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Business // Roundtable
MidWeek Staff

Housing Made Affordable

By Ryan Harada Principal of Downtown Capital LLC

At a time when it seems like all residential development is geared toward luxury high-rises, a group of young professionals has been successfully building and selling homes for middle-class residents of Oahu. This team, comprised of homegrown talent, has dramatically changed the island’s housing market, adding more than 1,000 affordably priced housing units.

The team consists of Debbie Akau, senior project manager, Downtown Capital LLC; Derek Lock, senior project manager, sales and marketing, Downtown Capital LLC; Scott Kuioka, vice president and chief investment officer, Tradewind Capital Group; Jason Nishikawa, vice president, Marcus and Associates, and Andrew Holt, preconstruction project manager, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company.

I’m proud to be a part of this talented group and its mission.

As local businesspeople, we have committed ourselves to ensuring Hawaii still can have a vibrant middle class that can afford their own homes.

Having spent time on the Mainland, the team is well-aware that the lack of modern affordable housing ranks high on the list of reasons why young people leave Hawaii to pursue careers elsewhere. We believe providing homes that are both affordable and desirable for those just getting started, as well as others in the work force, can help reverse this trend.

Our work at 801 South St. is a good example, with nearly 100 percent local ownership, including teachers, first responders, nurses, hotel and restaurant workers, and a wide variety of other members of Oahu’s work force.

It will be exciting to see what affordably priced projects we will build in the coming years.

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