ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY STANFORD CARR DEVELOPMENT
An artist's rendering of the $14.5 million Villages of Maili, a state project being built in partnership with Stanford Carr Development. It is the state's largest homeless shelter project to date and is expected to be completed this fall.
Villages of Maili
Stanford Carr's development slated to open in fall
The Villages of Maili, the state's largest homeless shelter project to date, is markedly different.
With a cluster of five buildings centered around a circle of trees, it is designed to be more of a residential community than a transitional homeless shelter.
As a matter of fact, the Villages look more like townhomes, with amenities.
Besides the buildings, which will offer a total of 80 units, development plans include an adult center, administrative offices, dining area, preschool classrooms and a tot lot.
Stanford Carr Development is the master developer of the project - in partnership with the state - for the $14.5 million Villages of Maili.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / ckojima@StarBulletin.com
Stanford Carr is the developer of the $14.5 million Villages of Maili, a transitional homeless shelter being built in partnership with the state.
The shelter is under construction on six acres at the former Voice of America site off of St. John's Road in Maili, and slated for completion in the fall.
It potentially could provide transitional housing for up to 250 individuals.
Another shelter will come in good time, as the City and County of Honolulu gears up for another major beach cleanup on the Leeward Coast this summer.
It is the first time Stanford Carr has stepped forward to work on a homeless shelter of this kind. Carr said he volunteered to do it after the governor's emergency proclamation was issued.
What compelled him?
The sight of numerous homeless living on the beaches of the Waianae Coast, particularly families. Carr said with rental rates at double and triple what they used to be, many families were having to choose between putting food on the table or having a roof over their heads.
"A lot of them are working families," said Carr. "We're developers, and we have a social responsibility to make our contributions to society. This was a crisis situation."
Carr, who has built a number of residential projects ranging from the Hawaii Kai Peninsula to the Cottages at Kehalani on Maui and Fairways at Mauna Lani on the Big Island, is approaching the project from a private developer's perspective.
When he first stepped forward, he toured a couple of prospective projects with state comptroller and homeless solutions coordinator Russ Saito.
Besides the Villages of Maili, the state is also converting a military barracks - Building 36 - into a shelter for singles and couples at Kalaeloa, formerly Barber's Point Naval Station.
He opted to go with the Villages of Maili because it's a design-build project from the ground up, which he found more challenging.
"This is what we do, create neighborhoods and communities for people," said Carr. "It's what we do every day."
Gov. Linda Lingle issued an emergency proclamation for the Leeward Coast, which allowed her to fast-track the Villages of Maili project.
Carr did his due diligence, researching other transitional homeless shelters in his hometown of Maui, for instance, to see what worked well there. He was inspired, in part, by Kahale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku, near his Kehalani project.
After interviewing a number of operators, he chose Catholic Charities to run Villages of Maili.
The townhome units will offer two bedrooms, with an optional lockoff to an additional studio, said Carr, which will provide built-in flexibility for extended family needs.
The administrative building will come with a landscaped courtyard, the tot lot will be located conveniently next to the laundry room, and the community kitchen will be run by culinary students at Leeward Community College.
There also will be parking, and only one entrance in and out for security purposes.
Carr said he designed the project so it would offer plenty of visibility and transparency.
A LOOK FROM ABOVE
A plan view of the Villages of Maili:
» Total units: 80
» Amenities: Adult center, administrative offices, dining area, preschool classrooms and a tot lot
» Completion date: Fall
The project has been a collaborative effort between private developers and the state. Contractors working for Carr on the shelter include Royal Contracting
, which is doing the site work, and Coastal Construction
Kamehameha Schools contributed $3.9 million to family and children learning resource centers for Leeward side emergency and transitional shelters. Of that total, more than $2.5 million will go to the Villages of Maili community center.
In addition, Michael Wood, president of MW Group Ltd., last summer pledged $1 million to build a receiving home for foster children.
The receiving home will be across from the shelter's administration offices. Though it is in the same area, it is a separate project.
It is expected to offer a living room, recreation room, full kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms in a single-level building.
Carr said the Villages of Maili project really has been a collaborative effort between the private and public sector. Private contractors have gone the extra mile, offering their services at favorable costs.
"Everyone has done their part," said Carr. "All the consultants, engineers, electricians, and landscape architects."
Darlene Hein, director of the Care-A-Van homeless outreach program, said permanent housing is preferable to shelters, but that shelters are needed.
"Shelters offer a solution to those that can't find low-cost rentals," she said. "The other thing they do is they offer services."
A project like Villages of Maili, however, has the potential to become permanent, low-income housing down the line.
"I think the Villages are great," she said. "If you no longer need them as shelters, they can definitely become low-income rentals."