Honolulu high rise approval delayed by ‘poor door’ concerns

HONOLULU — Approval for a proposed Honolulu high-rise has been delayed over objections to a plan that calls for having a separate entrance for luxury condo owners and affordable rental tenants.

A city zoning hearing with the building’s developer was canceled Tuesday due to concerns over what affordable housing advocates call the “poor door,” Hawaii News Now reported .

Zoning Chairwoman Kymberly Pine asked the developer, ProsPac Holdings, to explain its plan to critics.

“Ultimately this will be the first time we will have approved a mixed-use residential project with separate entrances,” said Victor Geminiani, co-director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. “That sends messages to all of us.”

ProsPac Holdings said separate entrances were a logical way to service two buildings with different clientele and amenities.

“While most developers create a market rate tower in one location and an affordable tower in another location, our solution allows both projects to exist on the same block in the heart of Honolulu’s Ala Moana neighborhood,” ProsPac Holdings Assistant Director William Chen said.

The proposed Prospac Tower would be 41 stories tall with 350 market priced condo units using an entrance on Keeaumoku Avenue and 79 affordable rental units using an entrance on Makaloa Street.

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This story corrects Victor Geminiani’s affiliation. He is the co-director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, not the co-director of Ala Moana Center.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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