- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The state is moving forward with an $80 million plan to redevelop an aging juvenile detention center building in Honolulu to include space for affordable housing.

The state Judiciary, which controls the 1.5-acre site, and the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. are looking to build an 18-story tower above the juvenile facilities, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Wednesday (https://bit.ly/24SmLr7).

The proposed development would include 180 residential apartments for low-income families and new facilities for troubled youth.

“It’s a very worthwhile project for the community to support both children and affordable-housing needs,” Don Clifford, a project manager with design firm SSFM International, which is working on the project, told the Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board last month.

The board has not shown support for the plan, but its approval is not necessary for the state to obtain a permit.

The state-owned property dates back to before 1949 and was gifted to the city by the Okamura family to help serve children in the court system. Once controlled by the state, the Juvenile Detention Center was relocated.

The one- and two-story buildings now house a counseling and rehabilitation facility for youth offenders and another operation that teaches juveniles on probation about accountability.

The two state agencies have proposed putting up their own funds for the redevelopment project, with the HHFDC contributing $54 million and the Judiciary paying about $25.2 million.

Gov. David Ige has included $15 million for the project in his proposed state budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year and $1.5 million was approved in this year’s budget for the design work.

The agencies are working to release the project’s environmental assessment. The Judiciary did not know when construction would begin once all approvals and funding are secured.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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