It's taken five years to get to the point of breaking ground on what will be known as Halekauwila Place.
It needed state land, a private developer and the Hawaii Housing Finance Corporation to finally launch an affordable housing project in Kakaako for singles and families.
"There is a huge demand for this. It’s in the thousands. We wouldn’t be able to continue building to satisfy the demand," said developer Stanford Carr.
"We have public lands and we are putting good purposes to having housing ability for our people,” said Abercrombie.
The project will be a 19-story tower near Mother Waldron Park -- next to a lot slated to be the tallest high rise in the state.
But this project will be limited to those making 60 percent of the area median income.
That works out to $42,000 for a single household and $65,000 for a family of four. That equates to studios. One-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedrooms that equates to just under $1,000 for a studio to $1,500 for a brand new three bedroom townhouse," said Carr.
The groundbreaking comes just as the governor has acknowledged he is looking to the legislature to take a second look at the Public Land Development Corporation that aims to fast track projects similar to this one.
"Yes, there are difficulties out there in terms with what we are doing with public land with meeting public purposes and the construction associated with it," said the governor.
The governor said he does NOT want to fall behind with the state's plans to move forward maximizing public land for the public good.
"This project Halekauwila Place is one of the visible ways that we are turning the corner," said Abercrombie.
Carr expects the project to be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2014.
One project of many-- in the urban core what some have dubbed the new 3rd city.