Makila Kai workforce housing project slated at Launiupoko
LAHAINA – With affordable homes projected to start construction this year, Makila Kai LLC (MKL) proposes to develop Makila Kai, a workforce housing community, in the Launiupoko area.
The project would be located mauka of Honoapiilani Highway and the Lahaina Bypass on three large parcels totaling 79.5 acres.
The property is bordered by the makai extension of Punakea Loop (named Punakea Street) to the north, Haniu Street to the east (mauka), a gulch to the south and the proposed right-of-way alignment for the Lahaina Bypass to the west (makai).
Plans call for 25 workforce homes on lots approximately one-half-acre in size and 24 market-rate agricultural lots ranging from one-and-a-half to slightly less than two acres in size.
The affordable housing community will feature one- to four-bedroom homes with projected prices of $251,580 to $671,600 based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines.
The developer is Greg Brown of Brown Development Hawaii, who has been building homes on the West Side for 15 years.
“We have been working on this project for almost a year, talking with neighbors, community members and local affordable housing advocates, and feel strongly that we have created a neighbor-friendly community that provides desirable homes at truly affordable prices,” said Brown.
Approvals for Makila Kai will be processed under Chapter 201H of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). This law requires that at least 51 percent of the homes be provided and priced in accordance with Chapter 2.96 of the Maui County Code, Residential Workforce Housing Policy; and the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns’ Affordable Sales Price Guidelines.
HRS Chapter 201H provides for expedited processing of permits; certain exemptions in planning, zoning and construction standards; and greater flexibility in the design process.
All 201H projects must comply with the county permit process. Currently, the project is moving through the county review process.
Construction of the 25 workforce homes will begin as soon as approvals are granted and permits issued. If approved on schedule, the affordable homes will all be built at the same time, with the first units ready for occupancy late this year.
The 25 Makila Kai workforce homes will be offered to families making between 80 to 140 percent of the median income in accordance with county policies.
The community will be marketed by Buz Moffett and Van Fischer of Moffett Properties.
“We became involved in this project because it was clear that Greg sincerely wanted to give back to the community and was pushing to go above and beyond what the 201H program requires. The Brown Family will be providing a sales promotion on the workforce homes in the form of a gift of $50,000 per home as a price reduction from the listed prices, which is unheard of,” said William “Buz” Moffett, owner and principal broker of Moffett Properties.
Makila Kai is unique, the developer noted, because all workforce units will be single-family homes on rural lots of a minimum of one-half-acre to maintain the rural character of the area, as well as provide space for gardens and agricultural uses to enable self-sufficiency and promote sustainability.
The community will also feature amenities not typically provided in an affordable housing subdivision.
Approximately 50 percent of the area will be in greenbelt, park, open space and setback areas to foster a rural community character.
The project will include a 1.3-acre neighborhood park with “tot lot” or other playground equipment and/or a
Makila Kai will include a 500-foot-wide open space “greenbelt,” totaling 20 acres, between the community and the Lahaina Bypass.
A loop trail will be provided around the entire community for walking, jogging and mauka-makai access. The trail portion along Punakea Street is designed to integrate with a Punakea underpass below the Lahaina Bypass for direct pedestrian and bike access to the shoreline.
Makila Kai is proposed 1,500 feet from the shoreline, so residents will have easy pedestrian and bicycle access to the ocean for water sports, fishing and other activities.
All homes (market and workforce) will be limited to single story to protect views, and further subdivision or condominium property regimes will be banned, and short-term rentals prohibited, via deed restrictions.
According to the developer, each workforce home will feature a covered entry and rear lanai; enclosed garage; open living room/kitchen with ten-foot vaulted ceilings; double-pane vinyl windows and sliding glass doors; board and batten exterior; solar hot water heating system; water-efficient plumbing fixtures and devices; energy-efficiency measures; and ocean views.
“Our hope is that we are creating a feasible and desirable workforce housing model that we and other developers can reproduce around the island. It is time we all came together to provide real affordable housing to our workforce friends and neighbors,” said Brown.
Information and applications are available at Makilakai.com. All qualified buyers will be entered into a lottery, and a public event will be held where the homebuyers will be selected.