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Governor Abercrombie Announces Innovative, Workforce Housing Development in Kaka'ako

Press Release

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Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced an upcoming mixed-use development in Kaka'ako that incorporates New Day priorities and initiatives and will create 1,500 jobs. 690 Pohukaina is a public/private partnership that will include affordable housing, commercial space, and broadband capability.

In total 690 Pohukaina will include 204 Affordable Rental Housing units, 300 Affordable Housing units, and 500 Market Housing units. Affordable workforce housing will allow a family of four that makes $80,000 to $100,000 in annual income to rent a three bedroom unit for $1,400 a month.

"This development will provide housing choices and opportunities for a variety of people and families," said Governor Abercrombie. "But the first thing 690 Pohukaina does is create jobs in construction and business sectors. This is a combination of growing our economy and the creation of a thriving community."

The Hawai'i Community Development Authority (HCDA) estimates the development of 690 Pohukaina will infuse $500 million into the state's economy over the next seven years and generate more than 500 construction related jobs and an additional 1,000 indirect jobs.

The development will include a 650-foot tower, two smaller residential and commercial buildings, a parking structure, and a civic/commercial center. The residential units include studios, one, two, and three-bedrooms.

Prior to the formal announcement, Governor Abercrombie testified before the HCDA in support of 690 Pohukaina and gave his commitment to authorize conveyance of the property.

"Governor Abercrombie made it clear to HCDA that this project must meet his New Day plans of increasing affordable housing and creating a livable and sustainable community that would have a mix of housing options," said HCDA Executive Director Anthony Ching. "A project like this, works for everyone. This will not just be a high-rise; it offers opportunities for a community to interact."

There are three phases in this development. The first phase is an affordable rental housing complex that will break ground in February 2012. The second is a mix of affordable and market housing units with community space; the third will include a high tech business incubator and innovation space for broadband capability. Estimated completion of all three phases is 2019.

This project is a mixed-use Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which means it is designed to maximize access to public transportation and incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. Currently, there are 61 bus routes that serve Kaka'ako.

In addressing the HCDA board, Governor Abercrombie stated, "We cannot continue on a path of urban sprawl. 690 Pohukaina will offer increased value because of its height and density as well as the mixed-use approach that takes advantage of its location. This project is about enhancing the way we live. Sustainable urban density is the future."

HCDA is collaborating with a number of partners including the Hawai'i Housing Finance and Development Corporation, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

"The DCCA is excited to partner on this project, specifically to include access to ultra-high speed Internet capability as part of the Governor's Hawai'i Broadband Initiative," said DCCA Director Keali'i Lopez.

HCDA will immediately begin soliciting proposals to build 690 Pohukaina.

The HCDA supplements traditional community renewal methods by promoting and coordinating public and private sector development in urban areas in the State that are in need of timely redevelopment. Kaka'ako is HCDA's first Community Development District.

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