Press Release: Maui residents ask Alexander & Baldwin for 15% of Central Maui lands for the future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Maui residents ask Alexander & Baldwin for 15% of Central Maui lands for the future

Advocates for affordable housing, local food, and the environment come together to plan for Maui’s sustainable future

HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI (Tuesday, April 24) — Maui residents presented a petition with over 1,000 signatures this morning to Alexander & Baldwin, asking the corporation to make 15% of their Central Maui lands available for local food production, affordable housing, and conservation. The petition, started by the Hukilike no Maui: Together for Maui, asks A&B to invest in Maui’s future by selling or donating approximately 5,000 acres to parties interested in small scale agriculture, affordable housing communities, and conservation easements.

“Our message was very well received today by A&B,” said Angel Mau, a Hukilike coalition member who attended the shareholder meeting. “We were even able to talk with Christopher Benjamin, Alexander & Baldwin’s CEO and president, after the meeting. He expressed his gratitude for us sharing our ideas and we look forward to meeting with them again soon,” said Mau.

“A lot of Maui residents are concerned about the future of the 30,000 acres in Central Maui that were formerly sugar cane,” said Lucienne De Naie, longtime Huelo resident and coalition member who also attended the shareholder meeting. “This coalition is really flipping those concerns around and creating a positive conversation about Maui’s future. Today’s meeting helped us confirm that it is possible,” said De Naie.

The 5,000 acres that the Hukilike Coalition is asking for includes plans for sustainable communities in Puʻunēnē and Haliʻimaile that are integrated with affordable housing and small scale agriculture for local food production. The coalition also seeks land for the preservation of natural and cultural resources at Baldwin Beach Park, Maʻalaea Bay, Kealia Pond, and Waiʻale sand dunes and reservoir. The public can sign onto the petition at togetherformaui.org

“Like all corporations A&B is largely focused around maximizing their profit for their shareholders, but they have supported the community in the past and we hope they continue to do so in the future,” said Jerry Riverstone, a recent Maui resident and coalition supporter. “They expressed their intent on taking the future of Hawaiʻi seriously at the meeting today and working in partnership with the community. I am optimistic that this coalition will be able to work closely with A&B to create a holistic, sustainable future for Maui and beyond,” said Riverstone.

After the meeting, Maui residents returned to share with the community the outcome of the meeting. Residents gathered outside the A&B office in Kahului to hear the news and stand in solidarity with the over 1,000 petition signatures and a dozen local organizations expressing their support for a brighter future for Maui.

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About Hukilike no Maui: Formed in 2017, Hukilike no Maui is a coalition of affordable housing advocates, local food production advocates, environmentalists, and Maui residents that recognized the need to unite to advocate for the sustainable future of their island. The coalition aims to create space for Maui’s communities to be an active part in the future of A&B’s former sugar cane land.

Civil Beat: “Honolulu $93K Is Now Considered Low-Income For Honolulu Family Of 4”

Earning $93,000 per year sounds like a hefty salary, but not in Honolulu.

New federal guidelines now consider an income of up to $93,300 to be low-income in Honolulu for a family of four.

The city of Honolulu published the new income levels Monday showing the city’s median income grew to $96,000 — more than a 10 percent jump from $86,600 last year.

“Based on past experience — I’ve been doing this over 20 years — I don’t remember encountering such a large bump in the income limits,” said Kevin Carney, who works for the nonprofit housing developer EAH Housing. He said the changes likely mean that more people will be eligible for income-qualified units, but rents may rise.

The new guidelines say a salary of $65,350 or less in Honolulu is now low-income for a single person, and a salary as high as $123,200 is now low income for a family of eight. The Department of Housing and Urban Development calculates the data based on the census and inflation and considers salaries 80 percent or below the median to be low-income.

The numbers are important because they’re used to determine the rent for low-income housing units and the price of new for-sale units mandated by the city. The increase means that people can earn more than before and still be eligible for income-qualified units. It also could allow some developers to charge higher rents for low-income units.

Seniors protest rental increases at Na Lei Hulu Kupuna in Kakaako in February. The state reinstituted a rental subsidy in response to concerns.

Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

Craig Watase, an affordable housing developer at Mark Development in Kaimuki, said the changes are positive.

“This is good news that people’s incomes are going up as a whole,” Watase said. “If people are making more money then as a whole people can afford to pay more rent.”

Watase runs a senior housing complex in Kakaako where seniors recently protested a planned rent increase. Watase is subsidizing existing tenants and said the state recently agreed to subsidize rents as well to ensure existing residents can afford the increase for at least the next two years.

Watase said HUD’s new numbers mean that he could increase rents even further, but he doesn’t plan to do so. “Even though we are allowed to raise the rents higher my budget is such that I don’t think we are going to need to.”

Like Watase, Carney said the news is good. “From our perspective we are going to see more people qualifying to live in our properties. We do get a lot of people that apply that are over-income,” Carney said. “We’re catching another 10 percent in society who are now eligible to apply.”

He said rent increases in EAH Housing’s low-income rental properties happen every year anyway to account for higher operating costs.

