Kakaako plan would include housing near transit stations, grocery stores

A bill to "reboot" the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency charged with overseeing the redevelopment of Kakaako, seen here in this file photo, has been sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature.

A bill to “reboot” the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency charged with overseeing the redevelopment of Kakaako, seen here in this file photo, has been sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature.

Hawaii regulators unveiled an update Wednesday for the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako’s transit-oriented development plan calling for diverse residential building types, ground-oriented family housing near transit stations, additional reserved housing, grocery stores, cultural and community amenities, food trucks and spaces for artists.

Deepak Neupane, director of planning and development for the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako, presented the plan to the HCDA board at a workshop meeting at its offices in Honolulu.

The plan also includes the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and the efficient use of off-street parking. There would be more green buildings, green roofs and walls, as well as slender, sustainable residential towers.

Other elements include creating a well-connected pedestrian network, a complete network of bicycle lanes and establishing a Transportation Management Association.

In November, Gov. David Ige gave his stamp of approval to the final environmental impact statement for the area’s TOD plan, which incorporates urban design, mobility and access, complete streets, rail transit, and parking and transportation demand-management principles to create a compact, walkable and livable community in Kakaako.

The 300-page plan, which covers about 600 acres, now heads to the plan and rule adoption phase. Neupane said there will be workshops and public hearings, among other steps, before a final update is drafted.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes plans more retail space below Ward Village’s T.J. Maxx

TJThe Howard Hughes Corp. has begun work on a space below T.J. Maxx at Ward Village in Honolulu for planned retail tenants, a spokeswoman for the Texas developer confirmed to PBN.

Howard Hughes was issued a $2.5 million building permit last week for a “Village Market” project at Suite No. 100 at 1170 Auahi St., according to public records from the City and County of Department of Planning and Permitting.

A spokeswoman for Howard Hughes told PBN that it is not a supermarket/grocery store, but that the developer is doing some work on the space beneath T.J. Maxx, which will eventually be a space for more retail tenants.

The actual name of the space is still to be determined and no timeframe for the development has been set just yet.

In addition to T.J. Maxx, the Ward Village Shops, at the corner of Kamakee and Auahi Streets, includes Nordstrom Rack, Pier 1 Imports and CorePower Yoga.

Honolulu-based Gateside Inc. is listed as the general contractor for the Ward Village Shops project.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Honolulu’s Kakaako to get help from feds on boosting healthy food production

Hawaii is one of 22 states to be chosen for a federal partnership to boost economic opportunities for local farmers and other businesses promoting childhood wellness via access to healthy local food in the Honolulu area of Kakaako Makai, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

The “Local Foods, Local Places” initiative involves six federal agencies and the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako, which will focus on identifying food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the area, enhancing local food production, integrating food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning and reducing stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants. Each Local Foods, Local Places community will work with a team of experts who will help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtown areas and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

The initiative, launched in 2014, is a partnership among the EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Ward Village launches sales for Ke Kilohana

Ke Kilohana at Ward VillageThe Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC) announced Friday that it is launching sales for the reserved housing program in its newest Ward Village project, Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila St.

Applications will be available from Saturday, March 26 until Sunday, April 3, at the Ke Kilohana Sales Gallery in the IBM Building at 1240 Ala Moana Boulevard, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Completed applications must be returned in person between April 8 and April 13. Buyers will be selected in a lottery to be held April 15 via webcast, with home selection beginning on April 16 based on lottery placement and running throughout April.

In a statement, Ward Village explains, “The lottery will simply assign an appointment date, according to the selected order, for the buyer to come in to select his/her home and complete the contracting process. Buyers will be informed of their appointment time via email.”

There are 375 reserved housing residences reserved for qualified buyers in the 43-story, mixed-use condominium high-rise. These include one-bedrooms priced from $323,475 to $442,246, two-bedrooms priced from $473,789 to $538,612, and three-bedrooms priced from $521,774 to $560,774. The tower also includes 49 market-priced residences.

Competition for the reserved housing units may be stiff — Ward Village notes that more than 3,500 people attended informational seminars on Ke Kilohana in over December, January and February.

A. Kam Napier
Editor-in-Chief
Pacific Business News


 

Ke Kilohana at Ward VillageReserved Housing Application packets may be obtained from the Ke Kilohana Sales Gallery starting Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 10:00 a.m, and will be available for pickup through Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Applications will not be available for pickup after Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Prospective purchasers should carefully review the information contained in the Reserved Housing Application packet to determine whether all eligibility requirements are met.

