New name ties retail to Ward redevelopment

The Howard Hughes Corp is changing the name of Ward Centers to Ward Village Shops to better capitalize on and unify its 60-acre master redevelopment, which will initially include three new residential towers.

The Howard Hughes Corp. will make the name transition, including signage changes, this fall, said Katie Kaanapu, director of community and retail marketing for Ward Village Shops in Kakaako.

The complex’s five “shopping neighborhoods,” such as Ward Centre, will keep their names, she said.

Race Randle, senior director of development for The Howard Hughes Corp. said this week the name reflects the company’s goal to make the complex a true village that will include parks as well as three new towers — Anaha, Waiea and 988 Halekauwila — that will contain more than 900 residential units.

PBN reported in August that Howard Hughes plans to replace Ward Warehouse with two condo projects in the second phase of its plans.

Ward Village Shops has more than 135 shops in 750,000 square feet of space. Officials say 10 million people visit the complex each year.

Meanwhile, a number of retail stores and restaurants have recently opened or are about to there:

• Bellini Bistro & Bar will open in January next to Ninja Sushi. Its chef, Dave Nguyen, will prepare Italian dishes such as oxtail osso buco, fish piccata and tiramisu using ingredients imported from Italy.

• Paina Cafe, which already has a restaurant at Ward Warehouse, will open its second location in early 2015. Besides poke, the restaurant will also serve salads and sandwiches.

• Ben & Jerry’s is opening in January to Ward Village in Ward Entertainment Center and Mexico Cantina is opening at the end of the year at Ward Centre.

• MORI by Art + Flea, a fashion, art and music retailer that has monthly pop-up markets at Ward Village, will open its first retail that will feature local products at Ward Warehouse near Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. MORI by Art + Flea will be taking the former Quiksilver space. Bellini Bistro & Bar will be occupying the former locations of Leloa Baby Collection and Taco Del Mar — they are combining two spaces. Paina Cafe will be occupying the former Tango Market location.

• Calendar Club, a seasonal shop, will open at Ward Warehouse next month.

• T&C Surf recently opened its second location at Ward Centre next to Genki Sushi in the former Jams World space, Kaanapu said. Jams World recently moved to the former Jeff Chang Pottery space.

Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business News

Exclusive: First look at Howard Hughes Corp.’s Whole Foods project

For the as yet unnamed Howard Hughes Corp. Ward Villages project in Honolulu, architects with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Seattle are exploring perforated, creased screens for the retail/parking podium, as well as details in the residential tower's facade, that suggest wind patterns. This rendering depicts the main entries of Whole Foods Market facing Kamakee Street.

For the as yet unnamed Howard Hughes Corp. Ward Villages project in Honolulu, architects with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Seattle are exploring perforated, creased screens for the retail/parking podium, as well as details in the residential tower’s facade, that suggest wind patterns. This rendering depicts the main entries of Whole Foods Market facing Kamakee Street.

The Howard Hughes Corp. is going before the Hawaii Community Development Authority Wednesday and Thursday in public hearings as it seeks variances for its plans to develop a Whole Foods Market-anchored mixed-use project for the former Nordstrom Rack location, known as Block M, as part of its Ward Village master plan.

PBN met Tuesday night with Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development for Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), and architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, for an exclusive first look at the project.

Bounded by Queen and Kamakee streets, Block M is behind the Ward Entertainment Center and is currently the site of an Office Depot and the former Nordstrom Rack. Plans include a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, plus another 12,000 square feet of retail and more than 700 parking spaces in a block-filling podium to be topped with a narrow high-rise offering about 466 residential units.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is partnering with Architects Hawaii Ltd. on the Block M project. With offices in Pennsylvania, California and Washington state, BCJ has designed such projects the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York, Seattle’s City Hall and the headquarters of Pixar Animation Studio.

“All our work in Hawaii so far has been private homes,” said Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Robert Miller, FAIA, principal architect from the firm’s Seattle office. “This our first commercial project here.” (The firm’s website includes a home identified only as Waipolu Gallery & Studio, for example, which PBN is certain is the home/art gallery of University of Hawaii benefactor, Jay Shidler. “I couldn’t comment on that,” said Miller, when asked to confirm.)