“It’s necessary to have some type of a rent increase whether it’s a budget-based rent increase or whether it’s an increase because the income levels went up,” Carney says. “I don’t expect that we’ll see a large impact as far as displacing tenants. We’ve never seen that in the past.”

The changes could also affect for-sale units built under city guidelines. Developers who get rezoning approval in Honolulu must set aside a certain amount of units as affordable, and some can be sold to people earning as much as 40 percent above the median income.

The new HUD numbers mean that an individual earning as much as $114,360 could qualify to purchase an affordable housing unit, or a family of four earning as much as $163,280.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City Council recently approved a new housing policy for some development around future rail stations. The idea is to make sure that new housing in gentrifying neighborhoods isn’t always too expensive for typical Honolulu residents.

The new policy allows developers to build for-sale units for residents earning as much as 20 percent over the median income. Now an individual earning as much as $98,020 or a family of four earning $139,960 per year could qualify for these units.

HUD issues new income guidelines annually and they vary widely by area. The income limits also affect federal programs like housing subsidies and public housing.

Media Advisory: Maui residents ask Alexander & Baldwin for 15% of Central Maui lands for the future

**Media Advisory** April 24, 2018

Maui residents ask Alexander & Baldwin for 15% of Central Maui lands for the future
Advocates for affordable housing, local food, and the environment come together to plan for Maui’s sustainable future

WHAT: 
Oʻahu– Maui residents, shareholders, and allies present petition at Alexander & Baldwin’s annual shareholder meeting, asking A&B to release 15% of their Central Maui lands as an investment in Maui’s communities to ensure a holistic and sustainable future for the island. The petition, started by Hukilike no Maui: Together for Maui, with over 1,000 signatures asks A&B to sell or donate 5,000 acres of their former sugar cane land to public or private entities to establish small scale agriculture, affordable housing, and managed open spaces. Press conference with Maui residents, shareholders, and allies to follow.

Maui– “15% for the Future” advocates will come together outside the Alexander & Baldwin office in Kahului to demonstrate their support for local food production, affordable housing, and protected wahi pana in Central Maui.

OʻAHU: A&B SHAREHOLDER MEETING & PRESS CONFERENCE

WHO:Maui residents & Hukilike Coalition supporters Angel Mau, Lucienne DeNaie, Clare Apana, Jerry Riverstone, Adriane Raff Corwin
WHERE: Hokulei Ballroom, Dole Cannery, 735 Iwilei Road, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
WHEN:Tuesday, April 24, 8-9:15 am, press conference to follow in lawn outside Dole Cannery Theatre on Iwilei Road
VISUALS:Press conference with Maui residents and allies, matching shirts, banners, signs. Hukilike Coalition supporters available for comment.

MAUI: RALLY IN SUPPORT, OUTSIDE A&B KAHULUI OFFICE

WHO: Lehua Simon, Mālamalama Maui; Stan Franco, FACE Maui; Rob Weltman, Sierra Club Maui Group
WHERE:11 S. Puʻunēnē Avenue, on the sidewalk outside Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui office
WHEN:Tuesday, April 24, 12-2pm
VISUALS:Maui residents and allies gathering in solidarity to support the 15% for the Future campaign, local musicians, banners, signs

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About Hukilike no Maui: Formed in 2017, Hukilike no Maui is a coalition of affordable housing advocates, local food production advocates, environmentalists, and Maui residents that recognized the need to unite to advocate for the sustainable future of their island. The coalition aims to create space for Maui’s communities to be an active part in the future of A&B’s former sugar cane land.

Press Release: New coalition brings together Maui residents to rally for new uses of A&B’s former sugar cane lands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New coalition brings together Maui residents to rally for new uses of A&B’s former sugar cane lands

Advocates for affordable housing, local food, and the environment come together to plan for Maui’s sustainable future

KAHULUI, HAWAIʻI (Wednesday, April 18) — The end of commercial sugarcane cultivation on thousands of acres in Central Maui that are held by Alexander & Baldwin poses challenges but is also tremendous opportunity to address many of the long-standing problems facing the people of Maui. The island’s population continues to grow as tourism reaches new levels, all the while Maui residents are priced out of their homes, the majority of the food is imported, and unique environments and culturally sensitive lands are destroyed or access is denied.

Maui could have a very different future, one that meets the needs of its people while continuing to offer its beauty and cultural legacy for the world to enjoy. The Hukilike No Maui: Together for Maui Coalition seeks to bring together communities that advocate for affordable housing, small scale agriculture, and conservation to create a brighter future for Maui. The coalition was started by long-time Maui advocates for affordable housing, agriculture, and the environment.

“In 2017, the Hukilike Coalition did an affordable housing survey where we asked residents to tell us about their problems with housing on Maui. The responses were sobering: so many people who have lived here for generations are not seeing a future on this island because they can’t afford to buy or rent housing in this market,” said Rob Weltman, chairperson of the Sierra Club Maui Group and member of the Hukilike No Maui Coalition. “It’s clear the island’s environmental resources are under stress, but so are Maui’s people. We need to build far more affordable housing and expand our local food production.”

