Maui is going to see some big changes in the coming years, specific to development within Maui’s urban and rural growth boundaries. The 1,500-home, 600-acre Olowalu Town Project has been approved by the Maui County’s General Plan Committee. Aside from homes, it will also include commercial space, parks and a school. The commercial space will comprise 375,000 square feet of the 636 acres in the project.
The project will be situated between the southwest-facing slopes of the West Maui Mountains and the Pacific shoreline, meaning you will pass it on the way to and from Lahaina and Kaanapali via Honoapiilani Highway. Some would prefer the land in that area to remain undeveloped and scenic, without the environmental impact and increase in traffic that it would cause, while others are looking forward to the economic growth it might generate. The construction of the project will require a lot of workers, and for a significant duration. According to the Master Plan, the project will create 4,770 jobs during construction, and 1,000 long-term jobs when it’s complete. The construction of so many new Maui homes will also impact the West Maui and South Maui real estate areas.
As for the traffic concern’s, the developer, Frampton & Ward LLC, stated that they will help reduce the project’s impact by building a system that will relocate Honoapiilani traffic away from the coast with an alignment closer to the mountains. A draft Environmental Impact Statement was also prepared, and to reduce that impact, the project will include an expansion of the potable and nonpotable water system that already exists in the area. They will probably add a second groundwater well, add a substantial drainage system to capture storm water runoff and build a decentralized wastewater-treatment facility with a recycled water storage tank. It doesn’t stop there. They also plan to include a vertical-flow wetland and a soil aquifer treatment system.
Recreation areas will include over 200 acres of park and open spaces full of interconnected greenways and bikeways to encourage swimming, hiking, diving, fishing and surfing. The public facilities will include space for a school, police and fire station, medical facilities, churches, social services, a library, community centers, and nonprofit organizations.
Construction should begin in the next two years and will require ten years to complete, if the project gets final approval. The price tag will be several hundred million. Again, the project has yet to receive final approval, so the plan could change.