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Kamakana Village at Keahuolu taking shape

The 272-acre Kamakana Village at Keahuolu. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

The 272-acre Kamakana Village at Keahuolu. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com Contributing Editor

Forest City Hawaii presented its plan for 272 acres off Palani Road at a workshop Monday evening in Kona, meeting with general approval from the 70 people in attendance.

Most of the audience questions focused on details such as traffic flow, bus routes, sewer and wastewater treatment, and maintenance of the green areas.

Kamakana Village at Keahuolu is being developed in partnership with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. and sits to the north and east of the Palani Road-Henry Street intersection. The proposed Ane Keohokalole Highway (or mid-level road) will run along the western border of the development.

The $700 million project includes 2,300 housing units, the first of which may be ready as early as 2012. More than 50 percent of the homes – town houses, single residences and rental units – will be affordable.

The village is marked in yellow, bordered to the south by Palani Road and to the west by Ane Keohokalole Highway. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

The village is marked in yellow, bordered to the south by Palani Road and to the west by Ane Keohokalole Highway. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

The project is one of the first to be planned and built since the Kona Community Development Plan was finalized last year.

“The CDP is a reflection of the will of the community,” said Wally Lau, West Hawaii deputy mayor. “It gives us the framework and basis. We have a beginning place for conversations (about growth and development).”

Race Randle, Forest City development associate, said the original mission was to build an affordable, livable community as quickly as possible and having the CPD in place helped focus the project right from the start.

“The CDP really gave us the blueprint of what we needed to do,” he said. “It did make it a little easier.”

In addition, hearing from residents at a similar workshop in July gave the planners direction and a list of priorities.

Among the goals and principles identified at the July workshop:

* Small blocks that are pedestrian friendly and inter-connected

* No cul-de-sacs

* TOD (transit oriented design) that encourages walking, biking and using public transportation

* Cultivate a sense of place and protecting the land

* Provide housing choices and recreational opportunities

Other features include preserving ancient burial sites and archeological sites; landscaping that capitalizes on the native dryland; and incorporating solar energy and water efficient systems.

Joey Scanga, an urban designer with Calthorpe Associates, said Kamakana Village will stand out as a model for future Kona development under the CDP.

“We get to set the standard  and the bar is set pretty high,” he said. “This isn’t just to do it. This is to do it right. This is an opportunity to link some pieces (within the Kona region).”

Francis Oda, chairman and CEO of Group 70 in Honolulu, said Forest City Hawaii is committed to building “a sustainable community that is light on the earth.”

Individual blocks are separated by green space. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

Individual blocks are separated by green space. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

One highlight is the common green plan, reminiscent of old English villages that grew up around a central park area.

According to the Forest City plan, each block will center around a open space, with trees, grass, playgrounds and walking paths.

Front porches or lanai will open on to the common area, with garages in the back along an alley.

In the photo above, the white stripes are alley ways that are the back side of housing units. The orange blocks are single-residence units, which all look onto the green space.

The darker orange blocks are higher density housing and, of course, the wider white stripes arethrough roads.

The photo below shows the common green space around and between each of the housing blocks.

Strips of housing will face onto a common green area. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

Strips of housing will face onto a common green area. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

The project also includes 120,000 square feet of commercial/retail space and a site for an elementary school.

Kamakana Village at Keahuolu is the first Big Island project for Forest City Hawaii, which is five years into a 50-year contract to rebuild Navy and Marine family housing on Oahu.

Forest City still is accepting comments and suggestions on the project. Contact Randle at racerandle@forestcity.net

— Find out more:

www.forestcity.net

Workshop attendees view the plans for Kamakana Village. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

Workshop attendees view the plans for Kamakana Village. (Hawaii247 photo by Karin Stanton)

One Response to “Kamakana Village at Keahuolu taking shape”

  1. Helen Hough says:

    Received flyer about new housing in Kona. Time line of first unit or home ready for resident. When you say affordable. Are the rent according to resident annual income as in public housing (30%)
    The homes are free standing.
    Are you a PUD? will there be home owner fees for up keep. I am very interested in your development, can famlies choose their own floor plan. The average 3 bedroom 2 bath home will cost ? Thank you for the time.
    Have you received permission to adverstise through the public Housing Authority?

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