While not always seeing eye to eye in the past, the Hukilike partners understand that these problems are interconnected and progress in these areas requires working together to identify land use solutions that meet the needs of the whole community. This requires a new, holistic, and collaborative approach to planning that looks beyond individual parcels and projects and takes into account the long-term and complete requirements for infrastructure, jobs, education, retail, services, and recreation, as well as protecting the quality of our ʻāina, kai, wai, and the integrity of our special places.

“For too long, there has been too much animosity between the groups about how to develop this island. Now we’re coming together to listen to each other’s concerns and make a decision together,” said Stan Franco, FACE Maui Housing Co-Chair and member of the coalition. “No single person or organization has answers to all the challenges. But working collectively with the community, big, innovative solutions can be found.”

After a year of meeting with stakeholders, the coalition publicly announced its first campaign, “15% for the Future,” which petitions Alexander & Baldwin to donate or allow the sale of lands in Puʻunēnē and Haliʻimaile to local entities to establish small scale agriculture to serve the community’s needs and affordable housing for Maui residents. The Hukilike Coalition is also asking A&B to create permanent conservation easements or donate particular areas that have cultural and environmental significance, and make arrangements for those lands to be cared for by local cultural practitioners. The public can sign onto the petition at togetherformaui.org

“All of Maui’s people could benefit if we adopt a sustainable approach to the use of the Central Maui lands. We have an unique opportunity right now to address the needs of Maui’s residents. If we make those changes today, Maui’s future will be so much brighter for ourselves and our future generations,” said Lehua Simon, lifelong Pukalani resident and member of the Hukilike No Maui Coalition.

Maui residents and allies will deliver the petition at A&B’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018. A “15% for the Future” rally will be held on Maui that same day at 12 pm, outside A&B’s Kahului office at 11 S. Puʻunēnē Avenue.

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About Hukilike no Maui: Formed in 2017, Hukilike no Maui is a coalition of affordable housing advocates, local food production advocates, environmentalists, and Maui residents that recognized the need to unite to advocate for the sustainable future of their island. The coalition aims to create space for Maui’s communities to be an active part in the future of A&B’s former sugar cane land.

Sign the 15% for the Future Petition to A&B

The petition is currently on the front page of togetherformaui.org

 Help Us Collect Signatures – A Little Friendly Competition : ) 

Our goal is to collect 3,000 signatures before the A&B Shareholder’s meeting on April 24th. We’re looking for volunteers to collect signatures at events and in your local community! The 3 people who collect the most paper signatures between March 24th – April 21st will each receive a gift certificate for a 60-minute Lomi Lomi massage at Ho’omana Spa.

Be a part of the competition: fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with instructions and supplies!

 

The Maui News: “A&B reports progress in ag and real estate”

A&B reports progress in ag and real estate

CEO: Ag diversification is difficult; may not go according to timeline

Work continues recently on the Alexander & Baldwin joint venture Keala o Wailea condominium development. The project near the entrance to Wailea off Piilani Highway is scheduled to have 70 luxury two- and three-bedroom condos. During a conference call with investors last week, A&B officials reported that 19 units have closed for sale so far this year with another 48 units in binding contracts and two in nonbinding contracts. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

While Alexander & Baldwin continues work to diversify its Maui agricultural lands, redeploying 4,500 acres of former sugar cane lands last year, the company sees progress as slow, difficult and unlikely to turn a profit, A&B President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Benjamin told investors in a telephone conference call last week. Continue reading “The Maui News: “A&B reports progress in ag and real estate””

Star-Advertiser: “A&B profit soars after tax benefit”

A&B profit soars after tax benefit

A $225 million tax benefit in the fourth quarter helped major Hawaii retail property owner Alexander & Baldwin Inc. earn $231 million last year that grossly overshadowed an $8 million loss the year before.

Honolulu-based A&B announced its latest financial results Wednesday and said the tax benefit mainly related to its conversion last year to a real estate investment trust. The recent federal tax overhaul also would have had a similar effect.

As a REIT, A&B was able to erase about $220 million in deferred tax obligations that it incurred from selling mainly commercial real estate over many years. A&B deferred paying taxes on gains from the sales by using proceeds to buy other properties, though the company could have had to pay the taxes one day if it sold the properties without reinvesting proceeds in more real estate. Continue reading “Star-Advertiser: “A&B profit soars after tax benefit””

A&B: “A&B Announces Fourth Quarter & Full-year 2017 Earnings”

See original A&B press release here. 

Alexander & Baldwin Announces Fourth Quarter & Full-year 2017 Earnings Release and Webcast
February 20, 2018

HONOLULU, Feb. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.(NYSE:ALEX)(A&B) will report results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. In connection with this announcement, A&B will host a live webcast of its conference call with financial analysts and professional investors on February 28, at 5 p.m. ET.
Continue reading “A&B: “A&B Announces Fourth Quarter & Full-year 2017 Earnings””