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Honolulu Mayor Celebrates Renovated Kakaako Park

Developer Stanford Carr donated money to add a new basketball court, playground and landscaping.

·By Anita Hofschneider and Chad Blair

Surrounded by community members and keiki, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and developer Stanford Carr unveiled the revitalized Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako on Friday.

Carr gave the city $500,000 to renovate the 1.76-acre park by adding a new basketball court, playground and landscaping. The area borders Carr’s new low-income housing development called Halekauwila Place.

Reopening ceremony for Waldron Park in Kakaako, Sept. 12, 2014.

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

The historic park, which was built in 1937, was designed by Harry Sims Bent in the art deco style, and named after Margaret

The BeatDevelopment Blog

Report: Kauai Resort Sold For $343 Million to Thai-Chinese Investor

It's one of the first major investments from China in Hawaii, Pacific Business News reported.

·By Anita Hofschneider

The Princeville Resort on the north shore of Kauai has been sold to a Chinese company for $343 million, Pacific Business News reported Wednesday.

Reignwood International, a $2 billion company owned by Thai-Chinese businessman Chanchai Ruayrungruang, bought 1,103 acres of the resort as well as the Prince Golf Course.

A taro field in Hanalei, Kauai.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

PBN reported that the company plans to retain its employees and that the sale is one of the first major Chinese investments in Hawaii.

“Hawaii’s culture has deep roots in Asian heritage

The BeatDevelopment Blog

Maunawili: The Richest Town in Hawaii

Business Insider reveals the communities with the highest median incomes in each state.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Chevy Chase, Maryland. Hidden Hills, California. Mauanawili, Hawaii.

Although they’re thousands of miles apart, these neighborhoods all have one thing in common: Their residents are the wealthiest in each state, according to an analysis of Census data by Business Insider.

The median household income in Maunawili is $137,143, more than twice as much as the statewide median of $67,492. And it’s way more than the national median household income of $53,046.

Click here to read the full story from Business Insider.

The BeatDevelopment Blog

State Gives $5M to Maui Sports Complex That Neighbors Want to Stop

Central Maui homeowners are suing the state and county to halt construction, citing violations of county zoning laws.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released $5 million to fund the construction of the Central Maui Regional Sports Complex just a week after Maui homeowners filed a lawsuit to stop the project.

The $25 million project is slated to include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields and a 700-stall parking lot across 65 acres in central Maui.

A nonprofit organization called Maui Lani Neighbors, made up of Central Maui homeowners, filed a lawsuit on Sept. 2 alleging that the project violates zoning laws and county planning documents.

The groundbreaking for the Maui

The BeatCapitol WatchDevelopment Blog

HCDA To Consider Director’s Salary Increase in Closed Meeting

UPDATED: Some Kakaako residents oppose the secrecy and proposed raise.

·By Anita Hofschneider

UPDATED 9/9/14 3:45 p.m.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority board is planning to meet to decide whether or not to appoint a committee that could increase Executive Directory Anthony Ching’s salary by as much as $20,000.

UPDATE The meeting was supposed to be held on Tuesday at noon but will be rescheduled because the board didn’t have enough members to meet quorum.

The meeting will be closed to the public, pursuant to a Hawaii law that allows the board to hold closed meetings if they deal with private matters of an employee.


HonoluluThe BeatDevelopment Blog

Honolulu Councilman Advocates Ohana Units as Affordable Housing Solution

Honolulu Councilman Ron Menor introduced a resolution to allow homeowners to rent accessory dwelling units to non-family members.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Honolulu Councilman Ron Menor wants to encourage homeowners to build accessory dwelling units, currently known as ohana units, to increase the supply of low-cost housing in Hawaii.

The council member from central Oahu has introduced a resolution amending the city’s land use ordinance to allow homeowners to build a second housing unit on their properties that they can rent to anyone. Right now, the city limits occupancy of such units to family members (hence the name “ohana units”).

