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Rising Prices at Koa Ridge

Castle & Cooke
Castle & Cooke

Castle & Cooke has permission to build is Koa Ridge development, but the delays from legal challenges will impact home buyers.  Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more.

Koa Ridge was first proposed more than 15 years ago.  Now that its developer, Castle & Cooke, has the all-clear from the state Supreme Court to move forward, construction is expected to begin early next year.

Why the delay?  Koa Ridge was approved by the State land Use Commission in 2002, but legal challenges from the Hawai‘i chapter of the Sierra Club and former state senator Clayton Hee kept the development in limbo.

The result is not good news for would be homeowners.  Due to our housing shortage and related rising home values, single family homes on O‘ahu cost 63% more than today than inflation alone would account for, compared to 2002.  Consequently, homeowners will be paying double for a Koa Ridge home over what they would’ve had the project been built on its original timetable.

Koa Ridge is now going to be built when construction costs are at an all-time high.  It’s now more expensive for Castle& Cooke to build the project – in fact, 25% more with an estimated development cost of $2 billion dollars.

Once it’s complete, Koa Ridge will add 3,500 housing units.  That may sound like a lot, but it’s only about 14% of the nearly 26,000 housing units the state estimates O‘ahu will need over the next decade.

Castle & Cooke has changed some aspects of Koa Ridge to adjust to the current market.  For example, the project contains a greater proportion of multifamily units than originally intended and the single family homes that remain will be on smaller lots, in an attempt to regain some affordability. 

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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