Senior housing project proposed for Kahului

A senior affordable housing project consisting of two six-story buildings is proposed to take the place of A&B Properties’ long-delayed commercial mixed-use project across from Foodland in Kahului.

A&B Properties will no longer push ahead with its Kane Street Commercial Mixed-Use project, which had been in the works since the early 2000s, A&B spokesman Darren Pai confirmed. The project had included 90 residential units and 15,578 square feet of commercial space.

Instead, Catholic Charities Housing Development Corp. is proposing a 164-unit affordable senior housing project on the nearly 4-acre vacant lot, which is bordered by Kane, Vevau and School streets across from the Kahului Public Library.

In addition to the two six-story multifamily residential buildings, there will also be a two-story, 7,500-square-foot multipurpose building, parking and related improvements, according to a draft environmental assessment released last week.

A 30-day public review and comment period for the project named Kahului Lani has started. Comments are due by Aug. 7.

Currently, the parcel is owned by A&B Kane LLC and managed by A&B Properties Hawaii. Catholic Charities is in the process of obtaining the site.

A&B will not be involved with the project after the parcel is sold, Pai said. He added that, with the senior housing project, there will not be room for the proposed mixed-use project.

A&B’s Kane Street Commercial project was conceived as a mixed-use development of two- and three-bedroom apartments on top and commercial space below. The project was approved in 2005, and the Maui Planning Commission has granted time extensions on A&B’s special management area permit since then.

A&B has said there were delays in getting regulatory approvals of the project; traffic impact studies also took some time to complete and gain approval.

In 2009, A&B opened a sales information center for the project and interested buyers took out reservations. But potential sales fell in the wake of the recession, and the credit and housing markets tanked, officials have previously said.

A new SMA permit application will be submitted for the Kahului Lani project, according to the draft EA.

The proposed senior housing project will feature 164 one-bedroom units for rent to seniors, age 55 and older, who earn 60 percent or less of the county median income (which was $74,100 for a family as of April), and a two-bedroom resident manager’s unit.

According to the draft EA, maximum gross monthly rents could range from $484 to $969, based on this year’s HUD income and gross rent limits and could change when the project is completed and rented.

The multipurpose building will include offices for Catholic Charities Hawai’i, which will provide on-site case management services for residents, as well as dedicated space for residents.

Access to the project will be provided by new driveways off Kane, Vevau and School streets. The Kane Street access will be restricted to right turns in and out of the property.

The study said that the level of service on adjacent streets and intersections will not be significantly impacted by the development.

There will be approximately 260 parking stalls. Twenty-two of the stalls are being provided in compliance with an off-site parking permit for the nearby Waterfront Apartments.

Carport structures with photovoltaic panels may be provided in the parking lots, subject to availability of funding.

The study said that no significant environmental impacts are anticipated with the project.

The project is expected to cost nearly $47.8 million. Catholic Charities Housing Development Corp. could use state or county funds for the project.

There is no specific time table for the senior project to come online, but construction is expected to begin after it receives regulatory and construction permits and approvals.

Construction is anticipated to span 32 months and is expected to occur in two phases. Phase 1 would include a residential building with 81 rental units and the manager unit as well as the multipurpose building. The second phase would be the second residential building, with 83 units.

The draft EA can be found at health.hawaii.gov/oeqc; click on “The Environmental Notice.”

Comments on the project should be sent via mail to Hawai’i Housing Finance and Development Corp., 677 Queen St., Suite 300, Honolulu 96813, or by email to Janice Takahashi at janice.n.takahashi@hawaii.gov.

Copies should also be sent to the applicant at Catholic Charities Housing Development Corp., 1288 Ala Moana Blvd, Unit 35A, Honolulu 96814, or submitted via email to Gary Furuta, project manager, at gary@gsfhi.com.

Also, send copies to the consultant, Munekiyo Hiraga, 305 High St., Suite 104, Wailuku 96793, or by email to Marisa Fujimoto at planning@munekiyohiraga.com.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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