Last year, for the first time in history, Maui broke the $1 million threshold for the median price of a single-family home. As demand outweighs supply, the housing market continues to make it difficult for low-income families to afford to live on Maui. The lack of affordable housing is one reason why approximately 10,000 people, most of whom are middle class, move out of the state each year. So, when the Maui Region was presented with an opportunity to work on the Kaiāulu O Halele‘a project in South Maui, it was more than just “another job.”
The Kaiāulu O Halele‘a project is a 100 percent affordable housing development located in the heart of Kīhei. Once complete, it will have 120 apartments spread across 17 acres with views of the ocean, Haleakalā, and the West Maui Mountains. Kaiāulu O Halele‘a is located next to the Maui Nui Golf Course and is within walking distance to parks, schools, and restaurants.
GBI began its portion of work in August of 2021 and is on track to finish it by October of 2022; Kaiāulu O Halele‘a residents are scheduled to move in by the end of 2022. The developer of the project is Ikaika Ohana, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. As Ikaika Ohana’s contractor of choice, GBI was selected to build three of its projects within the past two years.
The Kaiāulu O Halele‘a project presented several challenges. Given that the project received government funding, there were very strict deadlines. This meant that most of the civil work had to be done simultaneously with other trades in order to stay on schedule. This required constant coordination among multiple contractors and vendors throughout the construction process. This coordination was critical in order to minimize our impact on one other and to ensure that safety remained a top priority. Additionally, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting supply chains, material procurement became a critical component.
For many Maui Region employees, this project was especially meaningful. Some employees will be moving into Kaiāulu O Halele‘a or have family members who will move into the development. For them, this project hits home—literally. Construction is part of who we are, and it is what we do. Working on projects like Kaiāulu O Halele‘a takes our passion to a whole other level.