City Council to hear concerns about rundown Honolulu condo

HONOLULU — The City Council will talk about the condition of a vacant Honolulu condominium after neighbors have spent more than a decade complaining about broken windows, rats and human waste.

The unoccupied building in a five-unit complex has been empty for 20 years and has a history of complaints about break-ins, drug use and graffiti with the city, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported Monday.

The condominium is in Waikiki and has drawn further attention because nearby buildings have been newly renovated.

“The building is a hangout for local youth and gets tagged with graffiti on a regular basis,” property owner Roger Brewer said.

Brewer’s redeveloped unit is close to what residents call an unsafe haven for abandoned junk and homeless people.

City Council will address concerns this week.

Owner Norman Nip says the 9,500-square-foot (883-square-meter) property is for sale, but an agreement will only be made under the right conditions. Nip previously turned down two multimillion-dollar offers.

“After you paint it, someone puts graffiti on it, and we have homeless people all around the place,” Nip said. “Why do I have to bend down and cater to their likes and needs because it doesn’t look up to their standards?”

The city Department of Planning and Permitting has issued eight violation notices since 2008, which have all been corrected. Recently the department investigated the property in June but found no reason to cite the owner.

Watermark Association of Apartment Owners president Kim Hadden says the building is a fire hazard.

Neighbors hope a new law that created a five-year pilot program to spur redevelopment will help conditions at the complex.

Brewer suggests following Detroit’s program which requires strict upkeep of vacant buildings.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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