The earliest date that completed Reserved Housing Applications will be accepted is Friday, April 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Reserved Housing Applications will not be accepted prior to this time. Applications must be hand-delivered to the Ke Kilohana Sales Gallery between Friday, April 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. to be eligible to participate in the Lottery. Only substantially complete applications will be accepted. Applications delivered by email, facsimile, mail or courier will NOT be accepted.

Completing the application packet will include;
1. Notarized Affidavit of Intent to Purchase and Reside in a Designated Owner-Occupant Reserved Housing Residential Unit;
2. Notarized Affidavit of Eligibility to Purchase a Reserved Housing Unit in the 988 Halekauwila Condominium Project;
3. 988 Halekauwila Registration Agreement – Reserved Housing Owner-Occupant; and
4. Loan Pre-Qualification Letter provided by Honolulu HomeLoans or First Hawaiian Bank.

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Ke Kilohana at Ward Village

Condo cancellation doesn’t mean Hawaii real estate cycle is ending, expert says

The planned Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condominium tower being developed by the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group received neighborhood board approval Tuesday night.

The planned Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condominium tower being developed by the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group received neighborhood board approval Tuesday night.

The two three-acre sites in Honolulu’s growing Kakaako neighborhood owned by Kamehameha Schools where a developer had planned to build at least one luxury condominium tower likely won’t be developed in this cycle’s real estate boom, but at least one expert tells Pacific Business News that the cancellation of plans to develop the parcels doesn’t mean the current boom cycle is coming to an end.

On Friday, Hawaii development firms Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group confirmed to PBN that they were canceling plans to build the Vida 888 Ala Moana luxury high-rise condominium project and develop a neighboring parcel. The developers, citing slow sales in recent months for the cancellation of Vida, canceled a contract with landowner Kamehameha Schools to purchase the two lots encompassing about six acres in Kakaako.

BJ Kobayashi, co-founder and partner of Kobayashi Group, previously told PBN that plans to develop the block near Vida were also being shelved.

The two firms have developed a number of successful high-end projects in recent years, including the Hokua, built during the last cycle, ONE Ala Moana, and Park Lane Ala Moana, which is currently under construction.

“Vida was an awesome project and typical of the thoughtful kind of development that I have enjoyed from [The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group],Trevor Benn, president of Honolulu-based Benn Pacific Group Inc., told PBN. “However, I think that its price points had too much similar inventory and options for a somewhat narrow buyer profile.”

Price points for Vida ranged from nearly $1 million to $20 million. Competition has been tough in the luxury market in Honolulu, especially with Texas-based developer The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) building two luxury towers in the Kakaako area, with two more planned to replace the Ward Warehouse retail center.

San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan’s Symphony Honolulu luxury condo tower near the Neal S. Blaisdell Center also added to the competition for these types of units.

Sales for luxury units moved swiftly just a few years ago, but those days seem to be gone, or at least moving in the direction where demand is no longer that high.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Park Lane Ala Moana luxury Honolulu condo 75 percent sold

Park Lane Ala Moana 1488 Ala Moana BlvdPark Lane Ala Moana, the $1 billion luxury condominium project being built by a trio of Honolulu firms — Kobayashi Group, The MacNaughton Group and BlackSand Capital — along with landowner General Growth Properties Inc., is well over 75 percent sold, an executive from one of these firms told PBN.

Prices for the project, which was first reported by PBN, range from $1 million to at least $20 million.

Park Lane, which started construction in the summer of 2014 at Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa wing, could be completed sometime this year.

Located at 1388 Ala Moana Blvd., the seven eight-story buildings will each be 100 feet tall. offering a total of 215 units ranging in size from 850 to 6,000 square feet. The complex will also include two floors of residential parking, two-and-a-half floors of commercial parking and amenity spaces, plus one commercial unit. Monthly maintenance fees will be up to $7,500, according to public records.

While Park Lane is moving full speed ahead, another luxury condo project by The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako on land owned by Kamehameha Schools called Vida 888 at Ala Moana, isn’t.

The developers also won’t be developing the other three-acre site that it had an option to buy from the state’s largest private landowner.

The Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group also plan to build another luxury high-rise in Waikiki at the King’s Village site.

Ian MacNaughton, partner at The MacNaughton Group, told PBN it has been calling buyers at Vida to see if they may be interested in buying at its Waikiki project.

“We are honored to have very interesting projects to work on,” he said. “We are very fortunate that sales at Park Lane are strong. We are very fortunate of that.”

Kamehameha Schools has not said what it plans to do with those two three-acre sits that are pegged for luxury high-rise condos as part of its “Our Kakaako” mixed-use neighborhood plan.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Hawaii developers cancel plans to build luxury condo tower, develop neighboring parcel

The planned Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condominium tower being developed by the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group received neighborhood board approval Tuesday night.

The planned Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condominium tower being developed by the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group received neighborhood board approval Tuesday night.

The Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group have canceled plans to build the Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury high-rise condominium project and develop a neighboring parcel that would have added a total of 500 residential units to Honolulu’s growing Kakaako neighborhood, citing slow sales in recent months, executives from the two Hawaii developers confirmed to PBN Friday.

“Primarily, it was the fact that we got off to a good start with our pre-sales, but over the past three to four months, there was a real slowdown in the market for Vida,” BJ Kobayashi, co-founder and partner of Kobayashi Group, told PBN. “Construction costs rising was probably one of the other factors.”

Construction costs in Hawaii, which jumped by a staggering 13 percent in 2014 — the highest percentage in the United States and more than double the national average.

The developers have canceled a contract with landowner Kamehameha Schools to purchase the two lots encompassing about six acres in Kakaako.

Kobayashi told PBN that plans to develop the block near Vida are also being shelved.

“We were pursuing the larger of the two projects first, [which was] Vida and [the other project] we were going to pursue after Vida,” he said. “We weren’t working on two sites simultaneously.”

The developers have met with Kamehameha Schools to discuss their decision, and said that the state’s largest private landowner “respects and supports” their decision. PBN reached out to Kamehameha Schools for comment Friday afternoon.

“We informed our buyers today [Friday] that we will discontinue sales for Vida at 888 Ala Moana Boulevard,” the developers said in a joint statement. “Vida was a luxury condominium project which was to be located on Kamehameha Schools land at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Koula Street. Although the initial launch of Vida was a success with over 40 percent of the units sold, sales for this project had slowed in recent months.”

The developers noted that despite strong marketing efforts, community outreach and education about the up-and-coming Kakaako community, the market feedback indicated that it was premature to proceed with the Vida project at this time.

Workshops scheduled on Ward Village affordable condo units in Kakaako

KeKilohanaThe Howard Hughes Corp. on Tuesday said it will hold educational workshops next week for buyers interested in the 375 affordable units that will be built at its 43-story, mixed-use Ward Village tower called Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila.

The project, which will be located at the corner of Ward Avenue and Halekauwila Street and have a Long’s Drugs store on the ground floor, will have a total of 424 residential units, including 375 reserved, or affordable, units for local residents and 49 market-priced units.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will range in size from 461 square feet to 2,106 square feet, and prices will start in the $300,000s.

The developer plans to hold four workshops on Jan. 10 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Workshops held last month drew more than 1,000 residents and brokers, the developer said.

Janis L. Magin
Managing Editor
Pacific Business News

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Construction set to start on Whole Foods condo tower in Kakaako

aeo_wholefoodsThe Howard Hughes Corp. plans to start construction on its mixed-use condominium that will include Whole Foods Market’s flagship Hawaii location in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako on Thursday, the Texas-based developer said.

Located at 1001 Queen St., at the corner of Queen and Kamakee streets behind the Ward Entertainment Center, Aeo will include 466 units and a 54,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market store on the ground floor.

The tower and organic supermarket chain will replace Office Depot on the block that used to also house a Nordstrom Rack, which has relocated within Ward Village.

During Halloween, a retailer selling costumes and other items for the late October holiday took the former Nordstrom Rack space, but has since closed.

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s (NYSE: HHC) 60-acre Ward Village includes two mixed-use luxury residential towers — Waiea and Anaha — that are now under construction, as well as Aeo, Gateway Towers and Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila St, which will include a Longs Drugs store.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Kamehameha Schools may lease Kakaako lands intended for condo towers, exec says

Kamehameha Schools will eventually lease the vacant buildings on two three-acre lots in Kakaako, where developers scrapped plans to build at least one luxury condominium tower, the trust’s top executive in its commercial real estate division confirmed to PBN Wednesday.

The state’s largest private landowner is in the midst of concluding matters with The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, the two developers that planned to build a luxury high-rise tower called Vida 888 at Ala Moana that was shelved because of slow sales. The developers had options to purchase the two parcels.

“We will be looking at leasing opportunities and considering development proposals for those blocks, just as we are with our other remaining blocks in Kakaako,” Walter Thoemmes, managing director of commercial real estate for Kamehameha Schools, told PBN. “At this point, though, our focus is on working with [The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group] on a smooth and orderly transition.”

Kamehameha Schools’ “Our Kakaako” master plan includes nine blocks — four of which are under contract to such developers as Castle & Cooke Hawaii and Stanford Carr Development. Alexander & Baldwin Inc. purchased another parcel, the former CompUSA site, where it is building The Collection condo tower.

Kamehameha Schools, a $11.1 billion trust, is currently in its seventh year of this 15-year plan, which at the start, included seven residential towers that have 2,750 units and 300,000 square feet of commercial space.

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