Wyland Galleries Waikiki Beach Walk, Hawaiian Community Development Board, Pacific Development Group and Trinity Development and Construction unite together to launch the 2nd Annual Wyland Galleries Waikiki Beach Walk High School Art Scholarship Contest (WHAS) with the blessing of Wyland himself on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at Wyland’s Art Show.

Many gathered in awe as they witnessed Wyland sketch, paint and demonstrate his technique first hand in a public art show this past Saturday night. In the midst of all the creativity and inspiration, several young students were able to interview Wyland on why the scholarship contest currently in place is meaningful to him and what is his overall message to the young artist entering.

WHAS 2015 first year proved to be a huge success and captivated the hearts of young art students across the state. Amongst the four students, two winners were awarded a scholarship of $1,500 each that demonstrated outstanding art skills.

Paulena Huynh of Farrington High School and Leilani Herrera of Kapolei High School were the overall winners of WHAS 2015. Their winning art were dedicated to two local affordable housing projects developed by Pacific Development Group and Hawaiian Community Development Board. The winning art pieces are displayed for all to enjoy.

Joe Michael, Vice President of Pacific Development Group, builder of the two affordable housing properties continues to spearhead WHAS and plans to continue aligning the winning art pieces with worthy causes. This year’s beneficiary is the U.S.VETS shelters in Kapolei and Waianae; where the two winning art pieces will be auctioned at their fundraising event held in April and May of 2016. Each art piece will be certified by Wyland and the team as an “Official Wyland Young Artist”.

When asked if U.S.VETS would like to receive the winning art pieces from the “Wyland Young Artist” art contest, Gladys Peraro, Executive Director of U.S.VETS Waianae’s Emergency & Transitional Homeless Shelter stated, “It will be an honor to receive the art pieces for use in the silent auction at our annual Hana Like Kakou (Many Hands Working Together) benefit dinner on April 23rd, to benefit the individuals and families with children that reside in our programs. It truly takes our ‘many hands’ working collaboratively within the community to make a difference in the lives of those whom we serve.”

Wyland shared with young interviewers Frank Fasi III (13) and Kieran Hellum (13) when asked the question of where did you learn your skill, “I learned at an early age however learning is a lifelong progress. I’m still learning. As I dive, I study light beneath the ocean surface and watch how it impacts color and motion. I then swim up and put all on canvas.”

Frank and Kieran continued to ask Wyland what advice can you give young artist? Wyland replied, “This is the best time to be in art. Follow your dreams and continue to do your passion. We need to protect art in education in America.”

These boys although too young to enter the high school contest, have yet even more of a reason to push forward and pursue art and the art of striving to improve. Wyland shared how challenging living your dream in the beginning can be but with perserverence one could achieve “rich art” versus “Bohemian art”. Meaning earning riches in abundance in order to spread good amongst the world to be able to “give back and share forward”, says Wyland.

The 2nd Annual WHAS is one small part of giving back to Hawaii. All partners are honored to offer this program to the local public high schools and U.S.VETS. Here art extends past the schools, Wyland, U.S.VETS but continues to stay alive and well by blessings others in need. The contest runs through March 31, 2016 with the winners to be announced by April 15, 2016

Governor’s housing summit seeks solutions

By Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage | January 6, 2016

Experts from around the state gathered in Anchorage Wednesday to hear and share information on a variety of topics related to housing in Alaska.

Governor Bill Walker convened the summit, which included sessions on housing concerns in rural Alaska, and boosting private sector investment.

Elizabeth Schultz, the governor’s laisson for community and non profits, says housing problems are not limited to the state’s homeless population, and include overcrowding in the state’s rural areas, limited options for seniors and a shortage of affordable family housing, which can be a barrier to potential job-seekers in the state.

“We’ve got passionate advocates that have been working in non profits for years to end homelessness and to draw attention to those issues, but we are realizing now that these housing issues are broad in scope and affect every economic strata in the state, so we need to start thinking of creative solutions.”

Jack Hebert is the CEO of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. He says thousands of bush homes need to be replaced now. Houses built in rural Alaska during the 1970s and 80s were inappropriate and did not stand up to the stressors of the environment.

‘Newer homes are much better, housing authorities and others building in rural Alaska are now building very good homes, but they are just too expensive. We have to figure out how we can meet the demand in rural Alaska with a more affordable home. We need to develop the resources that are there for the housing industries, that includes lumber to build houses or other materials that may be available locally to build economies.”

