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State Agency Green-Lights $200M Condo Project in Downtown Honolulu

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has unanimously approved the construction of a $200 million condominium skyscraper on the site of the former Honolulu Advertiser building.

The 46-story tower proposed at 801 South St. will be the first high-rise condo project in Kakaako in which all of its 635 units are designated “workforce housing.” Construction and sales are expected to begin by mid-2013. Upon completion in 2015, the project will offer a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units priced between $250,000 and $550,000.

According to the Pacific Business News, Honolulu-based Downtown Capital L.L.C. will develop the all-affordable condo high-rise. The team working on the project also includes general contractor Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., architect Kazu Yato AIA & Associates Inc. and the real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Associates Inc.

“The project is designed to meet the critical shortage of affordable housing in the urban core of Honolulu,” said Downtown Capital head Marshall Hung. “With our design and construction team sharing this affordable housing goal, this community need can be fulfilled.”

According to Colbert Matsumoto, a principal with South Street Towers, which is a member of Downtown Capital L.L.C., the project is feasible because of rules established in 2011 by the Abercrombie Administration to facilitate the construction of workforce housing in Kakaako.

“Our project is fully aligned with the state’s vision to revitalize Kakaako by making it more accessible to middle-income buyers who previously lacked enough affordable housing inventory in that district,” Matsumoto said. “People who work in the area at hospitals, car dealerships, government entities and retail businesses will now be able to afford to buy a home within walking distance to their workplace.”

If demand is strong, Downtown Capital intends to develop another high-rise of 400 affordable-housing units on the property adjacent to the site of the current project.

In August, the company purchased the former Honolulu Advertiser building from Gannett Co. for $23 million. For the past two years, CBS Productions has been using the facility as a soundstage for the “Hawaii Five-0” television series. The network has an agreement to use the space until it wraps filming the third season next spring.

Photo credits: Jamm Aquino via Star-Advertiser