Thursday, January 21, 1999



Developer:
City owes for
Ewa Villages

The Ewa Villages Nonprofit
Development Corp. says the city
owes it at least $2.5 million

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

A money dispute is jeopardizing the city's rehabilitation of plantation homes in Ewa Villages.

The Ewa Villages Nonprofit Development Corp., which contracted to rehabilitate 250-plus homes, says the city owes it at least $2.5 million.

Doug Davich, executive director, said about $1.3 million in proceeds from the sale of 35 homes bought by the Pacific Housing Assistance Corp. still needs to be deposited in the account of Ewa Villages Nonprofit Development.

The money is in escrow pending resolution of the dispute with the city.

Davich said the city also owes Ewa Villages Nonprofit an additional $1.2 million in proceeds from previous sales.

The company's account has dwindled to $300,000, and the project has ground to a virtual standstill.

Al Saunders, project superintendent for Ewa Villages Nonprofit Development, said the only work being done is by two painters on two homes that are near completion.

Malcolm Tom, city budget director, played down the dispute as "basically an accounting issue."

James Hochberg, an attorney with Ewa Villages Nonprofit, has threatened to "pursue other legal remedies" should the city fail to pay the amounts asked for by Feb. 8.

Tom said his reading of the development agreement is that not all proceeds from the sale of the rehabilitation homes need to be put in the account -- only as much as is needed to reimburse Ewa Villages Nonprofit "at a predetermined amount."

"City attorneys have been reviewing the appropriateness of how much of that money in escrow should be returned to EVNDC," Tom said.

The western regional office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is urging the city to pay the $1.3 million from the Pacific Housing Assistance sales to Ewa Villages Nonprofit.

"The release of this sum to the Ewa Villages Nonprofit Development Corp. is critical to the survival of this project," wrote Elizabeth Goldstein, the trust's western regional director.



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