Halekauwila Place a first for Carr
The state project will offer 196 units to provide more affordable housing
Stanford Carr is taking his first plunge into developing an affordable housing project for the state.
Not that he hasn't offered affordables in his previous projects under Stanford Carr Development LLC, but it's the first time he's responded to a request for proposals by a state agency.
As the managing member of Halekauwila Partners LLC, SCD's proposal was selected in March from four finalists vying to develop a 1.25-acre parcel in Kakaako.
Halekauwila Place, an 18-story tower, is slated to break ground in the second quarter of 2008.
58 1-bedroom units
86 2-bedroom units
20 3-bedroom units
40 units: 80% of median
40 units: 140% of median
Remaining units - in between
Source: Halekauwila Place LLC
The project, which will offer 196 units, a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms, is one of the initiatives taken by the state Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corp. to provide more affordable housing through public-private partnerships.
The state owns the parcel, currently a commercial parking lot, and will offer a 65-year lease at $1 a year.
Carr said he had a particular interest in going through the proposal process himself.
Carr was on the state's affordable housing task force, which included developers, property managers, bankers, business leaders, social workers and state officials. He said his proposal for Halekauwila Place gave him perspective on what the state needs to do to attract more developers to build affordable projects.
The proposal itself is several inches thick, including renderings, plans and financials.
Carr, certainly, is not new to development.
Over the last few years' housing boom, the company has been busy -- with a gamut of projects ranging from the Colony at the Peninsula in Hawaii Kai to the Fairways at Mauna Lani. Recently, SCD was also named the project manager for Royal Kunia Phase II.
But Halekauwila Place is an important project for Carr, who says he feels a sort of responsibility for the undertaking.
"If guys like us who live here don't do this, then who will?" said Carr. "We have such a crying need for more housing, especially rentals."
A study commissioned by SCD found a severe shortage of rentals in the market, with rents rising. Demand is expected to increase along with job and population growth.
The vacancy rate isn't expected to improve for at least another couple of years.
If it were not for creative financing from Citigroup, which offered him tax-exempt bonds, the project would not have been as feasible, he said. If he wasn't able to target a large range of median incomes -- from 80 percent to 140 percent -- then it might not have penciled out.
Carr says he thinks of Halekauwila as more of an urban, mixed-use project that will offer a range of housing, and possibly retail.
"I don't want to build a monolithic building," he said.
MVE Pacific is the architect on the project.
The development team for Halekauwila Place includes SCD, in addition to UniDev Hawaii LLC, a specialist in workforce housing, and the Pacific Housing Assistance Corp., which will eventually own and manage the project.
Finalists for the project were the Hawaii Housing Development Corp., led by Gary Furuta, the Kakaako Village Housing Corp., led by Sheldon Zane, and developer Michael Han Chan.
Halekauwila Place's expected completion date is in December 2009.