Frequently Asked Questions
Community + Construction Inquiries
ADDRESSING A HOUSING CRISIS
What is being built?
Lack of housing supply in Hawai‘i is an enormous issue affecting residents with the State reporting that over 22,000 additional housing units in Honolulu County are needed by 2025 to meet projected demand.
For most people in Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i’s high median housing price and the difficulty of securing a large down payment puts home ownership out of reach for most households earning workforce incomes. Without inheritance of a family home or other assets, their only realistic option is to rent. Rentals are necessary to help solve the housing crisis because they can cater to both families and can also house groups of un-related individuals in one unit.
Brookfield Properties is building desperately needed rental housing in urban Honolulu, especially providing an opportunity for so many of those who work in Waikīkī to live in Waikīkī. Figures show that while Waikīkī is a major employment area with a daytime working population of over 44,000, many people within this workforce do not reside in Waikīkī.
How many rentals will this project provide?
In total, this project proposes 454 rental units with 401 rental units planned to be constructed within a new 28-story tower and another 53 fully renovated rental units provided within four separate low-rise buildings across the tower site on Kānekapōlei street. In total, the project will have five separate buildings containing rental housing.
BUILDING AFFORDABLE RENTALS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
What type of rental housing is needed?
Most cities, states, as well as planning groups refer to workforce housing as housing for “essential workers.” In Honolulu, this group includes those households who earn between 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) to 140% of the AMI. However, the State of Hawai’i recently reported that approximately 70 percent of the 2025 projected housing demand is needed by households earning 80% of the AMI or less.
Is there a requirement for the project to provide deed-restricted affordable housing? And if so, what type?
Because this is a rental project, there is no affordable housing requirement. Despite no mandated affordable housing requirement, Brookfield Properties will provide 20% of the project’s total unit count for households earning less than 80% of the area median income (AMI), equating to over $20M in community benefit by delivering this deed restricted affordable housing.
What does 80% Area Median Income equate to?
According to 2020 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, 80% of the AMI equates to an annual income of $70,500 for a household of 1-person, $80,600 for a 2-person household, $90,650 for a 3-person household, and $100,700 for a family size of four.
How many 80% AMI affordable housing rentals will Brookfield Properties build?
To play a role in addressing the need for affordable housing rentals in Honolulu, Brookfield Properties is proposing 91 units, or 20% of the project’s total unit count, for households earning less than 80% of the area median income (AMI).
Where will the 91 units of 80% AMI affordable rentals be located? What’s the unit mix and sizes?
This project will offer a unit mix of studios, 1-bedrooms and 2-bedroom affordable rental units. 53 affordable rental units, consisting of 44 one-bedrooms averaging 500 sf, and 9 two-bedrooms averaging 900 sf will be located within the four fully renovated low-rise apartment buildings. Brookfield Properties is preserving these healthy unit sizes and not dividing the units into smaller micro-housing.
To provide a balanced affordable housing unit mix offering, the remaining 38 affordable housing studio units averaging 385 sf will be in the new tower on levels 3-8, where the studios are spread amongst other market-rate rental units on those floors.
What are 80% AMI affordable rents in today’s terms?
Per 2018 HUD Affordable rent guidelines, affordable rents set at 80% of the AMI would equate to $1,420 per month for a Studio, $1,517 for a 1-bedroom, and $1,818 per month for a 2-bedroom, excluding utilities. HUD affordable rent guidelines include the cost of certain utilities, such as water, sewer and electricity. Brookfield Properties is unable to provide rental housing below 80% AMI without public housing subsidies.
How can I apply for the 80% AMI affordable rental housing?
Please provide your contact info to stay in touch! With an opening scheduled for mid-2021, Brookfield Properties will have all interested parties submit rental applications and affordable housing qualification documentation in the latter half of 2020. Brookfield Properties will conduct a lottery process prior to project opening to determine unit selection of qualified tenants that have submitted complete applications.
ESTABLISHING A MIXED-USE COMMUNITY
What does this project entail?
Brookfield Properties is building a vibrant mixed-use residential and retail development in the heart of Waikīkī, Hawai‘i’s most well-known destination and the State’s primary employment area of retail, lodging, dining and commercial entertainment.
Located at 2370 Kūhiō Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815, the project sits along Kūhiō Avenue, and includes seven parcels totaling 109,774 SF. There are five lots on the Diamond Head side of Kānekapōlei (ABC Store, Waikīkī Regents Apartments, Queen Emma Apartments and Beachside Apartments 1 & 2) and two parcels that comprise the ‘Ewa lots where the Food Pantry grocery is located, and where an existing exceptional Banyan tree will be preserved and enhanced.
The project’s residential component will comprise a new-construction, 28-story multifamily rental tower with 402 units and 53 units of existing low-rise apartments which Brookfield Properties will renovate and operate as deed restricted affordable housing. At the base of the new tower the project will also include approximately 42,000 sf of new retail located on two levels situated along Kūhiō Avenue.
Who is involved in the project?
Brookfield Properties is honored and excited to be part of a local team that will redevelop legacy lands owned by the Queen Emma Land Company (QELC), a local nonprofit organization established to support and advance health care in Hawai‘i, primarily through The Queen’s Medical Center and its affiliates.
Brookfield Properties was selected to be the developer and operator through a competitive RFP process. Brookfield Properties and QELC has entered into a Lease Purchase Agreement which provides Brookfield Properties the rights to a 65-year ground lease, which will commence at the start of construction, targeted for mid-2019. During this time of planning, outreach and permitting, QELC remains the landlord to the existing Tenants (Food Pantry, low-rise apartment buildings, food truck operator, etc.).
What type of new retail is envisioned? Will it be luxury retail similar to what is found on Kalākaua Avenue?
