More towers on the rise – Three developers present the neighborhood board with proposals for a half-dozen new projects

20140529_a1big20140529_progressKakaako is in the middle of a residential tower development wave that builders see as meeting overwhelming homebuyer demand, but some area residents see as crowding their quality of life.

Well, don’t look now, but another wave is on the way.

Three developers have unveiled plans to seek permits later this year for six more residential towers in or on the edge of Kakaako with more than 1,000 new units.

Four of the new towers are part of the Ward Village master plan by Ward Centers owner Howard Hughes Corp. One is part of the Our Kakaako master plan by Kamehameha Schools. And one is adjacent to Ala Moana Center and the city’s planned rail station there.

The six new projects are on top of 15 towers in or on the outskirts of Kakaako with a combined total of roughly 5,400 units under construction, permitted, in permitting or recently completed.

Local housing market analyst Ricky Cassiday said the newest tower plans reflect an eagerness by developers to meet market demand and perhaps get projects approved before state lawmakers have an opportunity next year to change Kakaako development rules in response to public outcries as they did earlier this year.

“Developers like certainty, and change is in the air,” Cassiday said. “There is the political cycle next to the economic cycle.”

Local economists have said that Hawaii population growth is outstripping housing production, and that even 5,000 condominiums delivered over the next two years will make only a dent in the shortage.

Far fewer homes are being built elsewhere in Honolulu — mainly single-family houses and townhomes in the suburbs — making Kakaako ground zero for housing production on Oahu.

Eugene Tian, the state’s chief economist, recently said that 3,525 new homes need to be added on Oahu annually to match an anticipated population growth of 1 percent, assuming 2.8 people per household. Over the past three years, 1,612 residential units were approved for construction per year on average, which leaves a deficit of 1,913 homes.

“We are behind,” Tian said.

Cassiday agrees that there is strong demand from residents forming families, though he also said added demand is coming from part-time residents and investors outside Hawaii.

“There is an inexhaustible demand from abroad,” he said. “Things have been under­supplied for a very long time.”

The most aggressive developer in Kakaako responding to such demand appears to be Hughes Corp. with its Ward Village plan that envisions up to 4,300 residential units in 22 towers covering 60 acres at Ward Centers.

Hughes Corp. has three towers with 915 combined units already approved and slated to begin construction later this year. On Tuesday, the company told the Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board that it plans to seek permits later this year for another four towers.

Two of the new Ward Village towers have a combined 230 units, including some low-rise townhomes, and replace most of Ward Warehouse along Ala Moana Boulevard.

Another tower with 220 units would be just Ewa of the Ward Entertainment Center theaters.

A fourth tower with an undetermined number of units is planned next to a recently announced Whole Foods store mauka of the theaters.

This four-tower second phase of Ward Village also includes retail and a large landscaped pedestrian plaza around which the four towers are planned, according to Nick Vanderboom, vice president of development for Hughes Corp.

“This will be the start of what will be about a 4-acre village green connecting Kewalo Basin up to where the future rail stop will be near where Ross is today,” he told the board.

a couple of blocks away, Kamehameha Schools is working with local development firm The Kobayashi Group to build a 265-unit tower on a 3.5-acre site occupied by Cutter Nissan between Ala Moana Boulevard, Koula Street and a closed-off portion of Auahi Street.

Matthew Pennaz, a Kobayashi Group senior project manager, speaking at the same neighborhood board meeting on Tuesday, said the company considers the block the “crown jewel” of nine blocks in the Our Kakaako master plan.

“We’re excited to be part of the community,” he said.

Pennaz said a price range for tower units hasn’t been determined yet. Cassiday, however, said a tower on that site most certainly would be a luxury product.

Both the Our Kakaako tower and Ward Village towers will need approval from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

Existing residents in the area, many of whom live in condos next to proposed towers, have complained about the agency “rushing” public hearings on tower permits over the past couple of years, and contend that more towers can’t be supported by infrastructure such as roads and sewers.

HCDA officials insist that sufficient sewer capacity was created to handle all the proposed development under a 4-decade-old vision to concentrate dense urban development in Kakaako that relieves pressure on rural and agricultural lands on Oahu.

The city considers sewer and water connection requests per project, and has approved all of them to date.

