We are at the Maui Contractors Association’s Annual Home Expo 2009. Yes, I am liveblogging at the moment. Come by to the War Memorial Gymnasium and visit us:
Ohana Kai Village is a participant on this year’s Maui Contractors Association Home Expo. Below are some photos during the opening night:
Below is an excerpt from an article written at Honolulu Advertiser titled “Maui Housing Plan Reset As Affordable” :
Jesse Spencer of Wailuku-based Spencer Homes Inc. is proposing to build 1,100 single-family homes, for sale mostly at prices affordable to residents with more-or-less moderate incomes.
The new plan still faces what Spencer said is continued opposition from some area condominium owners and the county Planning Department — both of which opposed the former development plan in favor of keeping the site, which is zoned for agriculture, as open space.
But the developer said he believes the need for affordable housing and construction jobs will garner enough support for the estimated $400 million project to proceed.
“I’ve listened to all the comments,” he said. “I’m trying to satisfy all the naysayers.”
Spencer’s project, called Ohana Kai Village, is planned for 257 acres of former sugarcane fields south of Wailuku near the Ma’alaea Small Boat Harbor. Much of the property is vacant, though some is used for cattle grazing.
A previous developer affiliated with two California homebuilders and known as Ma’alaea Properties LLC proposed developing the site with 949 homes, including 380 affordable units under the county’s 40 percent affordable housing requirement, plus a 15-acre park and 37 acres of open space.
But the Maui Planning Department, supported by then-Mayor Alan Arakawa, strongly opposed the plan because of impact on county infrastructure, including schools. The Ma’alaea Community Association objected to the project primarily over traffic concerns and increased use of the shoreline and community park.
To read the full article, click here.
The following was published on Maui News on August 9, 2008 on the Letters to The Editors section. Written by Debra B. Farmer:
I am an advocate for local families to be able to have a family home that they can afford. I’m fortunate enough to have a home already so I speak from experience.
The pride of ownership, having enough room for everyone and providing a permanent, stable home for a family to blossom and grow in, is a necessity. But here on Maui, owning an affordable home is like winning the lottery, literally.
Jesse Spencer is a man with an impeccable track record on Maui. He is widely known and loved by all who know him. He provides high-quality, affordable homes for families that live here. And to sweeten the pot he also provides steady, dependable jobs for different folks who live here. All these families live here already, they already use Maui’s beaches, Maui’s highways, etc., etc.
But what junk I read from a NIMBY transplant who complains these homes should not be built (Viewpoint, Aug. 3) because they will ruin “his” ag-land scenery, because they will all swarm in and use “his” beach and will probably sneak in and use “his” pool. And ultimately it would scrap his fantasy of “one day” – 40 to 50 years from now – seeing a light rail system put in for our tourists.
The real truth is this: That proposed land has already been slated and approved for development. When multimillion-dollar homes were going to be put in, you didn’t hear him complain. I believe it is only the mention of “affordable” homes that make him disdainful. Tell it like it is.
Deborah B. Farmer
This article was originally published on Maui News:
Jesse Spencer, who is just finishing up his 412-lot Waikapu Gardens affordable housing project, wants to repeat that success – but more than twice as big – at the project district called Maalaea Mauka.
Other developers may be pulling back, but Spencer said, “I can do this with conditions as they are now.”
Mike Atherton, who is selling Maalaea Mauka to Spencer, thinks so, too.
“Jesse’s unique. He builds true affordable housing,” Atherton said Monday.
Buyer and seller are in a 45-day due diligence period, but Spencer hopes to close in September and break ground within a year after that.
He is sure he will be opposed but hopes to find a sympathetic forum in the County Council, which would have to approve the use of 260 acres of former sugar cane fields above Honoapiilani Highway and mauka of the Maalaea Harbor Village complex.
“I’m going to try for a pricing structure for 60 to 70 percent affordable,” under Hawaii Revised Statues 201H, Spencer said.
The newest version of the state’s affordable housing law allows the Housing Finance and Development Corp. to exempt an affordable housing project from most state and county land-use requirements, although both the County Council and the Land Use Commission would have to review the application.
Waikapu Gardens, approved in 2004 under the previous version of HRS 201G, was planned to be 50 percent affordable, although Spencer Homes sold several designated as market units at affordable prices.
Even if it were to go through the normal rezoning process, Maalaea Mauka would be required to comply with the county’s Residential Workforce Housing Policy, mandating a minimum of 40 percent of new units in a residential project to be affordably priced. The policy applied to the Honua’ula/Wailea 670 project district, which was designated in the community plan and was granted zoning approvals by the council.
Continued at Maui News