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LDS Church affiliate set to build affordable housing in Hawaii

HONOLULU — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' land management company, Hawaii Reserves Inc., is planning to build up to 650 homes, including affordable housing, on land next to Laie on Oahu's North Shore.

The land includes a 227-acre parcel newly acquired for about $4 million from an affiliate of nearby Turtle Bay Resort owner Oaktree Capital Management LD.

Hawaii Reserves President R. Eric Beaver said the company owned by the LDS Church aims to keep prices down for area residents near the church's Brigham Young University-Hawaii and its Polynesian Cultural Center, one of the Hawaii's most popular tourist attractions.

Beaver says the property is close to existing housing and sewer and utilities systems, which will help keep development costs down.

A major goal is to create affordable housing that will fit community needs, he said.

"We take working-class families in this area and look at how much income they're bringing in, and figure out how to build and price homes at levels people working out here can actually afford," Beaver said, noting that's a major challenge anywhere in the islands.

The plan also calls for more parks and recreation facilities under a master plan Hawaii Reserves is developing for the area, he said.

The new parcel is to be combined with land already owned by the church land company, which has extensive developments in the area.

Beaver said zoning and permitting could take up to five years, and no calendar has been set for completion of the homes.