Bronx Pro and EAH Housing set to develop new Honolulu development

Eah Housing
New York's Bronx Pro Group chosen to develop Honolulu low-income rental project
by Duane Shimogawa | BizJournal

The Hawaii agency regulating development in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, has chosen New York’s Bronx Pro Group LLC to build a low-income rental project that will include smaller, efficient units such as micro-units, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed to PBN.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, which had issued a request for proposals for the project, chose Bronx Pro’s development team of EAH Housing, Sustainable Living Innovations LLC, Construction Management & Development Hawaii LLC and Swinerton Builders to develop the 10,400-square-foot parcel at 630 Cooke St., located between Sunshine Scuba and Baby Emporium, that’s currently being used as a surface parking lot.

The $33 million Nohana Hale project includes 105 low-income, energy-efficient micro-units in two separate 17-story towers set upon a two-level podium, which will house the lobby, living room, community spaces and management offices.

The rental project will be built with a panelized building technology that is new to Hawaii. The building’s components will be delivered to Hawaii from the Mainland and assembled in the state.

Nohana Hale will be marketed to families earning 60 percent area median income or less, with 10 percent of the units set aside for families earning 30 percent of the area median income or less.

This would equate to a single person making $40,260 annually or less and a single person making $20,150 annually or less, respectively. The developer said that, in the future, if current zoning is adjusted, additional units and mixes may be added.

The project will have a shared common entry or living room and backyard. The ground floor common area will have a large room with communal seating to serve as a gathering area.

The backyard will have barbecue stations, a community kitchen with dining areas and a recreational area for children.

The project, which will be financed by a combination of tax exempt bond financing, subsidy and equity, is anticipated to take about 18 months to build.

The HCDA chose Bronx Pro Group’s proposal over the team led by Mutual Housing Association of Hawaii, which included Group 70 International and Kiewit Building Group.That group's $27 million project included a 12-story building with 93 affordable units.

Stanford Carr Development, which was the other finalist, dropped out of the running to develop the project.

The RFP was in response to a recognized need for lower-cost housing options that allow people with low to moderate income and limited housing needs to live in a desirable mixed-use neighborhood with access to rail transit.

Micro-units, which are generally around 300 square feet and occupied by no more than two people, typically contain a separate closet, kitchen sink, cooking and refrigeration appliances and separate bathroom containing a toilet and bathtub or shower.

The state acquired the parcel in the 1990s through the Cooke Street realignment improvement district project.

It has an estimated value of nearly $2 million and is owned by the HCDA.

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