St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii began construction yesterday on a $40 million senior living community in Ewa Beach that will provide affordable housing and access to health care for the rapidly growing elder population. A blessing ceremony also was held.
Known as Franciscan Vistas Ewa, the senior independent living community in Ewa Villages will feature 149 one- and two-bedroom affordable rental apartments on six acres and also includes a community center.
St. Francis Healthcare System acquired the vacant, uncultivated land in 2003 when it purchased 23 acres on Renton Road in Ewa Villages from the City and County of Honolulu.
Apartments, ranging from 530 to 750 square feet, will be for seniors age 62 and above with households earning up to $45,660 for a family of two, or up to 60 percent of the area median income. Rents will average around $750 per month. A portion of the apartments will be made available to lower-income seniors making up to 30 percent of the area median income. The 5,000-square-foot community center will serve as a gathering place for senior residents, offering a broad range of health, recreation, social and cultural programs and activities.
Marketing of the rental apartments will begin in late summer with initial occupancy slated for the end of this year. Prudential Locations LLC will serve as the property manager.
Franciscan Vistas Ewa also will offer "Stay Healthy at Home," a health and wellness program of St. Francis Healthcare System that helps seniors live independently. The program provides access to a range of supportive care services, including case management, transportation, chore services, meal preparation and advance life planning.
"The Sisters of St. Francis in Hawaii have a long history of looking at the most pressing needs in the community and then working toward meeting those needs," said Sister Agnelle Ching, Order of St. Francis, St. Francis Healthcare System chief executive officer. "Franciscan Vistas Ewa is an expression of our commitment to serve Hawaii's seniors, bringing together affordable housing and access to health care."
Jesse Wu, vice president of special projects at Stanford Carr Development LLC, said demand for the affordable senior units will be high. Stanford Carr is providing development consulting services to St. Francis.
Franciscan Vistas Ewa was made possible through the assistance of several public agencies and private institutions. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's CDBG/HOME program, awarded by the City and County of Honolulu, provided public support for the development. Wells Fargo Bank, Alliant Capital Ltd., American Savings Bank and CUSO of Hawaii Services LLC are its private lenders and investors.
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Rural Community Assistance Corp. and Bank of Hawaii provided pre-development financing design, and the construction team includes Alakea Design Group (architecture), Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. (site work), Coastal Construction Co. Inc. (building) and Royal Contracting Co. (landscaping).