Over 250 residents of Front Street Apartments in Lahaina received good news. Governor David Ige signed a bill to keep rents from increasing to market prices. Hawaii Finance and Development Corporation will begin negotiations with the Front Street Apartments owners in the hopes of acquiring the property.
Owners of the affordable housing apartments originally wanted to raise the rent rates to market value by August 2019. Hawaii Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) have put a hold until August 2020 for now while court proceedings filed by tenants are completed or until HHFDC can purchase the property.
HHFDC is undergoing the due diligence process for appraisal and funding of the apartments. Although the saga isn’t fully over, there is hope for the tenants that a solution is around the corner and that they will be able to maintain their residences.
Police officers took advantage of the beginning of summer to visit the Kihei Youth Center. The outreach is to encourage children to be safe and to stay out of trouble. The officers use this time to let them know how important the kids are as well as their families and their community.
Officers took part in playing basketball and dodgeball even donating balls purchased with their own money. By bridging the gap between the police and children, the children will be more likely to come to officers if they are in need of help.
This program, Sports For Kids, is run by school resource officers during school brakes. The program is hoping to expand and reach other areas this year and in the future.
Good news for students who normally have access to free lunch during the school year. Three Maui County schools, Waihe’e, Wailuku and Kaunakakai elementary will be serving free meals through the Seamless Summer Option. Free meals will be available during the week except on June 11 and July 4th. This program is for children 18 and younger.
Funding for the Seamless Summer Option program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal is to ensure low income, in need children will still receive a nutritious meal. Parents should call their home school directly to find out what time meal service is.
Other sites providing summer meals in Maui County include Summer PALS, Maui Family YMCA in Wailuku and Maui Food Bank in Wailuku.
Residents spoke out Tuesday against expansion of the Grand Wailea. Residents are concerned over, among other reasons, the potential disturbance of possible ancient burial grounds, and the resident-to-vistor ratio being exceeded. The Grand Wailea has submitted plans to the Maui Planning Commission that would add an additional 224 rooms to the 776 room resort making it the second largest resort on Maui.
Also submitted in the proposal would be a new spa pool at Spa Grande, a new lap pool next to the Wailea Wing, a new family pool next to the Lagoon Wing, increase in the parking garage from 3 levels to 5 levels, and the removal of the Seaside Chapel. Other improvements include facade renovations, a new stairway in the Aqua Tower, renovations to the Hibiscus Pool area, renovations to the luau area, and additional public beach parking stalls.
Estimated cost for the project is $91.5 million with a 5 year estimated timeframe. The resort would remain open during construction. This would be the third renovation for the resort since being developed in 1991. The first taking place in 2008, and the second in 2014.
The plans are still waiting on a final decision by the Maui Planning Commission.