Friday, July 23, 1999

Bond OK sought
for assisted-living site

The low-rent Kulana Hale II
project would be 15 stories
high and have 162 units

By Jerry Tune


If the City Council gives bond approval for the Kulana Hale II rental project this fall, Honolulu senior citizens will be able to look forward to an affordable assisted-living project at about half the average Hawaii cost of $4,300 a month.

Low-income residents also will benefit if, as expected, Gov. Ben Cayetano on Aug. 10 signs new rules that will allow Medicaid funds to be used for assisted-living projects.

Kulana Hale Makai L.P. yesterday announced plans for a 162-unit, 15-story assisted-living project at the corner of Beretania Street and Kalakaua Avenue.

Included in the $36.5 million project are 81 affordable studio and one-bedroom apartments, and 81 market-priced rentals including 27 units for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia-related needs.

Monthly rents would start at $638 with no services and go up to $4,065 a month for the full-care market-priced Alzheimer's care.

Custom care for low-income residents can range from an "ala carte" selection of services to three packages priced between $2,055 and $3,563 a month.

Construction would take a year.

But before project can get started it needs City Council approval for $30.8 million in bonds to go along with the $1,735,190 in state tax credits and $5,783,980 in federal tax credits announced yesterday by the State Housing and Community Development Corp.

Kulana Hale Makai L.P. plans in late October to request council approval for "private activity" bonds. Private activity bonds do not count against the city's bonding capacity, said Makani Coila, project manager for the development partnership headed by Franco Mola, president of Coastal Rim Properties.

Mola developed the Kulana Hale I as a rental project, with 176 units, and it is fully occupied, Coila said.

Assisted-living projects are for people who may need help in such daily chores as bathing, taking medications, dressing, and housekeeping, or need close supervision.

Coila said there would be 81 employees at Kulana Hale II, including two registered nurses, four licensed practical nurses and 46 resident assistants.

The completed project would be managed by Regent Assisted Living Inc., based in Portland, Ore., which operates 30 facilities in 11 states with more than 3,000 residents.

Project plans include a garden, library, wellness center, retail shops and outdoor restaurants, Coila said.

Meanwhile, the new assisted-living regulations that Cayetano is expected to sign will mean that Medicaid funds no longer will be restricted only to hospitals and nursing homes that are more expensive than assisted living or licensed care homes.

The waiver will save the state money on Medicaid but no immediate estimates were available.

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