Signs of Life for Housing on Maui

One sign that construction may be picking up again is that Towne Island Homes (one of the island’s bigger developers) announced this week it is resuming work on two Maui projects.

As recently as February, Towne Development asked the Maui Planning Commission for an extension on the completion deadline for its Ke Ali’i Ocean Villas in Kihei. It has built 111 units of an eventual 144 condominiums, and now it has started another 11, according to Vice Chairman Christopher Lau.

“We are seeing the market move in a positive direction, at a steady pace,” he said. “We anticipate making additional announcements regarding our plans to resume construction at other locations in Maui and throughout the islands before the end of this year.”

When financial markets seized up in October 2008, Towne buttoned up the three model homes at its Milo Court project in Kehalani, along with everything else it had going.

Milo Court, a paired-home or duplex project, was restarted last fall and has sold 23 dwellings at prices starting in the mid-$300,000’s.

Monday, Towne began work on 10 more. Milo Court houses are 1,425 to 1,465 square feet on condominium lots. Phase 2 will have 48 units.

The larger and pricier ($539,000 and up) Ke Ali’i project with ocean views over South Kihei Road will have 11 multifamily buildings.

Towne began developing both projects around 2004. Ke Ali’i required a special management area permit, which usually has a term of five years, although extensions are common.

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