Hawaiian Home Lands’ Request for Proposal to develop parcel in Urban Honolulu

Local News

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has released a Request For Proposal (RFP) to develop 1.9 acres in Mōʻiliʻili at the site of the old Bowl-O-Drome next to Stadium Park.

The RFP for the 820 Isenberg Project includes demolition of the existing structure as well as design, construction, financing, management, operation, and maintenance of a multi-family residential rental facility.  

The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) recently adopted new administrative rules to allow DHHL to administer rentals on Hawaiian homelands. The new rules are awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature.

“This project brings forward another option for our beneficiaries,” said HHC Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr. “The Department has been delivering turnkey homes as well as vacant lots to give families more flexibility in what they build. We have partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, a rent with option to purchase program, we have subsistence agricultural lots coming in the next couple of years, and now we are entering the affordable rental arena. All to give beneficiaries different options.” 

All prospective offerors are invited to attend a pre-proposal conference on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi. The conference is to provide offerors with an opportunity to ask questions about the contractual requirements and technical aspects of the project. A visit of the project site will follow the pre-proposal conference. Attendance of the pre-proposal conference and/or site visit is not a condition for submitting a proposal.

DHHL’s 2014 Island Plan identified the 820 Isenberg Project as an opportunity to address the need for housing alternatives through a mixed use, two to 10 story building with up to 126 housing units on the higher floors with commercial, revenue-generating uses at the street level. The RFP allows a developer flexibility to present options to the Department that could result in more units for the project. 

“Revenue generation at the street level will likely be necessary to subsidize affordable rentals,” Ailā said. “We are looking forward to seeing what creative solutions the proposals bring to light.”

Approximately 45 percent of the residential and 19 percent of the agriculture DHHL applicants statewide are looking for homesteading opportunities on O‘ahu. However, only 4 percent of DHHL’s landholdings are located on the island.

DHHL recently offered 16 lots on Lanai and has a lot selection ceremony scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10 for 15 lots in Waimanalo. These lots are among 395 planned statewide lots that DHHL began offering in 2019. The Department has over 1,300 lots in its production pipeline to be completed over the next five years. 

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