Hale Mahana student apartments complete, some express safety concerns
Move-in day at the new Hale Mahana Collegiate Apartments is next Thursday, just in time for the new school year. But not all are celebrating the completion of the new building.
Move-in day at the new Hale Mahana Collegiate Apartments is next Thursday, just in time for the new school year.
A blessing to celebrate the completion of the student apartment project was held on Wednesday at Hale Mahana. The new 14-story building is located on South King Street off University Avenue, just down the street from University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Hale Mahana is complete with 191 units, a fitness center, rooftop terrace, community kitchen, outdoor lounge, and 20,000 square-feet of ground-floor retail space.
"It's a great location close to school. I can walk. It's even closer to the locker rooms, which is nice for football.. and it's a lot closer to businesses and places that I can go shop," said UH student, Michael Boyle.
Boyle is preparing to kick off his sophomore year in his new all inclusive apartment at Hale Mahana. But he isn't the only one excited for move-in day, some neighboring businesses are hoping the new collegiate apartments will increase their customer base.
"All these students are going to be like right across from the store.. and like they can just like walk by and grab a drink," Dylan Zhang, cashier at Shaka Shaka Tea Express said.
But not all are celebrating the completion of the new building.
Vehicles entering and exiting the Hale Mahana parking garage will have to access Kahuna Lane, a privately-owned narrow roadway that's also used to get to S. King Street and Kokua Market. Joachim Cox an attorney with The Malulani Group (TMG), representing the owner of Kahuna Lane says since the beginning, his client's primary concern has been over safety for pedestrians and drivers that utilize that roadway.
"The big concern is that what had been a quiet lane is now going to be something that is unsafe and even more unsafe because they're going to have so much traffic on it," Cox said. "We're trying to work with the mainland developer but thus far, they've been unwilling to do so to coordinate to make sure Kahuna Lane is safe, it's available .. but there's not sidewalks, there's not drainage, it's not wide enough and there's utility poles still in the street."
But Michael Lam the attorney for the project's developer, tells Island news his client has always taken safety issues seriously and has been transparent with all development plans.
"The developer.. we've addressed those concerns by installing a sidewalk.. a dedicated sidewalk on the developer's property, widened the lane that front Kokua Market by five feet, put in overhead street lamps that were non-existent before," Lam said. "Every neighboring within 300 feet who got notice had an opportunity to go and participate in the meetings, raise concerns to be addressed by everyone. Our records indicate that TMG did not show up or submit any written objection to proposed development."
Lam says a trail date for complaints filed by The Malulani Group has been set for next summer.