The Military and Hawaii’s Business Community
Charles Ota, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, VP for Military Affairs
· Mr Ota spoke about The Chamber and its involvement with the military.
· Military Affairs Council formed in 1985, as advocate for military and it’s families.
· Military partnerships with the private sector: In the 1990s it was apparent that the existing military housing was growing inadequate, but it was also apparent that, through conventional channels, this situation could not be addressed in a timely manner. Private – public partnership was the answer.
· The private companies handle renovation, construction, operations, so are committed to the long term.
Mike Barstis, Lend Lease
· What privatization allows:
o Provides great homes for service members and their families.
o Allows private sector practices in the public realm.
o Allows small private businesses to get involved.
· 190,000+ residential units were privatized in the US.
· In HI, about 90% of construction business related to these privatized housing projects goes to small businesses.
· Lend Lease’s two projects on Oahu: Hickham, and Island Palm Communities, totaling 10,000 homes.
· Very high priority for sustainability features. The reason for this is that all the costs for utilities, which are so high in HI, take away from available funds for constructing units.
Will Boudra, Ohana Military Communities, LLC / Forest City
· The business model: Government provides the initial investment (the “down payment”), and then the private entity borrows the money – billions of dollars – needed for the renovations and construction, from the bond markets; and then needs to have high occupancy over the term of the loan.