Mainland firm to build isle retirement project

The developer plans 195 units in Hawaii Kai that will be rented on a month-to-month basis

By Jerry Tune

One of the nation's largest housing developers for senior citizens will start construction next month on a 195-unit retirement project on 11 acres in Kaalakei Valley at Hawaii Kai.

With its Hawaii Kai Retirement Community, Holiday Retirement Corp./Colson & Colson, based in Salem, Ore., said it plans to introduce to Hawaii the concept of month-to-month rentals for senior-citizen housing.

The project also will include one wing for "assisted living" services for residents who may need some help in daily chores but not the constant care of a nursing home. Most of the project is for seniors who can live independently.

The rental price, starting at $1,895 a month, includes three meals a day, housekeeping services, linens, utilities, and transportation via a 35-passenger bus and either a mini-van or Lincoln Town car, said Amanda Hanson, marketing coordinator.

"We've had very good acceptance since the project was first explained to the community a year ago," Hanson said. "We have 80 deposits from people without any advertising."

Holiday Retirement Corp. normally develops projects for those 65 and older, but Hanson said the initial response from those in Hawaii is slightly different.

"We noticed in Hawaii they are younger and we're getting more couples," Hanson said.

The corporation has wanted to come into Oahu for several years, and eventually wants to get on all of the islands, Hanson said.

Several phases are planned in the project. Holiday Retirement Corp. has acquired 22 acres in the valley and is looking to buy another seven to 10 acres for more "cottages" which have full kitchens and are more like a conventional home, Hanson said.

Most of the residents will live in two-story or three-story buildings with studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Each unit has a lanai with views facing either ocean, mountain or courtyard. The project includes a community dining room. The first phase includes 13 cottages, which get only one meal a day because of the full kitchen.

Emergency pull cords and an intercom system that is monitored 24 hours by on-site staff will be standard features in each unit, the company said.

The second phase on 10 acres will include a nursing home, possibly more cottages and a swimming pool, Hanson said.

The corporation has 175 properties with more than 19,000 units in the United States, Canada and England, Hanson said. Each project is financed by investors with a separate limited partnership.

"Right now we have 15 projects under construction," Hanson said.

The first phase at Hawaii Kai will be built over 14 months on the 11 acres fronting on Kawaihae Way. Contractor is Fletcher Pacific Construction Co.

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