The developers will need to produce traffic studies and mitigation plans. The projects are likely to slow traffic in the area, but not to an extent that would keep them from proceeding, based on past decisions regarding other developments.

The issue of rapid development in Kakaako led to several bills introduced in January at the Legislature, including one calling for a moratorium on development in the area and one abolishing HCDA. Only one bill passed, and will reconstitute the agency’s board of directors next year among other more minor changes.

Larry Hurst, area neighborhood board chairman, is supportive of HCDA’s mission established by the Legislature in 1976.

“All those years ago, Kakaako was (thought of as) the place to get people to live in the (primary urban core),” he said. “When it finally comes (close to happening), only the newbies start talking. I ask people, ‘Where have you been for 37 years?’ It’s like, you can’t move in next to a hospital and then start complaining about the ambulance.”

The third new project presented to the neighborhood board Tuesday is a 234-unit tower slated at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd. next to Ala Moana Center a block Ewa of the Nordstrom store fronting Kapiolani, Kona Street and Kona Iki Street just outside Kakaako’s Piikoi Street border.

In 2007, an affiliate of South Korea-based SamKoo Development Co. Ltd. bought the 1.4-acre site that formerly hosted a car dealership and announced plans for a luxury condo tower. However, Hawaii’s real estate market was approaching a turndown in the face of a recession and the project was put on hold.

Lowell Chun, a consultant for SamKoo, told the board that the developer has revised its plan to fit with the city’s new rail station that will be the Honolulu terminus of the line from Kapolei.

“It’s a rail line anchor,” he said. “It’s a destination.”

Chun said SamKoo is offering to provide a slice of its property along Kona Street for rail use, and would like to create a public area with commercial shops on the tower site integrated with the city’s rail station.

“We are right there,” he said. “What we would like to create is a landmark building for this landmark location — something that signifies that this is someplace special.”

Chun said SamKoo hopes to submit a permit application with the city within the next few months under interim transit-oriented development rules pending before the City Council, provided the rules are adopted.

A maximum height under interim rules being considered would be 450 feet, up from the site’s existing 250-foot limit, though Chun said the 1391 Kapiolani tower is planned to rise 420 feet.

The Neighborhood Board did not vote on the projects.

Developers of the three projects all expect to seek permits this year but did not project construction timetables if their towers are approved.

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HCDA approves another condo tower for Kakaako

A rendering of the proposed Keauhou Lane project in Kakaako.

A rendering of the proposed Keauhou Lane project in Kakaako.

HCDA approves another condo tower for Kakaako

By Andrew Gomes

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako, voted 8-0 Wednesday to approve the Keauhou Lane project, which features a 43-story condo tower, 632 residential units, parking for 1,038 cars and about 39,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on a 4.2-acre block bordered by South, Pohukaina, Halekauwila and Keawe streets.

Wednesday’s vote is the final approval the project needs from the HCDA. The developer still needs building permits and expects to start construction next year.

The land is owned by Kamehameha Schools. Stanford Carr, a local developer, is in charge of the tower and parking portion of the Keauhou Lane project. The 43-story tower at Keauhou Lane is designed with 388 condos. Another 35 town homes would line the parking garage along South and Pohukaina streets.

The project also includes apartments and retail space, which are being developed by Portland, Ore.-based Gerding Edlen and will feature 209 rentals in four six-story buildings on the Keawe Street side of the block.

Lawmakers reject OHA’s bid for Kakaako towers

Lawmakers reject OHA’s bid for Kakaako towers

By Andrew Gomes

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs was denied in its bid to develop residential towers on a couple of large parcels in Kakaako Friday evening after House leaders in the Legislature dramatically altered a bill sought by OHA and then rejected that draft citing a lack of support from OHA.

The death of Senate Bill 3122 decided one of the most controversial bills at the Legislature this year, and came after three days of negotiations in a joint House-Senate conference committee that was capped by a long day of suspense.

OHA officials were clearly frustrated by how SB 3122 was treated, while opponents of allowing residential use on OHA land in Kakaako makai of Ala Moana Boulevard rejoiced in the bill’s fate.

“It’s unfortunate how things went down,” said Kawika Burgess, OHA’s chief operating officer. “I’m disappointed.”

