Developer Stanford Carr has been selected to partner with Waikoloa Land Co. to build the workforce housing component of a residential and timeshare project coming before the Leeward Planning Commission next week.
Kumu Hou at Waikoloa would feature 1,164 timeshare units and 25 single-family home lots on 183 acres currently part of the 18-hole Kings’ Course in Waikoloa Beach Resort. Developers anticipate build-out would occur in 2043 and 470 full-time jobs would be created, mostly at the resort.
Kumu Hou will ensure the creation of no less than 142 affordable workforce rental housing units as part of the project. The Waikoloa Beach Resort will be the first resort community in the state to prioritize the development of workforce housing within the resort’s footprint.
“Housing is critically important to Hawaii’s local families, and this project allows us to meet the needs of those working in the Waikoloa area,” Stanford Carr, president of Stanford Carr Development LLC said in a statement. “After 20 years, I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to Waikoloa and work alongside a company that’s committed to making this first-of-its-kind, impactful investment within the resort property.”
Qualified workers would be in the low-moderate income bracket — from 30% to 80% of the median income. For those earning 30% Hawaii County AMI, a single person earning $17,520 per year up to a family of four earning $66,640, rents will start at $469 for a one-bedroom unit. Those in the 80% AMI category will pay $1,733 per month for a three-bedroom unit.
Workers must be residents to qualify for the housing. The application seeks to amend the 1977 special management area permit to create three new SMAs and to rezone two areas. The project contemplates a new brackish water irrigation system, public park facilities and other infrastructure and amenities.
The resort currently comprises 1,604 visitor units and 1,810 residential units, including timeshares, multifamily condominiums and single-family home lots. The project holds entitlements from previous county actions for 6,365 units, including 3,000 visitor units and 3,365 residential units.
Kohala Councilman Tim Richards welcomes the concept of workforce housing being constructed closer to where people work.
“With our significant need for housing here on Hawaii Island, this is one opportunity to embrace that could result in families being able to work, play and thrive here in West Hawaii,” Richards said in an interview earlier this fall.
But not everyone embraces the timeshare element of the project.
“Of all the types of residential development, timeshare is the absolute worst for our island and for us, its residents,” Waimea resident Ric Rocker said in an opinion piece printed in the newspaper. “Unlike single family homes and/or condominiums, which are occupied only part of the time, timeshare units are typically occupied 50-plus weeks a year. … They are different from visitors who stay at our already existing hotels, and similar to short term vacation renters who now crowd our residential neighborhoods, parks and beaches and deplete our grocery store shelves.”
The Leeward Planning Commission meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 18. The public can submit written comments on the applications by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Oral testimony can be arranged by emailing Noriko Sauer at Noriko.Sauer@hawaiicounty.gov or calling (808) 323-4783 by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.