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.

New bars, Merriman restaurant to join Kamehameha Schools’ Salt retail complex in Honolulu

This rendering shows the interior of the warehouse shops planned for the Kamehameha

This rendering shows the interior of the warehouse shops planned for the Kamehameha

Two bars serving beer and other spirits will join Hank’s Haute Dogs and a new restaurant concept by Hawaii chef Peter Merriman at Kamehameha Schools’ 85,000-square-foot Salt at Our Kakaako retail and restaurant complex in Honolulu, the state’s largest private landowner told PBN Wednesday.

Pitch Sports Bar will open at a 3,000-square-foot second floor space at the Honolulu shopping complex, which is expected to be completed by the end of summer with most tenants opening by the second quarter of 2016.

Derrick Stevens, head bartender of Pitch Sports Bar, who also heads up Free Spirits Hawaii Mobile Bartending Service, told PBN that other well-known bartenders from such restaurants and establishments in Honolulu, including Ryan’s Grill and The Modern Honolulu hotel, are part of Free Spirits.

“This is our first bricks-and-mortar location,” he said, noting that he and the other bartenders are working on behalf of a local ownership group. “This is the flagship and whatever comes up afterwards, we may pursue.”

The other beer-related new tenant is Social Beer, which is headed up by one of the partners of the Honolulu bar Pint + Jigger and an experienced home brewer who started the Beer in Hawaii blog.

Daryn Ogino of Pint + Jigger and Timothy Golden of Beer in Hawaii, have registered Ale Stake LLC and the trade name Social Beer as a beer shop and tasting room, selling various alcoholic beverages, including but not limited to craft beers on tap and bottled for on and off premises consumption and a variety of hot and cold foods.

Other signed tenants at Salt include Hank’s Haute Dogs, Orangetheory Fitness, Atmasphere Yoga and Moku, a new restaurant concept by Merriman and restaurateur Bill Terry.

They join existing tenants such as Starbucks, Cocina, Highway Inn, Lanikai Juice, Bevy, Insomnia, Paiko + Brue Bar, Illest and Sprint.

Eric Ogata, senior asset manager in the commercial real estate division of Kamehameha Schools, said at a recent retail industry event that the complex is about 50 percent leased with another 15 percent soon to be leased.

Salt at Our Kakaako was named after the paakai (Hawaiian for “salt”) ponds that once dotted the low-lying wetlands of the area, according to its website.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News

‘Interim uses’ to be part of Kamehameha Schools’ ‘Our Kakaako’ plan

Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s The Collection is one of several residential projects underway in Kamehameha Schools' 'Our Kakaako' plan

Alexander & Baldwin Inc.’s The Collection is one of several residential projects underway in Kamehameha Schools’ ‘Our Kakaako’ plan

As Kamehameha Schools enters its sixth year in its 15-year “Our Kakaako” master plan, which covers nine blocks mauka of Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu, there may be some parts of the development that will be utilized for “interim uses,” the chair of the trust’s board of trustees told PBN.

Lance Wilhelm, chairman of Kamehameha Schools’ Board of Trustees, said that interim uses describes the trust’s leasing activities within the blocks not yet under construction.

He noted that in those circumstances, as it has done with some of the retail frontage in what will eventually become “Salt at Our Kakaako,” Kamehameha Schools was able to find small businesses that needed flexible space either to incubate an idea or launch a new concept.

“Those uses, while relatively short term, help create excitement and bring new energy to a space that might otherwise sit dormant for an extended period of time,” Wilhelm, the former Kiewit Hawaii executive who is now managing principal for California developer Irongate, told PBN in an email. “Ultimately, it will be the market that dictates the exact nature and timing of any development activity in Our Kakaako, and that market remains very strong today.”

The projects currently underway include Alexander & Baldwin Inc.’s The Collection, Castle & Cooke Hawaii’s 400 Keawe project and Kamehameha Schools’ restaurant and retail center, Salt at Our Kakaako.

“[These] are examples of the active developments we expect to help bring life to Our Kakaako and support Kamehameha’s educational mission,” Wilhelm said. “All nine blocks continue to be planned for development in conformance with the entitlements that are in place, and most of them are already under active construction or in preparation for same.”

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Kamehameha Schools’ may not develop all parcels in ‘Our Kakaako’ plan

A rendering of one of several "Our Kakaako" residential projects in the growing Honolulu neighborhood.

A rendering of one of several “Our Kakaako” residential projects in the growing Honolulu neighborhood.

Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii’s largest private landowner, and one of the major developers of the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, probably won’t develop all of the parcels in its “Our Kakaako” plan — at least during this current economic cycle — the chairman of the $9.2 billion trust’s board recently said at a construction industry event.

“These [remaining] blocks will be [utilized] for interim uses,” said Lance Wilhelm, managing member of California-based Irongate and chairman of the board of trustees for Kamehameha Schools.

Thus far, the trust, which is one of the larger landowners in Kakaako, has contracted with some of the state’s most well-known developers, including Alexander & Baldwin, Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, Stanford Carr Development, The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, to build housing projects on those parcels.

Our Kakaako consists of nearly 30 acres on nine city blocks, seven residential towers that include 2,750 units and 300,000 square feet of commercial space.

It’s not quite clear which blocks won’t be developed.

The Howard Hughes Corp., the single entity that owns the most land in Kakaako, is conducting a different approach to developing its parcels.

The Texas-based developer is developing its own master-planned community, which is being dubbed, “Ward Village.”

It has development rights to some 20 high-rise towers in the area.

PBN reached out to Kamehameha Schools and Wilhelm for comment on Tuesday.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Fast, free WiFi coming to big piece of Kakaako

Fast, free WiFi coming to big piece of Kakaako
By Andrew Gomes

The evolving Our Kaka’ako neighborhood in urban Honolulu is going to have some super-fast free WiFi.

Kamehameha Schools, which is adding new retail and residential rental and condominium buildings on nine blocks in Kakaako under a master plan called Our Kaka’ako, announced Tuesday that it is building a free wireless network for public use throughout the area.

“It is free, it is fast and it is available to anyone who wants to use it,” said Erin Kinney, a Kamehameha Schools development manager.

The network is being built by Hawaii Dialogix Telecom. Some coverage in the area became active Saturday, though it will take two weeks to finish the “Our Kaka’ako” network.

Kamehameha Schools and Hawaii Dialogix said the network will be the biggest, fastest, free system in the state.

The landowner and telecom firm said data transfer speeds will typically be at least five times faster for downloads and 50 times faster for uploads compared with most home and coffee shop networks.

In a demonstration in a Cooke Street warehouse, the Our Kaka’ako WiFi connection performed a speed test registering a 138-megabit-per-second download speed and a 103 Mbps upload speed compared with a paid 4G LTE wireless service registering 5 Mbps upload speed and a 12 Mbps download speed.

The nine blocks of Our Kaka’ako span 29 acres and are generally bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and South, Halekauwila and Cooke streets.

“It will be seamless,” Kinney said. “You’re not going to get cut off when you walk block to block in the master plan.”

POSTED: 11:29 a.m. HST, Mar 04, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Mar 04, 2014


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.