Kukui Gardens welcomed its first tenants in May, 1970.
In January 1967, developer Clarence T.C. Ching successfully bid on a contract to build an affordable housing complex on a 19.5-acre tract at Vineyard Boulevard and Liliha Street in Honolulu. Envisioning the “Kukui Gardens” project as a way to give back to the community, Mr. Ching next sought to form a non-profit organization to sponsor the ambitious undertaking.
The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, via trust agreement, was officially established on August 8, 1967.
Besides Mr. Ching, the charter Trustees were Henry C.H. Chun-Hoon, head of Chun-Hoon Markets; Jasper J. Jepson, Secretary and Vice President of Bishop Trust Company; Dr. Katsumi Kometani, a dentist; and Ralph M. Miwa, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii.
In the years following Mr. Ching’s passing in 1985, the Foundation continued to support non-profit agencies and educational institutions in Hawaii. In January 2006, the Foundation announced its intention to sell Kukui Gardens. In December 2007, the housing complex was sold to Carmel Partners Inc. and the State of Hawaii for $132.5 million.
Since then, the Foundation has committed to donate more than $70 million to a number of educational and health institutions in the community. Today, the Foundation continues to fulfill Mr. Ching’s vision of helping Hawaii’s needy, sick and aged.