OHA, a state agency established to benefit Native Hawaiians, had sought permission to develop residential towers on a portion of nine Kakaako-makai parcels that the state conveyed to the agency in 2012 to settle a long-disputed debt over ceded-land revenues owed by the state

OHA sought SB 3122 because residential development can produce more income for its programs and services benefiting Native Hawaiians. The agency insisted that development on its land would have been done in a way that balances commerce and culture without inhibiting public access to the shoreline.

SB 3122 opponents argued that OHA shouldn’t be seeking additional income because it accepted the Kakaako land as an asset valued at roughly $200 million and limited to commercial development.

Earlier Friday, OHA officials announced that they did not support a proposed amendment from House leaders that would have broaden an area in Kakaako makai of Ala Moana Boulevard for residential high-rise development.

The proposal made by Rep. Cindy Evans would permit 400-foot residential towers to rise on eight large parcels between Ala Moana Boulevard and Ilalo Street — four owned by Kamehameha Schools, two owned by OHA and two owned by the state.

A competing proposal offered by Senate leaders supportive of OHA would have allowed residential towers on just two parcels owned by OHA. Previously, SB 3122 aimed to allow residential development on three OHA parcels.

House Speaker Joe Souki issued a statement saying that committee conferees could not agree on a compromise. He cited OHA’s lack of support for the latest House proposal. “We look forward to working with OHA during the interim to find solutions to help maximize the value of OHA’s Kakaako properties,” he said.

Hawaii Community Development Authority approves two Kakaako residential projects

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has approved two Kakaako residential projects being developed by Hawaii developer Stanford Carr and Oregon-based developer Gerding Edlen

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has approved two Kakaako residential projects being developed by Hawaii developer Stanford Carr and Oregon-based developer Gerding Edlen

Hawaii Community Development Authority approves two Kakaako residential projects

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has approved two Kakaako residential projects being developed by Hawaii developer Stanford Carr and Oregon-based developer Gerding Edlen on the same block totaling 632 units.

Keauhou Lane’s portion of the project at 500 South St. includes a mix of 388 residential units, which will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units in a 400-foot high-rise building, along with a mix of 35 townhouse units that will have two- and three-bedroom units in a 42-foot mid-rise tower, as well as 2,854 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, 1,038 square feet of vehicle stalls in a 72-foot parking structure, about 13,000 square feet of open space and 31,400 square feet of recreation space.

The Gerding Edlen project at 500 Keawe St., which is being developed on behalf of landowner Kamehameha Schools, includes a mix of 209 residential units that will have studio, one- and two-bedroom units in a 65-foot mid-rise building, 39,145 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, four loading stalls, about 13,600 square feet of open space and 11,500 square feet of recreation space.

The request was for a joint development permit for two separate mixed-use residential, commercial/retail development projects being built at the same time by Carr and Gerding Edlen.

Keauhou Lane requested a modification from the mauka area rules to increase the podium’s height to about 72 feet and cause a partial obstruction of the South Street view corridor, while Gerding Edlen asked for a modification from the same rules to increase the podium’s height to about 65 feet.

Meantime, also at Wednesday’s meeting, the HCDA, which oversees the redevelopment of Kakaako, held an initial public hearing for Castle & Cooke and Kamehameha Schools’ 183 rental and for-sale workforce housing units located on the block bounded by Auahi, Keawe and Pohukaina streets.

Seven members of the public testified in support of the project and one person testified in opposition, said HCDA spokeswoman Lindsey Doi.

The project’s second public hearing will be held on June 10 with a decision-making hearing scheduled for July 9.

The two private developers are requesting a joint development permit for their two separate mixed-use, residential, commercial/retail projects.

The projects will be built simultaneously, with construction starting later this year and completion targeted in 2016.

Castle & Cooke and Kamehameha Schools are asking for a modification to increase the area’s building height restriction from 45 feet to 65 feet.

Kamehameha Schools to begin construction on Salt retail project in Honolulu this month

This rendering shows the interior of the warehouse shops planned for the Kamehameha Schools Salt project in Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood.

This rendering shows the interior of the warehouse shops planned for the Kamehameha Schools Salt project in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood.

Kamehameha Schools to begin construction on Salt retail project in Honolulu this month
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Kamehameha Schools will begin construction later this month on its 76,000-square-foot retail and restaurant project in Honolulu called Salt at Our Kakaako, Hawaii’s largest private landowner said Monday.

