Apartment Wins Best Practice Award

The Hale Kalele/Hale Hilinai complex blends an environmentally conscious 200-unit, all-affordable rental tower with a juvenile services facility.

The American Planners Association (APA) Hawaii Chapter chose for its Best Practice Award the $91 million Hale Kalele project, developed by The Kobayashi Group with low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt revenue bonds and a low-interest loan and support from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. The project was delivered ahead of schedule and within budget—despite the pandemic, supply-chain shortages and inflation.

APA Hawaii’s Best Practice Award recognizes a specific planning tool, practice, program, project or process. It emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value. 

The new tower replaces the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Lower Makiki property that housed a juvenile detention and services center. It features 30,000 square feet on the first two levels dedicated to the Hale Hilinai juvenile services center and shelter. The rest of the building houses Hale Kalele’s 200 rental units and a unit for a general manager. By law, residents cannot earn more than 60% of area median gross income to rent. 

“The jury was impressed by the project’s mix of affordable housing and civic uses, its timely completion despite the all-too-familiar implementation challenges that accompany such projects,” the APA cites as reasons for the award. 

 “The opportunity to participate in a novel cross-government agency partnership, address the needs of our juvenile justice system and provide affordable housing residences for the community was an honor,” says Matthew Pennaz, Kobayashi Group chief operating officer. 

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