In the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii, redevelopment transformed a brownfield site into a vibrant part of the community. In 2014, the Hawaii County Development Authority (HCDA) operated a parking lot at 630 Cooke Street but believed it could be transformed into affordable housing. However, the site was contaminated with oil and lead. When EAH Housing – a nonprofit developer – took on the project of redeveloping the site, it was also responsible for ensuring that it would be a safe and healthy home for new residents.
EAH Housing used U.S. EPA’s Targeted Brownfield Assessment (TBA) program to create a highly suitable redevelopment plan and progressed quickly through the assessment and cleanup process. Based on findings from the TBA program, the developers planned to cap the majority of a site with a concrete podium, which would also serve as a foundation for the residential building. At portions of the site which would remain uncovered for gardens or landscaping, the developers replaced the contaminated soil. Thanks to effective project financing, the assessment and cleanup process took less than three years. The developers also attended CCLR informational workshops and webinars, which they credited with guiding them through the intricacies of the cleanup process.
EAH Housing completed the Nohona Hale affordable housing complex in January 2020, only two years after the remediation concluded. The building is made up of 111 micro-units intended for low income households and includes green features and amenities such as solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal, low-flow water fixtures, and community gardens.
Total Area: 9,569 sq. ft.
Previous uses: Gasoline and oil drum storage; dry cleaner; parking lot
Current uses: Residential
Benefits: Affordable housing, sustainable development
Financing: Tax-Exempt Bonds, LIHTC equity (4%), Rental Housing Revolving Fund (HHFDC), General Partner Funds, HCDA Land via Long Term Ground Lease
Services provided: ESA Phase I and II support; information and connection with resources via workshops
HCDA initiated the cleanup and assessment process when they issued a Request for Proposals to redevelop the parking lot that used to be at the site.
EAH Housing won the HCDA’s Request for Proposals and was primarily responsible for designing and redeveloping the site.
Ignacio Dayrit coordinates CCLR’s technical assistance program for redevelopment projects. He reviewed Nohona Hale’s grant applications and consulted on the redevelopment effort. He has over 23 years of experience in public sector development including: fiscal and financial analysis, public debt financing, feasibility analyses, and urban design.