Salt, which is located on the block bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and Coral, Keawe and Auahi streets, involves the adaptive reuse of four structures, as well as the new construction of a 267-stall parking structure along Keawe Street and a 4,500-square-foot building on Coral Street. It’s expected to be completed in 2015.

Existing surface parking will be converted to an open plaza with a splash-and-play water feature, as well as recreation and seating areas.

“The challenge to reuse these older warehouses and their materials creates an opportunity to build a beautifully gritty shopping and dining experience that can only exist in urban Honolulu,” Kamehameha Schools Senior Asset Manager Christian O’Connor said in a statement. “This project is uniquely Hawaii. It isn’t a cookie-cutter mall that could be imported or transplanted from somewhere else.”

Honolulu-based Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co. is the project’s general contractor, while Honolulu’s Ink Architects is the project’s lead architecture firm.

Tenants, such as Cocina, Limb, Quince and Pad HI, will be moving from their current locations to vacant spaces along Auahi Street to make way for construction. Auahi Street tenants, including Bevy, Paiko, Insomnia Cafe and ZenBanx, will remain open in their current locations.

Other businesses on the Salt block, including Hank’s Haute Dogs on Coral Street, the Our Kakaako Information Center on Keawe Street, as well as Sprint, Starbucks, Lanikai Juice, Illest, The Collection sales office and Highway Inn will also remain open during construction.

Kamehameha Schools has already renovated the Ala Moana Boulevard-fronting portion of the block with the 2012 redevelopment of Six Eighty Ala Moana, a 54-unit income-restricted, rental apartment building with ground floor commercial space.

Castle & Cooke, Kamehameha Schools to add 183 workforce housing units in Kakaako

Feb 26, 2014, 1:16pm HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

This three-dimensional endering shows a workforce housing complex being developed by Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii and Kamehameha Schools in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako.

This three-dimensional endering shows a workforce housing complex being developed by Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii and Kamehameha Schools in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako.

Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii and Kamehameha Schools officially unveiled their respective mixed-use residential projects in Kakaako on Wednesday that will cost $60 million to develop and add a total of 183 rental and for-sale workforce housing units to the area known by some as the “Third City.”

The project, which will be located on the block bounded by Auahi, Keawe and Pohukaina streets, will include 88 rental units developed by Kamehameha Schools and 95 units developed by Castle & Cooke.

The Castle & Cooke portion of the project, which will be located on the makai end of the block at 400 Keawe St., will occupy 1.5-acres and include a 65-foot, six-story mixed use building with 75 market-priced and 20 workforce housing units in one- to three-bedroom floor plans ranging from $400,000s to mid-$700,000s.

The building will include 10,000-square-feet of commercial space.

Meantime, Kamehameha Schools’ project, which it will develop itself, encompasses the remainder 2.8-acres of the block with workforce rentals in a 65-foot building comprised of four floors of residential units and three levels of parking.

The 88 units, which will include 40 studios, 16 one-bedroom units, 16 one-bedroom-plus-den units, eight two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units, are expected to be rented to middle-income workers and their families.

Rents for these units are expected to range from $1,100 per month to $1,800 per month, Paul Quintiliani, senior director of Kamehameha Schools’ commercial real estate division, told PBN.

The two-story, 24,000-square-foot building at 458 Keawe St., formerly used by Alu Like, will be used as commercial space.

Kamehameha Schools, which said that Alu Like will be relocated to another location, noted that the project will include 28,600 square feet of open areas that will feature a 14,500-square-foot plaza.

Additionally, the project will include a dog run, bicycle parking and a mid-block pedestrian passage that will run to and from a planned Honolulu rail transit station planned for one block away on Halekauwila Street.

Both projects are to be built at the same time, with construction starting later this year and an expected completion date of 2016.

No construction firm has been selected yet for the developments, although the project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs.

The project, which was first reported by PBN, is part of Kamehameha Schools’ “Our Kakaako” master plan, which includes nearly 30 acres and nine full-block parcels with 2,750 residential units and commercial space.

Castle & Cooke, which is mostly known for building single-family residential projects such as Mililani and the recently approved 3,500-home Koa Ridge project, both in Central Oahu, would be stepping into somewhat uncharted waters with this residential project.

Bruce Barrett, executive vice president of residential operations for Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, said that this project is the developer’s first mid-rise development.

