SVA Architects joins development team and Governor Ige for Phase II groundbreaking of Kulana Hale, mixed-use development in Kapolei, HI

Retail and affordable homes come to West Oahu’s Central Business District


On August 28, 2019, SVA Architects, Inc. will join Governor Ige and the development team of Kulana Hale to commemorate the Phase II groundbreaking of the affordable, mixed-use project. The three-acre, $130 million Kulana Hale project will add approximately 300 new residences and 32,000 square feet of retail to West Oahu. Located at 1020 Wakea St., Kulana Hale will bring much-needed affordable housing to Kapolei, West Oahu’s rapidly growing central business district.

Kulana Hale consists of a retail building and two mixed-use towers. Currently underway are Phases I and II:

  • Phase I will be a 13-story tower with 154 affordable senior rental units and ground floor retail space. Phase I topped out in July of this year, and is anticipated to be complete in early 2020.
  • Phase II, breaking ground in August, will add another 13-story tower with 143 family affordable units and additional retail. This phase is being financed by tax credit equity, tax-exempt bonds, and a $17.9 million Rental Housing Revolving Fund Loan from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC). Citibank is the construction lender and Royal Bank of Canada is the tax credit investor.

Kulana Hale will help address the critical issue of affordable housing in Hawaii. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Hawaii is the most Out of Reach rental housing market, with the highest housing wage in the nation. An individual working 40 hours per week would need to earn $28.04 per hour to afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment, or $36.82 for a two-bedroom apartment. Earning minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, a Hawaii resident would need to work 111 hours each week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at fair market prices. Forty-two (42) percent of households in Hawaii are renting.

Ernesto M. Vasquez, FAIA, CEO of SVA Architects, states, “With extraordinarily high housing costs in Hawaii, obtaining affordable housing is a major concern for residents.  We’re thrilled to be a part of helping alleviate the rent burden for hundreds individuals and families, and bringing a new, vibrant community to central Kapolei.”  Vasquez has been working in Hawaii since 1983.

Kulana Hale is being developed by Coastal Rim Properties, Inc. and Highridge Costa Development Company, LLC, and built by Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.

About SVA Architects

Founded in 2003, SVA Architects has become one of the Country’s most innovative and respected design and planning organizations. The award-winning firm specializes in urban planning, architecture, and interior design of public, private, and mixed-use projects.  Among the firm’s portfolio are civic, educational, residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. SVA Architects values institutional and public environments as the foundation of a community and the backdrop against which we live, learn, work, worship, and play. The company is headquartered in Santa Ana with offices in Oakland, San Diego, and Honolulu.