A new condo proposal in a Honolulu neighborhood is 70 feet over the current height limits. Developers say new heights are necessary to make projects pencil out with rising construction costs.
"The developers of Holomua, planned for 1315 Kalakaua Ave., say the high-rise project wouldn't make economic sense at 150 feet - the height limit for the neighborhood - so they are proposing to build to 220 feet and offer 51 percent of the for-sale units at affordable prices.
"It all boils down to economies of scale," said Serge Krivatsy of THM Partners, developer of the project. "The cost of land, especially in urban Honolulu, means the more units you can get on a parcel, the more you can reduce the selling price."
Though Holomua won't be the only high-rise towering over the area - the nearby Banyan Tree Plaza on Punahou Street soars to 350 feet and another nearby project hits 220 feet - dozens of Makiki residents oppose the 176-unit project, saying its height exemption translates into more people, more cars and more problems."