Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.

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kapiolani residence

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Developer seeks to add second tower for housing

Photo: SamKoo Development

Photo: SamKoo Development

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports on developer SamKoo's next project, The Central, below. SamKoo is currently finishing its Kapiolani Residence project in urban Honolulu, blocks away from Ala Moana Center and ONE Ala Moana luxury condominium tower. Contact us to make sure you stay updated. 

SamKoo expects to finish the entitlement process for a new $250 million project — tentatively named The Central — by the first quarter of 2019, company President Timothy Yi said Friday at the Hawaii Mortgage Bankers Association conference at the Prince Waikiki hotel. Affordable units in the 400-foot, 500-unit tower at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd. will be offered through a lottery system, Yi said.

The Central is the second tower that SamKoo is building through the state’s 201H expedited processing program, which allows the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. to approve exemptions that give affordable housing developers greater design flexibility and cost savings. This program requires buyers, who purchase below-market units, to agree to a 10-year occupancy period. If they sell early, they must give the state a percentage of their equity appreciation and the first right to buy back the property.

Yi said government-sponsored affordable housing was created by the state Legislature “to provide Hawaii residents with a way to purchase in the local market.”

Construction of SamKoo’s first tower, the $200 million Kapiolani Residence, is expected to finish by the last quarter of 2018, Yi said. The 485-unit, 45-story project includes studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

“We had 1,300 applications that came in for 485 units,” Yi said, adding that the project, which included 192 market-rate units, sold out in about a month.

Sixty percent of Kapiolani Residence units were sold below market value to Hawaii residents who make between 80 and 120 percent of the area median income, Yi said. For example, a family of four earning between $80,400 and $120,600 annually met the 2016 income guidelines, he said.

Buyers of affordable units had to be U.S. citizens who were at least 18 years old and didn’t already have a majority interest in a fee-simple or leasehold property, Yi said. Relatives were allowed to gift low-income applicants so that they could qualify, he said.

“That’s why over 90 percent of the affordable buyers were all under the 80 percent area median income or below for our first project,” Yi said.

Affordable pricing at Kapiolani Residence ranged from $270,800 for a studio to $583,900 for a three-bedroom unit. Affordable pricing at The Central, which will have more upgrades than SamKoo’s first tower, is expected to be slightly higher.

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Korean developer's $200M Honolulu condo tower to start construction next month

Photo credit: SamKoo Development

Photo credit: SamKoo Development

Ground has broken today, July 13, 2016, on the Ala Moana area's newest affordable housing condo.  If you missed out on Ke Kilohana at Ward Village, this is a new opportunity for you to obtain an affordable housing unit.  Visit KapiolaniResidence.com for more information on the development, or call my office so we can discuss the details and if you qualify!

Read more via the Pacific Business News, below: 

South Korean developer SamKoo Development plans to start construction on its mostly affordable $200 million mixed-use condominium high-rise near the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Center in Honolulu next month, a company executive confirmed to Pacific Business News.

Joined by business, political and community leaders, the developer held a blessing and groundbreaking Wednesday at the property’s more-than-an-acre site along Kapiolani Boulevard near Atkinson Drive.

The 45-story Kapiolani Residence project will include 484 units, of which 60 percent, or 292 units, will be designated as affordable and reserved housing for qualified Hawaii residents. The remaining 192 units will be market-priced.

The units will include studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom homes ranging in size from 460 square feet to 1,331 square feet. Affordable units are being priced starting at $272,000. These units will be targeted at households earning 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income, or $53,700 to $80,520 for a single person.

“You have to lower your expectation on the revenue side of it,” Timothy Yi, president of SamKoo Pacific LLC, a subsidiary of SamKoo Development, told PBN when asked about how it has made the project work from an economic standpoint. “It’s just that we are trying to not be a greedy developer. My chairman and CEO believes in contributing to the community, so that’s why we’re able to do what we do. I’m hoping other developers will see the example of what we do. It is very important we are successful in this project, so that it will be the example for other developers to continue [satisfying the affordable] market.”

SamKoo Pacific worked with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. on the project. The project’s development team includes general contractor Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. and architecture firm Design Partners. Locations LLC is handlings sales for the project.

It will include four commercial spaces on the ground floor for a total of 3,500 square feet that will include a coffee shop, sandwich shop or convenience store.

The developer also has plans to build a second tower near its first one at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd. on the former Motor Supply Co. lot, which also includes about 485 units in a 45-story tower with both affordable and moderately priced units.

“At this point, we are planning to do the same project,” Yi said. “If everything moves as well as it should be, we will do the projects back to back.”

He noted that the demand for units in Kapiolani Residence has been sky high, with 2,200 people registered for units on its website and 1,500 packets about the project picked up in just about a month’s time.

SamKoo Pacific anticipates finishing up the project by summer 2018 under a 22-month construction schedule.

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