increasing the inventory of state lands available for agricultural activities, a $6.9 million appropriation was set aside for the Department.
“This development is groundbreaking for DHHL,” said Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz. “Up until last year, there was no mechanism for DHHL to provide affordable rental to their beneficiaries. With the purchase of this parcel, DHHL is able to incorporate vertical and high-density housing strategies that will help to address the beneficiary wait list. O`ahu has the least amount of homestead land yet has the highest number of applicants. This parcel provides beneficiaries with quality, safe and affordable housing options in the urban corridor.”
DHHL is currently completing offers to applicants on its wait list for 395 lots and has over 1,300 lots in the production pipeline to be completed over the next five years.
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