Among the Block M details PBN has learned:

One variance sought is permission to make the retail/parking podium height 75 feet, matching that of the Anaha project to go up across Kamakee Street, on the site of the former Pier 1 Imports. “This is the best way we can offer enough parking not only for the residents, but for the customers of Whole Foods, the other retail spaces, the Ward theaters and surrounding area,” said Vanderboom. The amount of parking being sought is based in part on their observations of parking demands at Kahala Mall since Whole Foods Market opened there.

A second variance seeks to orient the residential tower mauka-makai, to preserve view planes. “We believe that will make the building appear lighter and thinner,” said Miller.

The theme guiding the aesthetics of the Block M project is “wind,” in contrast to the oceanic themes that influenced the Waiea and Anaha projects. “One of the things we like to do is take the invisible flows of nature and make them visible in architecture,” said Miller. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is exploring perforated metal skins for the podium, to be creased in ways that suggest wind patterns. Details in the tower’s glass façade will carry the theme upward.

A new Halekauwila Street will run between the existing theater complex and Block M. “Right now, Halekauwila ends at Ward Avenue, across from Sports Authority,” said Vanderboom. “We plan to start an extension of Halekauwila at Kamakee and take it westward as we develop Ward Village.”

Pricing has not been determined, but Vanderboom said that, with smaller units being planned, the project will likely be priced lower than Waiea or Anaha and appeal to a broader range of buyers. The project’s overall budget is not set yet at this time.

The tower is currently unnamed. “We’re working with our cultural descendants to find something appropriate,” said Vanderboom.The name is also likely to play off the theme of wind.

A decision on the variances from HCDA could be reached in January. Construction could begin in 2015. “We’d like to do the entire project all at once, but are looking for the flexibility to build the Whole Foods Market, retail and parking first, and the tower later, if market conditions suggest that,” said Vanderboom.

Howard Hughes Corp.’s design strategy is to match a different pairing of a notable Mainland architecture firm and a local firm for each discrete project, giving variety to each tower within the context of the Ward Village master plan.

On Monday, PBN approached Howard Hughes to confirm word from a source outside that company, who preferred to remain anonymous, that famed architect Frank Gehry — who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain — had recently been in Honolulu to meet with Howard Hughes officials.

A representative of Howard Hughes said: “Frank Gehry is not currently engaged to design any specific projects at Ward Village. However, our goal with future phases is to continue bringing the best design talent in the world to Hawaii in order to build an urban master planned community that honors the beauty of our islands while revitalizing the heart of Honolulu.”

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

Building a village – How a big Texas corporation is remaking the face of Kakaako

This model in the Howard Hughes Corp. office previews the future look of the Kakaako skyline.

This model in the Howard Hughes Corp. office previews the future look of the Kakaako skyline.

For David Striph and Nick Vanderboom, transforming a major part of Honolulu into a mixed-use community has become personal.

The top Howard Hughes Corp. executives in Hawaii plan to call Ward Village home. And they want the 60-acre development in Kakaako to be a place where people want to live, work and play.

To that end, they are trying to make the giant Mainland-based corporation they work for part of the local community.

Ward Village, which in its first phase alone represents more than $1.25 billion in local economic impact and nearly 9,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout Oahu, is one of about 30 projects in 16 states for the Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp., which has approximately 1,000 employees and $5.3 billion in total assets.

Despite its size and lack of proximity to Hawaii, the company takes its Honolulu assets seriously, Striph and Vanderboom say.

“I have two young daughters,” said Striph, senior vice president of The Howard Hughes Corp., who oversee the company’s assets in Hawaii. “We’re hoping to create that environment where young people want to come back to and live.”

Vanderboom, senior vice president of development, who oversees the company’s strategic direction in Hawaii, agrees.

“It’s personal,” he told PBN. “All of us live here. It’s just building a place we are going to live in. We plan to be here a long time. We have our hands full with this project.”

Striph and Vanderboom began working on what is now Ward Village about four years ago. Two years later, they unveiled an urban master plan that includes four components on four separate blocks that eventually will double the retail, dining and entertainment space in Kakaako.

