HONOLULU — The owner of a 25-story office building in downtown Honolulu plans to convert the tower into about 500 apartments with moderately priced rent.
Douglas Emmett Inc. announced the plans Tuesday, saying the changes would occur over multiple years as current tenants move out, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .
The first apartments should be ready next year, the company said.
“The Douglas Emmett team is focused on addressing the critical need for workforce rental housing in Hawaii, and we are working hard to get through the planning and permitting process so we can begin the conversion,” company president and CEO Jordan Kaplan said in a statement. “Bringing hundreds of new residents into the central business district will also contribute significantly to transforming downtown Honolulu into an active 24-hour community.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said this type of conversion plan is what the community needs to help address the lack of homes available to residents with low and moderate incomes.
“We need to build more attainable housing options for local residents,” Caldwell said.
Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments inside the tower will be affordable to households earning between 80 percent and 120 percent of city’s median income, the company said.
At the lower income limit under current levels, monthly rents would be no higher than $1,634 for studios, $1,750 for one-bedroom units and $2,100 for two-bedroom units.
At the higher income level, monthly rents would be $2,450 for studios, $2,624 for one-bedroom units and $3,150 for two-bedroom units.