Central Maui's Upcoming Development in Waikapu

Waikapu Country Town is a projected mixed-use development that will be located directly off of Honoapiilani Highway between Ma’alaea and Wailuku. The development, which is on land that has been owned by Mike Atherton for more than a decade, is currently in the planning stages. Specifically, the group of developers who have been working on this project has recently sought approval from the Maui City Council.

While more negotiations are expected to take place, approval from the council’s Planning and Sustainable Use Committee is expected. The development already has broad approval from members of the surrounding community. The project will combine the developmental efforts of Waiale 905 Partners, MTP Land Partners, and Waikapu Properties.

Waikapu Country Town

Waikapu Country Town Will Be Expansive and Multi-Phased 

Waikapu Country Town will be a gorgeous community with tree-lined streets and a beautiful lagoon located in the heart of the area. The original plans for this community include 1,433 mich needed single-home homes, multi-family units, and rural units.

An additional 146 Ohana units are also included. Of the 1,433 planned residential units, 1,146 units were originally presented as market-priced units. However, Mayor Michael Victorino has proposed a public-private agreement that he believes will be a win-win situation for all involved, including for the community at large.

Specifically, he has proposed that the Waikapu Country Town development adds 213 extra affordable housing units. In exchange for the additional units, the county would provide the wastewater infrastructure and assist with traffic mitigation. This will include an extension of Waiale Road to accommodate the increased traffic that the development will create. Mr. Atherton has stated that he could add these proposed units while reducing the number of market units. This will maintain the same level of density throughout the community.

Central Maui Homes For Sale


Update: October 11,2022

Maui Land Use Commission Approves Public-Private Partnership, Total Affordable Units Included in Development Bumped Up To 500 from 213

Infrastructure improvements needed by the developers have been solidified by a public-private partnership between the County of Maui and the developers of Waikapu Country Town. This is great news for the progress of the development and for the future of affordable housing inventory. While we are still some time away from specific neighborhoods and developments being built within the master-planned community, this is a significant and necessary step in the process that we can all be happy about. 

Negotiations Have Been Good For All Parties

The original plan also includes 200,000 square feet of commercial space. Some of the other features that will be in the development are a 910-acre agricultural preserve and a 12-acre elementary school. Eighty-two acres of open space and parks are also included in the site plan.

These natural areas will be accompanied by eight miles of trails, paths, and sidewalks. The public-private agreement proposes 500 additional workforce units as well. In addition, the proposal includes adding more land to the elementary school space and adding an intermediary school.

Commercial Space Around the Mill House

Waikapu Country Town Village Center

Making Central Maui Even More Desirable

For individuals looking for real estate for sale in Wailuku or surrounding areas, Waikapu Country Town will undoubtedly offer an extraordinary living experience. The area is currently moderately populated compared to other areas of the island. It offers a laid-back lifestyle close to the coast. At the same time, the community will have many of the comforts and conveniences that residents need within its footprint, including schools, recreational areas, and businesses.

This facilitates a great living experience. This area of the island also offers much for residents to do in their free time. One of the toughest tests of golf on Maui is located close by in Kahului at The Dunes at Maui Lani. Waikapu is also just a short drive to the beaches of Kihei

The Need for Affordable Housing on Maui

Population growth in Maui has been significant in recent decades. In fact, Maui County’s population in 2010 was approximately 155,000. Currently, the population is estimated to be more than 168,000. This represents a growth of almost 9% in a little more than a decade. 

At the same time, Maui Country covers approximately 1,162 square miles. The county is comprised of the islands of Maui, Molokini, Kahoolawe, Molokai, and Lanai. On the island of Maui specifically, the population density is 162 people per square mile. This density continues to tick upward as the population grows.

As you probably already know, the price of real estate in Maui has increased significantly as well. The basic economic principle of supply and demand has been creating upward pressure on pricing, so there is a considerable need for affordable housing. Consider that the average housing price on Maui hit a record high in June 2021 at $1,105,000. This record has already been broken in early 2022 with a new record price of $1,160,000.

In January 2022, the year-over-year increase in the median house price across the island grew by 18.4%. At the same time, mortgage interest rates have increased and are expected to continue increasing. This contributes to the decreased affordability of housing. The median annual individual income on the island in 2019 was below $36,000. While several new affordable housing developments are now underway, the need for affordable housing continues.

The Maui County Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan

Maui County officials have been aware of the growing problem of housing affordability. Hawaiian Community Assets is a non-profit development organization that focuses on new community developments in the area. In 2021, it presented the Maui County Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan in front of the Maui County Council.

This plan was created in collaboration with PBR Hawaii, the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawaiian Community Assets, and a few other prominent groups that focus on housing and development. It specifically calls for Maui County to take on more financial responsibility to address the matter of infrastructure with new development.

Notably, this plan also establishes a blueprint for the creation of an additional 5,000 affordable housing units over the next five years. These units would be available to both renters who are dealing with escalating rent prices and established homeowners who are interested in relocating to the island.

Many Are in Favor of The Plan

Proponents of the plan say that it goes a long way to reduce the amount of red tape that developers must cut through in order to develop additional units. At the same time, it asks for Maui County to address infrastructure issues that may discourage the development of new affordable housing on the island.

But, Many Would Say It Needs Improvement

However, critics of the plan say that it falls short of promoting by-right development. As a result, the plan does not promote the speedier approval of development projects, and it does not reduce related development costs. More specifically, the National Multifamily Housing Council and various municipalities have discovered that by-right development reduces the cost of development in various ways by eliminating an extended discretionary review process. These development costs include carrying expenses, consulting fees, and more.

Nonetheless, the new plan goes a long way toward facilitating the development of the Waikapu Country Town development. The Maui County Council and the project’s developers are not currently anticipating any roadblocks with regard to approval.

Consider Waikapu Gardens

Waikapu Gardens Maui

Those who are currently in the market for a new home in Waikapu may consider searching for a property in the beautiful community of Waikapu Gardens. This area was developed in 2005 and 2006. From many areas, residents can unspoiled views of the West Maui Mountains. Homes in this community are in high demand thanks to its convenient location on Highway 30 close to Maui Lani and Kehalani.

These homes offer between three to five bedrooms with both one-story and two-story layouts. Many of the homes have fenced yards, in-ground sprinklers, and two-car garages. The homes are all over 1,000 square feet, and most of them sit on lots that span from 5,000 to 9,000 square feet. Forty-eight of the homes in this community are designated as affordable housing properties.

Because of the overall desirability of the Waikapu area, there are a limited number of homes for sale in the area. Those that are listed for sale are only on the market for an average of fewer than two weeks. Unfortunately, this is a trend that is played out across other more affordable housing communities in Maui today.

Sign Up To Get Notified When Phases Release

Are you interested in learning more about the upcoming development of Waikapu Country Town, or are you in the market for affordable housing on Maui today? This is only one of many areas that offer affordable housing units in the area.

While it can be a frustrating challenge to find a new home that meets your specific needs and that is priced within your budget, rest assured that the new affordable housing units are being developed today. Simply send an email to evan@mauieliteproperty.com or use the contact form below to get up-to-date info on this development and all others.


Get In Touch!

Evan Harlow Maui

Evan Harlow is a Realtor on Maui who has the expertise, experience, and work ethic to help you achieve all of your real estate buying or selling goals. We promise exceptional service and support from the beginning of the process through closing and beyond.

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