Ward Village has development rights for 22 high-rise towers and up to 9.3 million square feet of mixed-use space, including more than 4,000 residential units and about 1.5 million square feet for retail and other commercial use.

The redevelopment aims to create a distinctively different character for the neighborhood with new buildings along Ala Moana Boulevard being pulled back from the street, establishing what The Howard Hughes Corp. is calling a new face for the neighborhood.

“Dave and I have been here since the start,” Vanderboom said. “We spent a lot of time planning and preparing.”

Striph said that throughout the process it has brought on more than 40 people during the last four years, growing almost four-fold.

The Howard Hughes Corp., which acquired the property two years ago from Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., the owner of nearby Ala Moana Center, turned its focus for Ward Village from retail to creating an overall community.

“Retail was [GGP’s] focus,” Striph said. “We try to create a community with a shopping aspect with wide sidewalks, bike paths and other features.”

Staying true to Hawaiian culture

During the planning phases, Striph said the company made a point to invite Hawaiian culture experts and other community members to get involved.

“We invited them to meetings and we were a very open book with everyone,” he said. “We asked them for their input. We were completely open.”

Striph noted that the company knew the area’s history, especially with GGP’s experience in 2008. The former owner of the Ward Village Shops discovered ancient human remains on the site, halting construction of a Whole Foods store. The grocery chain eventually pulled out of the project before the building was completed, but announced plans earlier this year to return to open its flagship Hawaii store as part of a mixed-use project in Ward Village.

“The group we consulted with, they aren’t anti-development and they acknowledged that this is the right place to do it,” Striph said.

Vanderboom said the company has done what it said it was going to do in terms of its Ward Village plan.

“If we do it right, they are completely supportive of it,” he said.

Another example of the company’s effort to infuse cultural aspects into Ward Village is through the architecture of its towers.

“We try to make sure our architects are able to keep the Hawaiian aspects,” Striph said. “We also volunteered to turn all of the buildings mauka to makai. We even adjusted the park, altered its axis and created a pathway to the harbor to Central Kakaako. We also shrank floor plates of the buildings.”

State Rep. Scott Saiki, D-McCully-Downtown, who lives in Kakaako, says he feels that The Howard Hughes Corp. wants to do a good job.

“I know they spent some time and resources initially, learning about the culture and history of Kakaako before they started to develop their plan,” he said. “They incorporated what they learned into their plans. Obviously, they have capital and I’m hopeful they will use capital for the larger community. In a sense, we are fortunate that a company with capital is willing to make investments here.”

Deep pockets

Striph pointed out that the company has lots of cash on hand and is able to execute on its development projects to get to the point to finance them.

Earlier this month, The Howard Hughes Corp. said it secured a $600 million construction loan from Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies to build its Waiea and Anaha condo towers.

Thus far, it has signed contracts for more than three-quarters of the 482 total units in Waiea and Anaha. As of Nov. 1, it had contractural agreements for about 84 percent of the units in its Waiea tower and 71 percent in its Anaha tower.

Pre-sales for its first two market-rate residential condominiums at Ward Village started on Feb. 1 of this year and, as of Nov. 1, the company had received $139 million in buyer deposits, representing $783 million of sales revenue, according to its third-quarter earnings report.

It also noted that, as of Sept. 30, it had spent $38 million in development costs for the construction of Waiea, with total development costs expected to be about $403 million when the project is complete.

In terms of Anaha, as of Sept. 30, the developer had spent $17.5 million in development costs for the project, and total costs will reach about $401 million when the tower at the former Pier 1 Imports site is finished in early 2017. Work on the Anaha started over the weekend.

The 206-unit ONE Ala Moana condo high-rise atop Nordstrom’s parking garage at Ala Moana Center, which is being developed in a 50/50 venture with Honolulu’s The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group., is now about 87 percent complete with an expected opening by the end of this year.

Confidence in the market

“There is a huge unmet need for housing [and] we are trying to create housing for all types of income levels,” Striph said. “We are confident in the market.”

The Howard Hughes Corp. will stay with its plan in Hawaii, Striph said.

