Developer’s Big Goals for Kalaeloa: Homes, Businesses — and Jobs

Kapolei News
Image by HawaiiNewsNow

By HawaiiNewsNow

Hunt Companies’ goal is to develop the 551 acres it controls in Kalaeloa into a mixed-use master-planned community.

“The ultimate master plan here is for 4,000 homes and about three million square feet of businesses. We envision this being a jobs hub in the future,” Hunt Companies’ Development Division president Steve Colon said.

Over the years, Kapolei leaders have been frustrated by the slow pace of improvement to the former Naval air station.

But Hunt recently made the major breakthrough it kick start development.

“What is evolving right now is a vibrant community,” Colon said.

The key infrastructure piece to the plan was the purchase of the Kalaeloa water and wastewater system from the Navy. Now, Hunt can really expand.

“We are going to make a capital investment to the tune of several million dollars to upgrade the system to be able to connect more future tenants, which will enable more businesses to get established here,” Colon said.

The water system purchase has already boosted commercial growth. There are now 50 new businesses leasing space on Kalaeloa property, including Coral Crater Adventure Park.

“I used to have the impression that it was so far from town. I drive every day. It’s thirty minutes. Not bad at all,” owner James Owen said.

Coral Crater and other Kalaeloa companies provide 500 jobs.

Another sign of progress is the transformation of what was a Navy medical building into a business building that’s home to Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union’s call center.

Hunt expects to lease the rest of the building by the end of next year.

“We’re almost at the point where we don’t have any more existing buildings we can fill,” Colon said. “That leads to our future plan for the new homes and new businesses, which we envision coming in here over the next 10, 20 years.”

As for housing, Hunt now has a 100-unit affordable rental apartment complex and about 500 single-family homes on its property.