Hebert says the expense of building new homes has led to a problem of overcrowding in rural village homes, where several generations share the same dwelling.

One agency that has been working to make changes in the urban area is Cook Inlet Housing Authority. President and CEO Carol Gore says new housing revitalizes decaying neighborhoods.

“We want the homes to be full of light, so we put in as many windows as we can afford and still be energy efficient. We want to put flowers in the front yard so that when people come home, that ownership for them is so clear. When they walk in the door, it’s theirs, and they own not just their own home, but they become part of the neighborhood. So now you are beginning to get people engaged in the neighborhood that they live in.”

Gore says home ownership keeps families in a community, which in turn translates to positive social outcomes. Cook Inlet uses about 15% federal money combined with state and private financing to revitalize housing in Anchorage neighborhoods.

From left to right: Joe Michael (Pacific Development Group), Bill Walker (Governor of Alaska)

Garden Valley is an acquisition rehabilitation that will preserve the affordability for residents in 70 units of apartments in 38 single-story buildings spread over 13 acres. The buildings are cement block construction with one, two, three, and four bedroom units. Pacific Development Group in partnership with DFA Development has purchased...Read more ›

One of the first multifamily affordable housing renovation projects to pursue LEED Certification in Hawaii, Kewalo Apartments, has been completed through a team effort that included developers, architects, engineers, contractors, lenders and government entities.

A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event was held on Friday, June 5, 2015 at Kewalo Apartments. Pacific Development Group welcomed the public to share in and witness this exciting historical event.

“The theme of the renovation of Kewalo Apartments was sustainability. Green construction techniques, recycling of materials, the installation of low flow faucets and fixtures and energy star appliances helped us contribute to a healthier environment.” said Joe Michael, Vice President of Pacific Development Group. “This dedication ceremony will help create awareness and education to promote responsible building and preservation of our older housing stock. We want to encourage others to work today with a focus on tomorrow.” Michael said.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. LEED is transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe.

“It is extremely important that we preserve our limited stock of affordable housing in Hawaii, and in a way that provides an enhanced and high quality living environment. Kewalo does both.” said Kali Watson, Executive Director Hawaiian Community Development Board.

Kewalo Apartments is the first of two sustainable affordable housing projects being renovated by California based Pacific Development Group in partnership with Hawaiian Community Development Board. The second development, Halawa View Apartments is due to be completed in early fall 2015. Pacific Development Group is not new to Hawaii. They have worked on local housing projects, as early as the 1990’s, as part of a solution to meet the demands of affordable housing in Hawaii.

Pacific Development Group is a development company based in California. Hawaiian Community Development Board is a Hawaii nonprofit formed in 2000. Their mission and the core of their businesses are to provide affordable housing for Hawaii residents.

From left to right: Former Mayor of Honolulu Mufi Hannemann, Joe Michael, Hawaiian Community Development Board’s Kali Watson, City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi, City Council Chair Ernest Martin, and David Michael dedicate Kewalo Apartments on June 5, 2015

West Sacramento-based Community Business Bank is helping finance a $10.3 million renovation of the 68-unit Olivewood Apartments affordable-housing complex in Sacramento.

Renovation at 2805 La Quinta Drive – near the intersection of Watt Avenue and Highway 50 – is expected to be completed in December.

Renovations to the nearly 50-year-old complex include new siding, a modern facade, dual-pane windows, bathroom and kitchen upgrades and new flooring. A 1,750-square-foot community center and swimming pool also are part of the project.

The project is a joint venture among Pacific Development Group of Lodi and Alliance Property Group of Los Angeles, owners of Olivewood, and general contractor RDR Builders of Lodi.

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Wyland Galleries Beach Walk, Hawaiian Community Development Board, and Pacific Development Group announced the winners of the Wyland Galleries High School Art Scholarship Contest on May 9, 2015. This scholarship awarded a $1,500 scholarship to two students, who showed outstanding art skills. It was open to high school students at various high schools around Oʻahu.

Joe Michael, Vice President of Pacific Development Group spoke about his hopes for this scholarship saying, “My wish is that this scholarship award not only helps the winners with school tuition, books, and school supplies but boosts their drive to continue learning so that they can have an amazing college experience leading into a successful career.”

Kali Watson, Executive Director of Hawaiian Community Development Board, whose mission is to promote housing that benefits families living in Hawaiian Home Lands, sees these scholarships as a way for the private sector to support and encourage students to develop their artistic skills and make our communities a better place to live through art.