Developers will discuss plans for two Kakaako condo projects

Feb 12, 2014, 6:15am HST
Staff: Pacific Business News

Portland-based Gerding Edlen Development will develop a 209-unit workforce housing project adjacent to Stanford Carr Development's Keauhou Lane project on South Street in Kakaako.

Portland-based Gerding Edlen Development will develop a 209-unit workforce housing project adjacent to Stanford Carr Development’s Keauhou Lane project on South Street in Kakaako.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has scheduled public hearings in March and April for two planned Kakaako residential projects that sit on the same parcel.

One is at 500 South St. — Hawaii developer Stanford Carr’s Keauhou Lane project — and the other is at 500 Keawe St. — Oregon-based developer Gerding Edlen’s project.

The first public hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 19, will give developers an opportunity to officially present their plans.

The second hearing, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April, will give the public another opportunity to voice their opinions about the project with the possibility of the HCDA making a decision at that time.

Both hearings will take place at the HCDA’s office at 461 Cooke St. in Honolulu.

The request is for a joint development permit for two separate mixed-use residential, commercial/retail development projects being built at the same time by Carr and Gerding Edlen.

Keauhou Lane’s portion of the project includes a mix of 388 residential units, which will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units in a 400-foot high-rise building, along with a mix of 35 townhouse units that will have two- and three-bedroom units in a 42-foot mid-rise tower, as well as 2,854 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, 1,038 square feet of vehicle stalls in a 72-foot parking structure, about 13,000 square feet of open space and 31,400 square feet of recreation space.

The Gerding Edlen project, which is being developed on behalf of landowner Kamehameha Schools, includes a mix of 209 residential units that will have studio, one- and two-bedroom units in a 65-foot mid-rise building, 39,145 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, four loading stalls, about 13,600 square feet of open space and 11,500 square feet of recreation space.

Off-street parking for the project is expected to be provided in a parking podium constructed as part of the Keauhou Lane development with facilities such as loading areas, open space and recreation space being shared between both projects.

Keauhou Lane is requesting a modification from the Mauka Area Rules to increase the podium’s height to about 72 feet and cause a partial obstruction of the South Street view corridor.

Gerding Edlen is asking for a modification from the same rules to increase the podium’s height to about 65 feet

Honolulu public space project ‘Kakaako Agora’ designed by Japan’s Atelier Bow-Wow

Feb 4, 2014, 2:19pm HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Wei Fang, principal of Interisland Terminal, poses for a photo by a model of the "Kakaako Agora," a public space in Kakaako that will be located in a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street. Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, known for building and designing public and commercial buildings, is the architect on the project.

Wei Fang, principal of Interisland Terminal, poses for a photo by a model of the “Kakaako Agora,” a public space in Kakaako that will be located in a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street. Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, known for building and designing public and commercial buildings, is the architect on the project.

Kamehameha Schools and Interisland Terminal, a Honolulu-based collective that presents international exhibitions and programs in contemporary art, design and film, unveiled plans on Tuesday for the “Kakaako Agora,” a public space in the Honolulu neighborhood designed by famous Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow.

Kakaako Agora, which is scheduled to be completed in early June, has a scheduled public hearing set for Wednesday with the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Located inside a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street, the project includes transforming the vacant space into a free, open to the public, community gathering spot with a mezzanine level that will add 687 square feet to the space.

Landowner Kamehameha Schools and Interisland Terminal said they will work together to seek out creative partnerships that ensure the space is being utilized to its full potential.

“We are extremely excited that the founders of Atelier Bow-Wow will be bringing their unique architectural approach to Our Kakaako,” Kamehameha Schools Senior Asset Manager Christian O’Connor said in a statement. “Creating an engaging public space for Our Kakaako will generate opportunities for people to collaborate and to continue to foster creativity within the community.”

Founded in 1992 by architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow has designed and built houses, public and commercial buildings as well as innovative public spaces around the globe.

The married couple is best known for their idiosyncratic yet functional residential projects in dense urban environments and coined the term “pet architecture” to describe the odd but functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo.

“Through our relationship with Interisland Terminal, the Kakaako Agora project will able to show an alternative way to create a public space in an industrial area,” Tsukamoto said in a statement. “Gradually, small visions and conversations are turning into real projects and real buildings. It is also exciting that this is an opportunity to take traditional architectural work in a whole new direction.”

