Developer seeks OK for 400-foot Ward tower
Developers of a mixed-use "urban village" anchored by a 400-foot, 460-unit residential tower on Kapiolani Boulevard near Kamakee Street are seeking approval for the project by state officials next month.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees the redevelopment of Kakaako, said yesterday that it must give the public a chance to comment on certain design features of the project before the authority votes on whether to approve it.
KC Rainbow 2 Development LLC's project calls for the development of two sites for two condominium towers containing 500 total new units, including 100 rentals for moderate-income households.
The proposed development's main parcel is located on Kapiolani between Kamakee and Ward Avenue. That site would contain 6,000 square feet of commercial space, 545,000 square feet of residential space and 25,000 square feet of industrial property.
A second site would contain a smaller, 60-foot-tall tower with about 40 residential units and 100 public parking spaces.
Fred Chan, a former technology entrepreneur who is KC Development's principal, asked the HCDA yesterday to approve the construction at the agency's meeting next month. That would enable the developers to begin laying the project's foundation by next fall and to complete the project by December 2008.
HCDA officials said the authority's rules required it to entertain public comment on the project before taking a vote. An issue is a design proposal that would allow the developer to reduce the average width of open space behind the main tower to 10 feet instead of 15 feet. Also, instead of a consistent 10-foot strip of yard, the yard would vary in widths averaging about 10 feet, allowing for storefront spaces that would jut out from the building's facade.
HCDA officials scheduled a public hearing on the proposal at the agency's next meeting, on Dec. 7, with a vote to follow.
Also yesterday, University of Hawaii officials floated a tentative idea to use waterfront park space in Kakaako to create a parking lot for a proposed Cancer Research Center in Kakaako. Jan Yokota, UH's director of capital improvements, said that the research center must create new parking spaces as part of its agreement with the HCDA. Yokota, a former executive director of the HCDA, said using the waterfront green space was one of the "outside the box" ideas the university devised to deal with the issue.