News Beat: Affordable Senior Rental Project Breaks Ground at Historic ʻAiea Sugar Mill Site

A groundbreaking ceremony for Aloha Iā Halewilikō was held on Oct. 17.     PHOTO COURTESY EAH HOUSING

A groundbreaking ceremony and traditional Hawaiian blessing were held Oct. 17 for Aloha Iā Halewilikō, a 140-unit affordable senior rental housing development at 99-385 Pōhai Pl. — the former site of the historic  ‘Aiea Sugar Mill.

Construction of the $62 million project by nonprofit developer and property manager EAH Housing is now underway, with an estimated completion date of 2025. Funding was provided by the City & County of Honolulu (which is also providing the land), the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., Bank of Hawaii and U.S. Bank.

“We’re excited to be a part of a broader community vision for ‘Aiea,” said Laura Hall, president and CEO of EAH Housing. “At Aloha Iā Halewilikō, we will enhance our residents’ overall quality of life by increasing food security, promoting an active lifestyle … and providing digital literacy learning opportunities. Moreover, an onsite resident services coordinator will provide referrals to local services.”

Of the 140 units planned, which include 83 studios and 56 one-bedroom units, 13 will be set aside for households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median gross income. Another 75 units will be reserved for families with incomes at 50 percent or below the AMI. And 51 units will be reserved for those with incomes at 60 percent or less of the AMI.

EAH Housing is partnering with local nonprofit organization Lanakila Pacific to provide services to kūpuna that will help allow them to age in place and promote healthy lifestyles. Access to Lanakila’s Meals on Wheels program will also be provided.

“Aloha Iā Halewilikō (Love for the House of the Sugar Mill) pays tribute to our iconic ‘Aiea Sugar Mill and Refinery, which provided our community an economic and social foundation for almost 100 years,” said Claire Tamamoto, president of the ‘Aiea Community Association. “This kūpuna care facility represents the ‘Aiea community’s 25-year vision to repurpose the centrally located ‘Aiea sugar mill lands into a resource for the community.”

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