When Maui County recently released a draft of their new county general plan, there were a few proposed developments that were conspicuous in their absence. The new plan focuses on maintaining urban growth boundaries and limiting developments in areas that lack existing infrastructure. That is the main reason that Ma’alaea Mauka was cut from the list of proposed developments. It is not too much of a surprise as the county planning department has been pretty vocal in its opposition to Ma’alaea Mauka over the last few years. An article in Friday’s Maui News suggests that the proposed development may not be dead yet.
The land for Ma’alaea Mauka is under contract with Jesse Spencer. Spencer is well thought of in Maui due to his focus on developing affordable housing. He is just finishing his Waikapu Gardens project which actually delivered more affordable housing than he had promised. He would like to do a larger scale project in Ma’alaea. Spencer is still in his due diligence phase on his contract. If he moves forward with the purchase, it will be interesting to see how the county responds. They will need to consider county affordable housing needs vs. their intent to contain growth. We will continue to follow discussion on Ma’alaea on THE Maui Real Estate Blog.