Ward Village tower to displace handful of tenants

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: May 30 2013 07:38:27 PM HST
Updated On: May 31 2013 06:42:50 AM HST

Kaka'ako high-rise dwellers are meeting with lawmakers at the state capitol to sound off on a number of high-rises planned for the area.

HONOLULU -

It's on a parcel bounded by Ward, Halekauwila and Ilaniwai Streets that the Howard Hughes Corporation wants to build what's being pitched as "workforce housing."

The high-rise would be directly across from Sports Authority.

It will mean displacing a handful of small businesses which the landowner says will be accommodated elsewhere in the area.

What won’t be accommodated -- the neighbors.

What is now home to Pacific Home and California Beach Rock 'N Sushi will be replaced with a high-rise that will effectively block the views of the state affordable housing project behind it.

The Kauhale Kaka'ako state rental complex is 29-stories high. The proposed 43-story tower will be right next to it.

The view that residents enjoy now, will likely be obscured.

The application filed with the Hawaii Community Development Authority shows that the new residential tower would have retail shops on the lower level and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom affordable units up above.

The structure will have 415 units with 641 parking spaces.

 Ivan Jerskey drives down here often. He wonders about the impact on traffic and how much sooner he will have to leave his home in Manoa to get down to this area.

"Parking is always an issue on Oahu but as far as affordable housing that's necessary as well so it's give and take," said Jerskey.

The building entrance will be on Ilaniwai Street which could impact small businesses in the area.

Gilda and Frank Young's family business has operated in Kaka'ako since the 1950s.

They worry about the added congestion since many people already use the narrow side streets as a short cut.

"Sometimes they leave without looking. They just drive, you know. There is a lot of congestion so it's hard to see what’s parked and what's not. Lots of close calls," said Gilda Young.

At the same time they wonder if the buildup will mean more customers for their auto repair business.

There are currently 22 high-rises in the Howard Hughes master plan and more than a dozen more already in the pipeline proposed by other developers.

If the project gets the green light this summer, construction could begin in the early part of next year and be completed in two years.

 The project will come up before the HCDA board next month.

There will be one meeting on June 19 where the developer will make a presentation before the HCDA board.

A public hearing and final decision will be held a month later on July 17.

Details of the project are available on the HDCA website.

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