Senior housing project expands

HILO — Construction has begun on a project that will double the size of a Hilo housing development for low-income seniors.

The Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood, located at 555 Kupuna Place, was expanded from 60 units to 90 units in 2017, but a new phase of construction will bring the total number of units to 182.

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Keith Kato, executive director of the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation, said the new project — Phase III of the Mohouli Heights development — will be an additional two-story building on the Mohouli Heights site, including courtyards, elevators and units similar to currently existing units in the development.

Kato said initial grading work has begun on the Phase III site, with the foundations expected to be set “in a couple of months.”

Construction of the new phase is expected to be completed by Fall 2020, and will cost an estimated $38 million, Kato said.

The project, the first phase of which was completed in 2013, is a collaboration between the state, the county, the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation, and banking partners Wells Fargo and Bank of Hawaii.

Kato said he is unsure whether Phase III will be the final expansion of the development. When Phase III is completed, there will be a “small piece left” of the project site, which Kato said might be used for additional services for low-income seniors.

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Applications for prospective tenants in the new phase will be processed by the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development. Kato said the office will begin accepting applications three months before completion of the process.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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