The winners of this scholarship were recognized at a special Wyland Galleries Beach Walk reception on Saturday, May 9th at 2:00 P.M. Two additional finalists were recognized for their outstanding art submission and will be honored for the Best in Hawaiiana and the Best in Ocean Life categories. This event was open to the public and people were encouraged to come and congratulate these students on their amazing achievements.

Wyland Galleries has been a strong supporter of local talent. Wyland believes it is important to strengthen the community knowing how challenging becoming a successful artist can be. “You have to work hard and dedicate yourself to art as it develops over time. Beginning art 37 years ago, I can now look back and appreciate all those who have inspired me to continue to grow” says Wyland. He feels this partnership and scholarship is an important part of a necessary process. He hopes they will remain focused and driven to continue.

The Wyland Waikiki Beach Walk location is their largest and most comprehensive gallery featuring works by some of the world’s most acclaimed artists.

The winning art pieces will be displayed at Pacific Development Group’s new affordable housing communities: Kewalo Apartments and Halawa View Apartments.

Kewalo and Halawa View are two housing communities that have a total of 159 units (2, 3, and 4 bedroom units) all at affordable rent levels. These properties were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s and were in dire need of rehabilitation. Pacific Development Group in partnership with Hawaiian Community Development Board pursued LEED certification through an extensive renovation/rehabilitation program. Utilizing less energy and water, LEED spaces save money, reduce carbon emissions, and contribute to a healthy environment for residents. One unique feature at the projects will be the vertical garden planted with USDA organic herbs and vegetables to promote healthy, sustainable living. The entrance of the apartment complex will also feature a vertical garden greeting all incomers (see rendering photo). The Blessing and Open House for Kewalo Apartments is planned for early June 2015.

Article by Pacific Business News' Darin Moriki:

Officials from the Honolulu-based Hawaiian Community Development Board say they have completed more than $11.8 million in upgrades to a 49-year-old affordable housing complex in Makiki that now includes energy-efficient and cost-efficient features.

“It is extremely important that we preserve our limited stock of affordable housing in Hawaii, and in a way that provides an enhanced and high-quality living environment,” HCDB Executive Director Kali Watson said. “Kewalo does both.”

The Honolulu-based nonprofit’s mission is “supporting and promoting housing and economic development projects that benefit families living in the Hawaiian Home Lands communities throughout the state.” To that end, it purchased Kewalo Apartments, a 38-unit apartment complex with two 2-story buildings about two years ago with help from the Stockton, California-based Pacific Development Group.

Both buildings — 20 units in one and 18 units in the other — were built in 1966 near the intersection of Lunalilo and Kewalo streets in Makiki, according to City and County of Honolulu real property tax records.

The decision to purchase the apartments and rent them out to qualified tenants whose households earn 60 percent or less of the county’s median income was to “preserve a property that was in jeopardy of being lost to development,” Watson said.

In Hawaii, four-person households that would qualify for such housing would make $52,474 or less each year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“They [developers] convert them to market units, fix them up and sell them off as market units, where you can make a whole ton of money,” Watson told PBN. “If you look around town, you see a lot of these apartment buildings that are being converted — those are for market sales and they’re being converted into condos, not rentals, so those are ownership type of scenarios. This is a rental ... and that’s what makes it a valuable asset for the community because it provides these very affordable housing units that are for rent.”

Those residents living in the apartment complex before renovation work began were placed in hotel accommodations while construction took place, Watson said.

The nearly six-month renovation program began in June 2014 when the first apartment tenants were moved out. It consisted of installing new bathrooms, kitchens, and floor coverings; low VOC paints and sealers; efficient light fixtures; energy-efficient appliances; water-saving faucets; recycled materials; photovoltaic systems; and native drought-tolerant landscaping.

Watson said funding for the project included low-income housing tax credits awarded in 2012 from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., a division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. The project also received $3 million from the state’s Rental Housing Trust Fund and a $3.3 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan.

Pacific Development Group Vice President Joe Michael said the revitalization effort should “help create awareness and education to promote responsible building and preservation of our older housing stock.”

“The theme of the renovation of Kewalo Apartments was sustainability — green construction techniques, recycling of materials, the installation of low-flow faucets and fixtures, and Energy Star appliances helped us contribute to a healthier environment.” Michael said.

“We want to encourage others to work today with a focus on tomorrow.”

Kewalo Apartments is the first of two sustainable affordable housing projects being renovated by Pacific Development Group in partnership with the Hawaiian Community Development Board. The second development, Halawa View Apartments, is slated to be completed in early fall.

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