Honolulu Affordable Housing Sold for $142M! … Well, Almost.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle announced another incremental step in the city’s attempt to unload its 12 affordable housing complexes.

On June 20, Carlisle revealed it planned to sell the apartment buildings to Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners, which is made up of Highland Property Development, LLC out of Auburn, Calif., Richard Gushman, of Honolulu, and Stephen Gelber, who is a real estate and tax attorney here.

Details about the leasehold sale were sketchy, however, and when Civil Beat asked for documentation we were rebuffed because negotiations were pending.

But on Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office sent out an update about the sale, saying that the city would receive a $142 million payment from Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners. That agreement would also have the purchasers spend an additional $42 million to renovate the apartments, which are comprised of 1,257 units.

Here’s what Carlisle had to say about the deal:

"Once completed, these agreements will form the foundation of a new public-private collaboration that will provide a substantial payment to the City and much-needed major capital improvements and investments to the complexes while preserving affordability through the term of the leases," Carlise said. "Through this leasehold sale, the City will be able to retire the outstanding debt associated with the City’s past housing program and, by doing so, relieve Oahu taxpayers from having to pay approximately $8.5 million in annual debt service. Portions of the sale proceeds will also be returned to the City’s Community Development Block Grant program."

The properties will be leased for 65 years, according to the city. Negotiations are ongoing, and the Honolulu City Council must approve a final agreement.

Nick Grube

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