Howard Hughes Corp. has withdrawn its petition to the Hawaii Community Development Authority asking whether it would satisfy the agency’s affordable housing requirements in Kakaako to build fewer affordable rental units that remain affordable a longer period of time instead of more for-sale units.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported last week that Howard Hughes Corp. had submitted the application, which could reduce the amount of moderate-priced housing created in the redevelopment district.

Building cranes on new construction in Kakaako area on July 21, 2014

Building cranes on new construction in Kakaako area on July 21, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The state has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to prime Kakaako for development, but relatively few projects are affordable for low-income Hawaii residents who have the greatest housing need. Criticism of how HCDA has managed development contributed to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s historic loss of the primary election last month.

HCDA was scheduled to consider Howard Hughes Corp.’s petition at its meeting on Wednesday morning.

But Race Randle, senior director of development for Howard Hughes Corp., issued a statement Tuesday afternoon withdrawing the petition “due to the misunderstanding of our request.”

Here’s his full statement:

“Ward Village is dedicated to helping fulfill the housing needs of our neighborhood. We have listened to the community and have heard great demand for more affordable options, including rentals at lower income levels. In response to this message from our community, we have asked for clarification of HCDA’s rules to better understand what options are available.

Due to the misunderstanding of our request, we have decided to temporarily withdraw it so that we can further clarify our intentions to the appropriate stakeholders.

This rule clarification in no way changes our commitment to build 375 reserved housing units at 988 Halekauwila, nor does it change our strong commitment to creating a diverse community at Ward Village with an array of housing options and price points, including affordable and market-rate housing.”

Read the full petition below:

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