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Developer plans housing towers at former theater site

HONOLULU — A development partnership plans to take over a stalled project to turn a former Oahu movie theater site into a high-rise housing complex.

The partnership led by developer Stanford Carr wants to substantially revise the $800 million plan permitted by Honolulu on the site of the former Kam Drive-In movie theater in Aiea.

Carr will try to amend the previous development planned by Robertson Properties Group, a California-based affiliate of Kam’s former operator, Consolidated Theatres.

Carr told the Aiea Neighborhood Board on Monday that the proposal is a positive change for a dense, smart-growth project close to a city rail station.

“This is an opportunity to create a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development,” he said.

Carr proposed increasing the height of four towers, keeping a fifth tower about the same height and eliminating a sixth, smaller tower.

The overall number of homes would decrease to 1,401 from 1,500, eliminate a hotel and cut back retail space.

The proposal would also provide a large number of homes to low-income residents, as opposed to only offering units for moderate-income households.

To help finance low-income rentals, Carr intends to seek state and city assistance with funding that could include tax credits and breaks, fee waivers and low-interest loans under a state affordable-housing law.

The project would be the first new residential community added to the area in 40 years, Carr said in an interview.

“We’re building homes for local people,” he said.

Carr has a contract to buy the site from Robertson Properties, but is expected to face objections from area residents.

“These monoliths that you’re proposing to build are going to totally block out any morning sun that our complex is going to get,” Steve DiRico, who lives near the project site, said during a neighborhood board meeting.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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