Atelier Bow-Wow will be working with several local organizations on the project, including Collab Studios, Sunworks Construction, Heavy Metal Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii School of Architecture.

Castle & Cooke to develop condo project in Kakaako on Kamehameha Schools land

Dec 6, 2013, 2:25pm HST UPDATED: Dec 6, 2013, 2:40pm HST

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Castle & Cooke Inc. will join Hawaii developers such as Alexander & Baldwin Inc. and Stanford Carr Development in developing a residential condominium project in Kakaako as part of landowner Kamehameha Schools’ “Our Kakaako” master plan.

Anthony Ching, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency charged with redeveloping Kakaako, confirmed to PBN that Castle & Cooke would build reserved housing units along Keawe Street between Pohukaina and Auahi streets, Diamond Head of Waterfront Towers.

Castle & Cooke, which is best known for building single-family residential projects, such as Mililani and the recently approved 3,500-home Koa Ridge project, both in Central Oahu, would be stepping into somewhat unchartered waters with this condo project.

“Castle & Cooke being interested shouldn’t be surprising,” Ching said. “Everyone needs to produce inventory to sell. You have to put stuff in the pipeline.”

He also pointed out that the demand for housing is at a fever pitch and that more inventory is greatly needed.

“Urban Honolulu is going to be an attractive area,” Ching said. “Many of our local developers are not into luxury, maybe mid-market or low market.”

The parcel currently has several businesses on it, including Volcanic Rock Gym.

Kamehameha Schools recently presented the plan to the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board.

Larry Hurst, chairman of the board, told PBN that the planned project isn’t a high-rise, and instead consists of six stories.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “They’re looking for a variance on their parking structure.”

Kamehameha Schools did not immediately responded to a request for comment by PBN.

But Bruce Barrett, executive vice president of Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, told PBN that the developer is in discussions with Kamehameha Schools for the Keawe Street project.

“Discussions are ongoing and we expect to be able to make a formal announcement within the next 60 days,” he said in an email statement to PBN.

The Kamehameha Schools’ Kakaako master plan, which includes nearly 30 acres and nine full-block parcels with 2,750 residential units and commercial space, is beginning to take shape.

In September, PBN first reported that MK Development, a joint venture of well-known Hawaii developers the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group, is purchasing six acres in Kakaako to develop two luxury mixed-use housing projects totaling about 500 units.

Think Howard Hughes Corp. is Kakaako’s largest landowner? Guess again

Sep 6, 2013, 12:52pm HST

Duane Shimogawa  |  Reporter- Pacific Business News

Who owns the most land in Kakaako? If you answered Dallas-based The Howard Hughes Corp. or Kamehameha Schools, you’d be dead wrong.

Nearly 200 small landiowners own the majority of the land in Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood, which is undergoing a major redevelopment.

Nearly 200 small landiowners own the majority of the land in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood, which is undergoing a major redevelopment.

I actually thought the same thing, too.

Instead, there are nearly 200 small landowners, mostly industrial-type businesses, that own about 20 percent of Kakaako.

By comparison, Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) owns 19 percent and Kamehameha Schools owns 17 percent of land in Kakaako.

And with the major redevelopment of Kakaako into the “Third City” on the horizon, with some 17 or so high-rise condominiums planned, these small landowners are facing a bit of a quandary — do they sell, stay or even a better question, how much will it take for them to sell?

Most owners I spoke with say that they’re not willing to sell and would like to be in Kakaako through its redevelopment stage.

Some will change their business models to include more services that are needed by some of the new residents to the area.

Besides these landowners, which also occupy their spaces with their businesses, there are also tenants who lease their spaces.

Take, for instance, Linda Kano, owner of Interior Showplace Ltd. at 956 Queen St., whose lease is up next year with The Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the land and building in which she runs her business.

She told PBN that her lease will be renewed for at least another five years.

After being in business for 35 years and at the same location for a little more than a decade, Kano feels that change is inevitable and that it will make the entire area very different.

In her case, she hopes to stay in Kakaako, but not so much so she can cater to the new residents, since her firm caters more to businesses.

“We go to customers,” Kano said. “I have to have a showroom, but don’t cater to residents.”

Nearly 200 small land owners own the majority of the land in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood, which is undergoing a major redevelopment.

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