Maui News

Developer seeks deadline extension for Waikapū Development Venture project

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A map shows the location of Waikapū Development Venture’s project site between Honoapiʻilani Highway and Waiale Road. PC: Waikapū Development Venture graphic

Maui County Council’s Housing and Land Use Committee has recommended approval of project modifications and a deadline extension for completion of Waikapū Development Venture’s 80-unit affordable housing project.

The 12.5-acre residential workforce housing project south of Wailuku town was originally planned as 68 single-family dwellings and six duplex dwellings with 12 units, for a total of 80 units in Central Maui near schools, shopping and jobs, according to Keoni Gomes, a civil engineer and one of the founding members of Waikapū Development Venture.

Processed under the state’s Chapter 201H affordable housing law, the developer was allowed to have an expedited review process that allowed for exemptions from certain laws and rules of government agencies. Because the development received streamlined treatment from the government, homes need to be owner-occupied for at least 30 years.

The Maui County Council approved the project with a resolution that required construction to begin in September 2020.


When there were project delays, the Council agreed in July 2020 to a deadline extension to September 2022 for beginning of construction and Sept. 7, 2024, for project completion, Gomes said.

Construction began in August 2022 with a waterline that has been completed, he said. However, with construction costs including materials rising 30% to 40%, the project sought and received $10.65 million in a grant from the County’s Affordable Housing Fund.

At the low end, housing sale prices are expected to range from $274,565 to $313,650 for a two-bedroom unit for a family earning 70% to 80% of the adjusted median income of $110,800. At the high end, a four-bedroom unit for a family of four earning 121% to 140% of AMI would cost $742,670, well below the current $1.3 million median cost of a single-family home on Maui.

Council Member Tom Cook enthusiastically supported the project, saying: “I find the prices awesome… I hope you can get these things built.”


The state Land Use Commission agreed in October to extend the deadline to complete the project until Sept. 7, 2029, and Gomes asked council members to agree to the same date for the sake of consistency.

Gomes told council members he believes the project will be completed before late 2029, but there could be “unforeseen circumstances” that cause delays. Meanwhile development costs continue rising, he said.

“It’s in our best interest to get the project moving and completed as soon as possible,” he said.

Gomes said developers know homebuyers prefer single-family homes, and that was the “driving force” behind redesigning the project to make all 80 units single-family dwellings. To make that financially feasible, or “pencil out,” the project layout was redesigned, reducing sidewalks and removing dead-end areas and interior roadways, he said.

Waikapū Development Ventures before (at left) and current (at right) show how the project was redesigned to plan for construction of 80 single-family homes with fewer interior roads, reduced sidewalks and elimination of duplex units and a pocket park. Waikapū Development Ventures slide presentation (5.29.24)

The interior redesign improves emergency vehicle access, and “all the roads will now be built to county standards,” Gomes said. Open space was decreased, and a small “pocket park” was eliminated. The new design allowed for bigger lot sizes, he said.

The project will have a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, he said. The affordability mix will be the same, ranging from 70% to 140% of Maui County’s adjusted median income.

“It is our hope that these will be forever homes for homebuyers,” he said. “I think we can all agree that we want to get families that need to be in homes into the homes.”

The project and its request for an extension for construction completion have the support of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns.

The Council’s Housing Committee, chaired by Council Member Tasha Kama, approved amendments giving the County the right of first refusal to buy units for sale from 11 to 30 years after occupancy and prohibiting vacation rentals in the development in perpetuity.

The amendments were approved by 7-0 votes, with Council Members Tamara Paltin and Gabe Johnson absent and excused.

An amended resolution providing for the time extension and project modifications advances to the full Council for approval.

Brian Perry
Brian Perry worked as a staff writer and editor at The Maui News from 1990 to 2018. Before that, he was a reporter at the Pacific Daily News in Agana, Guam. From 2019 to 2022, he was director of communications in the Office of the Mayor.
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