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Rehab and face lift of six Mō‘ili‘ili buildings make way for more student and faculty rental options

Kamehameha Schools is rehabilitating six severely deteriorated apartment buildings in Mō‘ili‘ili that recently reverted back to the trust.

Designer Built Systems (DBS), a local unionized developer, was contracted by Kamehameha for the $6 million renovation project located on Kolo Place, just steps from the University of Hawai‘i’s athletic complex.

The project’s 69 refurbished rental units, which will incorporate appealing upgrades and exhibit the area’s historic character, are expected to be priced with the university’s constituency in mind.

“Our priority is to provide safe, quality, reasonably priced rental apartments in Mō‘ili‘ili that will attract young professionals as well as university students and faculty while creating a sense of community,” said Cathy Camp, area development director for Kamehameha Schools.

According to Camp, plans to upgrade the surrounding neighborhood is a direct response to seven years of community feedback highlighting the need to increase economic vibrancy in the area and to address many functionally obsolete buildings to actualize a clean, warm and modern community feel.

In addition to new gathering spaces that include barbecue areas, tables and seating, Kamehameha’s enhancement plans call for pet stations, living walls and enhanced lighting designs throughout.

The Kolo Place rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in September 2014.

Between 2010 and 2012, Kamehameha Schools completed renovations of three similar buildings in the immediate vicinity: Rainbow Vista, Kolo Place phase I, and Malu Lani – formerly known as Kirin Apartments. Additional Kolo Place improvements will increase the total number of fully refurbished rental units in the university community to 142.