Halekauwila Place is the only new development in fast-growing Kakaako considered “affordable” for

The BeatDevelopment Blog

Honolulu Home Price Dips Slightly Compared With August Last Year

The median price of a condo remained steady, according to new data from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

·By Anita Hofschneider

New data from the Honolulu Board of Realtors reveals that Honolulu’s median home price dropped slightly last month compared with August 2013, falling from $665,000 to $650,000 for a single-family home.

The price of a condo remained the same at $350,000. Sales of homes and condos were also down, as well as the average price of both.

Just two months ago, Honolulu’s median home price hit a record high of $700,000.

Julie Meier, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said the data still shows that Hawaii has a healthy housing market, noting

The BeatDevelopment Blog

Howard Hughes Withdraws Petition to Provide Fewer Affordable Units in Kakaako

The developer asked HCDA to clarify whether it would be OK to provide rentals that remain inexpensive for a longer period of time in lieu of for-sale units.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Howard Hughes Corp. has withdrawn its petition to the Hawaii Community Development Authority asking whether it would satisfy the agency’s affordable housing requirements in Kakaako to build fewer affordable rental units that remain affordable a longer period of time instead of more for-sale units.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported last week that Howard Hughes Corp. had submitted the application, which could reduce the amount of moderate-priced housing created in the redevelopment district.

Building cranes on new construction in Kakaako area on July 21, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The state has

The BeatCapitol WatchDevelopment Blog

Hawaii Land Use Commission Regains Quorum After Abercrombie Appoints Three Members

The statewide zoning board has been unable to conduct official business since several members quit in July.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed three interim members to the state Land Use Commission, allowing the board in charge of administering the state land use law to resume conducting official business.

The commission’s work came to a standstill in July when four members resigned and another’s term ended. At least two of the resignations were prompted by concerns regarding a new law requiring disclosure of personal financial interests.

The appointees include Brandon Ahakuelo from Honolulu, a director at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1260; Kent Hiranaga from Paia, Maui,

The BeatCapitol WatchDevelopment Blog

The Most Popular Job in Hawaii Pays $10.92 Per Hour

New data on Hawaii's workforce finds that doctors earn the most, but the largest occupation is retail salesperson.

·By Anita Hofschneider

It pays to be a doctor in Hawaii. A new analysis of Hawaii’s 2013 workforce from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations found that the top five highest-earning occupations were all different types of physicians, with internists earning a median wage of about $111 per hour.

But not many Hawaii residents fall into that category. More than 24,000 people work in retail sales earning a median wage of just $10.92 per hour. That’s the state’s biggest occupation next to office clerks and cashiers, which each have about 14,000, the

The BeatDevelopment Blog

A&B Kakaako Condo Sells Out Quickly

Some homeowners waited in line as early as 1:30 a.m. for sales to open at 9 a.m.

·By Anita Hofschneider

A new Kakaako condo known as The Lofts at The Collection sold out quickly over the weekend as dozens waited in line for hours to score a unit, Pacific Business News reported Monday.

The condo has 54 units, including 48 studios starting at $349,000 and six two-bedroom units starting at $540,000.

Some homebuyers lined up as early as 1:30 a.m. before sales opened at 9 a.m., PBN reported.

The condo is part of a project by Alexander and Baldwin that includes a 397-unit condo tower, 70 midrise homes and a parking garage with

DevelopmentThe BeatDevelopment Blog

More Than $2.2B Spent on Hawaii Commercial Real Estate So Far This Year

Offshore investors account for vast majority of money spent on retail properties like $697 million Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

·By Anita Hofschneider

Investment in Hawaii’s commercial real estate is on the rise, with sales hitting a mid-year high of over $2.2 billion, according to a new report by the real estate company Colliers International.

More than 80 percent of the total comes from offshore investors, who have been encouraged by low interest rates and high returns.

There have been 28 percent more transactions so far this year, including $697,600,000 for the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center by JP Morgan.

The report predicts that the 2014 investment sales volume will surpass last year’s total of $3.6 billion.