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Hilo nursing home expected to open in summer

<p>HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald</p><p>Construction of the Regency Hilo Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is under way on Kaumana Drive on Tuesday afternoon.</p>


Tribune-Herald staff writer

Regency South Inc. is now aiming to complete a new 100-bed skilled-nursing facility in Hilo this summer.

The 48,626-square-foot building was most recently anticipated to be complete by the end of this year.

David Straud, development division president for the Washington state-based company, said the topography of the Kaumana location proved to be a bit challenging, which contributed to the delay.

“Unfortunately, when you do a site analysis, especially in a heavily overgrown area, you never know exactly what you got until you peel it away,” he said.

The $18.5 million project is expected to employ more than 150 full-time workers.

It’s being built on 17 acres of land on Kaumana Drive between Mohouli Street and Luana Way.

The facility is expected to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sidney Fuke, a planning consultant for the project, told the Tribune-Herald last year there would be three shifts, each scheduled to not conflict with peak morning and evening traffic hours.

A left-turn lane will also be installed.

Straud said 3 acres of developable land will be set aside for any future expansions.

“We have enough ground there in the future to plan for future development,” he said.

Any future construction might depend on water and sewer availability, Straud said.

“At present, the scope is limited to what we got,” he said.

Construction began fall 2012.

Work was initially expected to begin in 2010.

That date got pushed back because of financing drying up during the recession.

“We’re excited about the project,” Straud said. “… It’s a good community so we’re excited to get the thing open and going.”

Regency’s original plans for the site called for a $40 million project that was to include 40 single-family cottages and a 60-bed assisted-living facility.

Regency South is a subsidiary of Regency Pacific Inc.

The parent company provides care to more than 3,000 residents in more than 50 retirement, assisted-living, and skilled-nursing communities in Hawaii, Oregon, California and Idaho, according to its website.

It operates Regency at Hualalai in Kailua-Kona, Regency at Puakea in Puhi on Kauai, and Kauai Care Center.

Email Tom Callis at


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