Struggling city centers all across America are discovering the revitalizing power of affordable housing, as recently documented in RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity.
Now, in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii, The Michaels Organization—a national residential real estate developer specializing in affordable housing—held a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony in June of 2021 for the Halewai`olu Senior Residences located at 1331 River Street in downtown Honolulu.
The 17-story mid-rise infill development on a vacant 26,925 square foot parcel owned by the City and County of Honolulu, will provide 156 one- and two-bedroom affordable rental units for kupuna (the native Hawaiian word for senior citizens, literally meaning grandparent or ancestor).
“As the need for affordable housing continues to grow, this is an important milestone in providing additional affordable housing for older adults,” said Karen Seddon, Regional Vice President of The Michaels Organization “We’re pleased to work together with the City, State and the community, to create affordable housing that is conveniently located in Downtown Honolulu.”
Construction of the $93.3 million project will be funded using a combination of $48.0 million in Hula Mae Multi-Family Tax-exempt Bonds (HMMF), $21.3 million in Rental Housing Revolving Funds (RHRF), a $10.0 million traditional construction loan, and equity from the sale of low income housing tax credits.
“Housing is one of the biggest expenses for those living in Hawaiʻi, especially for seniors on fixed incomes. This public-private partnership is exactly the kind of project we need for our kupuna, and today’s groundbreaking provides hope for Halewaiʻolu’s future residents,” said Governor David Ige.
First Hawaiian Bank is the lead construction lender with participation from American Savings Bank. Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation administers the HMMF and RHRF.
“After years of consideration, I am excited we were able to approve the Halewai‘olu project in our first 100 days in office,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
“Halewai‘olu will be a place for our seniors to thrive in a brand new rental property with plenty of space to exercise, meet, and enjoy life. This represents an opportunity for our kūpuna to live in Chinatown, a priority area that is being transformed and revitalized by the City. Thank you to all involved in the project, especially the Honolulu City Council, the State and the Michaels Organization,” he continued.
The Halewai`olu Senior Residences complex will serve as a gathering place for kupuna and will feature a courtyard, retail space, recreation deck, laundry room, community garden and dog park.
Other amenities will include a social activities center, social services offices, property management offices, storage, computer room, and a mail room. The complex will be located close to public transportation and have vehicle and bicycle parking stalls.
“American Savings Bank is proud to support Halewai`olu, which will provide much needed affordable senior residences in the Downtown Honolulu area,” said Ann Teranishi, president and chief executive officer, American Savings Bank. “This exciting project will further support the revitalization of our neighborhood and enrich the lives of hundreds in our community.”
Halewai`olu Senior Residences will be available to seniors ages 62 and older, with rents starting at $547.00.
All of the units will be income-restricted from 30 percent Area Median Income (AMI) to 80 percent AMI, as determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A majority of the units will be reserved for seniors at 60 percent AMI.
Construction has begun, and is slated for completion in 2023.
All images courtesy of The Michaels Organization.