Brookfield Properties is committed to including a full-service grocer within this rental project and has designated the entire 20,000 + sf second floor for a grocer, which customers can access through a ground floor Kūhiō Avenue entrance. Brookfield Properties anticipates a lease with a grocer tenant to be finalized by the end of this year.
The balance of the ground level retail will be leased with a tenant mix geared toward neighborhood serving needs. Brookfield Properties strongly believes in the redevelopment of Kūhiō Avenue encouraging positive activity with neighborhood and placemaking elements. Lastly, the city bus stop located on Kūhiō Avenue fronting the project will remain.
DESIGNING FOR THE COMMUNITY
What is the current zoning?
The property is zoned Apartment mixed-use (AMX), which allows for the development of an apartment rental project with mixed-use commercial component. Queen Emma Land Company will retain fee-simple ownership in their land.
Why did Brookfield Properties decide to renovate the four low-rise apartments instead of demolishing the buildings with a larger, taller new-construction building?
Given the small lot sizes and depth, coupled with the desire to stay within the low-rise scale of that portion of the neighborhood, it made sense to keep the existing structures and fully renovate the buildings while honoring the past. Sidewalks and landscape will be studied and designed so that the project has appearance of one cohesive project on both sides of Kānekapōlei Street.
Why are you orienting the tower that way?
The tower will be oriented in a mauka-to-makai axis and specifically situated in-line between the Ohana Waikiki East and Aqua Aloha surf hotels. Further, this will also allow for maximum distance between the existing Hilton Garden Inn hotel and our new building.
Why aren’t you building the maximum height?
Brookfield Properties is proposing to build a 28-story tower up to 285-feet (plus the additional allowable elevator roof overrun). While a 350-foot height limit is allowable under the PD-A process, Brookfield Properties is only seeking a 25-foot height increase above an existing allowable 260 ft. height limit to allow the tower rental units to be developed with 9-foot clear ceilings, something rarely done in the rental market that will provide a more comfortable living space for its residents.
What other design considerations were incorporated to the project planning after receiving community input?
A loading dock for commercial deliveries and Residential move-ins/outs are internalized within building parking podium to address existing community noise concerns over early morning deliveries and traffic congestion related to large delivery trucks. This private loading and service alley will have an entrance gate on Walina Street and an exit gate on Kānekapōlei Street. Back of house facilities (trash, electric room, generator, and water pump room) will be located within the building’s ground floor attached parking structure.
The residential Porte cochere will be located with access from Kānekapōlei street and be sized to provide for onsite queueing of vehicles, ride sharing, and taxi. The porte cochere was designed to wrap around and preserve a large existing Monkeypod tree on Kānekapōlei street.
The project will provide parking for both residents and commercial spaces. Residential parking for the tower will meet city codes related to parking ratio requirements of 1 parking stall to each 1 residential unit (total 402 residential stalls). The commercial and residential singular parking entrance is located on Walina Street with a comprehensive traffic impact study completed.
What is going to happen to the exceptional banyan tree?
Brookfield Properties will preserve and enhance the exceptional banyan tree. Brookfield Properties has received an exceptional banyan tree pruning permit and has begun a phased enhancement process by which the tree will be trimmed and shaped under the guidance of a certified arborist to improve the health of the tree, including continued maintenance of the tree after project opening in 2021. Furthermore, the asphalt paving located under the tree will be removed, allowing the banyan tree to better thrive.
EMBRACING CHANGE FOR THE FUTURE
Will existing businesses be affected?
There are two existing businesses on the project site – Food Pantry on Walina Street and Kūhiō Avenue, and an ABC Store on the corner of Kānekapōlei Street and Kūhiō Avenue. The ABC Store will remain in place under its current lease and the existing 20,000 sf Food Pantry will close shortly prior to the start of project construction and be replaced with a full-service grocery store.
Queen Emma Land Company and Food Pantry will keep the grocery store open as long as possible, having already been extended the expired lease until the targeted start of OM’s construction.
During construction, there are various boutique grocers such as Duke’s Lane and Mitsuwa market across the street, as well as a Food Pantry one mile away on Hobron, Dean & DeLuca Kūhiō Avenue and several ABC Stores in the area. A full-service grocer will be incorporated as the anchor tenant in the new project.
Will existing residents be affected?
Queen Emma Land Company and Brookfield Properties have maintained communication with the existing residential tenants, including providing two-year notice before the proposed project construction starts in mid-2019. Tenants have also been notified of the upcoming redevelopment and predevelopment timeline. While it’s unfortunate that the existing tenants must vacate, some of the units are in dire need of repair, and the residents have been cooperative of our efforts. Upon completion of the project in 2021, we would like to see them return as renters in the new project.
Where will the contractors and workers park during construction?
Brookfield Properties understands that the neighborhood is concerned with parking and we will work with the general contractor to find a solution that minimizes the inconvenience to the community who utilize on-street parking.
How will the community be informed of construction activity, traffic closures, and other disturbances?
Brookfield Properties will work with the selected General Contractor and associated subcontractors to properly communicate construction progress to the neighbors.
How is this project going to benefit the community?
Brookfield Properties is delivering a much-needed rental housing project, which includes an affordable housing component of 20% of the units (91 units) designated for households earning less than 80% of area median income (AMI). The community benefit of delivering this affordable housing exceeds $20M.
This revitalization is estimated to create 600 development and construction jobs, as well as 90 permanent operational positions through a professionally managed residential apartment building and mixed-use retail center to the community, providing long term economic stimulus.
As a rental project with no condo presale requirement required to start construction, Līlia Waikīkī will deliver a mix of 364 market rentals and 91 affordable units into the housing market much quicker into Waikīkī, one of the largest employment centers in our state.