“[We’ll] keep marching through and listening to the community and taking that feedback and trying to improve the city,” he said. “We have this really unique opportunity to create something that’s never been created before.”

Jack Tyrrell, president of Honolulu-based Jack Tyrrell & Co. Inc., hopes The Howard Hughes Corp. will be in Hawaii for the long haul. He has accumulated $100 million in sales — 21 units in Waiea totaling $70 million and 17 units in Anaha totaling $30 million.

“They have this huge 60-acre drawing board that nobody has,” Tyrrell said. “They have the financial resources and expertise and motivation to create a remarkable, one-of-a-kind livable, workable, fun community.”

He said he has witnessed many local buyers, including people re-locating and investing, as well as Mainland China buyers and others from Chicago, California and Canada.

May Lew Tyrrell, executive vice president and marketing director for Jack Tyrrell & Co., said The Howard Hughes Corp. will have to meet everyone’s expectations and surpass expectations.

“I think they’re fully capable of doing that,” she said. “I think they will over-deliver to the buyers. They’ve got 22 projects over 20 more years. They cannot make any big mistakes, and I don’t think they will.”

The story behind the name

The Howard Hughes Corp. is named for the famed aviator, film director and recluse who was born in 1905 in Houston, Texas, and died in 1976 at the age of 70.

Hughes inherited his family’s successful oil tool business and began investing in films, including producing the hit “Hell’s Angels.”

He also got into real estate. In the 1950s, he acquired land in Las Vegas and developed the master-planned community of Summerlin, which he named for his grandmother, Jean Amelia Summerlin. A couple of decades later, the company was renamed the Summa Corp., and in 1994 it became The Howard Hughes Corp.

The Dallas-based real estate development and management firm was later sold to the Rouse Co. and became part of Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., which owns Ala Moana Center. Emerging from bankruptcy, GGP spun off The Howard Hughes Corp. as a public company in November 2010, and it assumed ownership of all of GGP’s planned developments, including master-planned communities such as what is now known as Ward Village.

Today, The Howard Hughes Corp. is an independent company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HHC.”

The Howard Hughes Corp.
• Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas
• Owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the country, including master-planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other assets spanning from New York to Hawaii.
• About 1,000 employees

Top executives
David Weinreb, CEO
Grant Herlitz, President
William Ackman, Chairman of the Board

Financials
New York Stock Exchange: HHC
Stock earlier this week: $148.33 per share

As of Sept. 30, 2014:
• Total assets: $5.3 billion
• Total revenue: $119 million
• Net income: $51 million
• Developments in 16 states

Master-planned Communities
• Bridgeland (near Houston)
• Maryland
• Summerlin (near Downtown Las Vegas)
• The Woodlands (near Houston)

HHC Operating Properties
• Columbia Office Buildings (Maryland)
• 110 N. Wacker Drive (Downtown Chicago)
• Cottonwood Square (Utah)
• Landmark (Northern Virginia)
• Park West (Arizona)
• The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk (New Orleans)
• South Street Seaport (Lower Manhattan)
• Ward Centers (Now Ward Village Shops)
• Downtown Summerlin
• Woodlands Operating Properties

Strategic Developments
• 3 Waterway Square (Texas)
• Alameda Plaza (Idaho)
• ONE Ala Moana (Honolulu)
• AllenTowne (Dallas)
• The Bridges at Mint Hill (Charlotte)
• Maui Ranch Land (no plans to develop)
• Century Plaza (Alabama)
• Circle T Ranch (Dallas)
• Volo Land (Illinois)
• Cottonwood (Utah)
• The Outlet Collection at Elk Grove (California)
• Fashion Show Air Rights (Las Vegas)
• Kendall Town Center (Miami)
• Ward Village (Honolulu)
• West Windsor (New Jersey)

Source: The Howard Hughes Corp.

Ward Village Plan

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to redevelop Ward Centers in Kakaako into Ward Village during the next decade.

The plan for the 60 acres includes adding 4,000 high-rise residential units and more than a million square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as open spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets.

Ward Village has received LEED Neighborhood Development Platinum certification, making the Honolulu project the nation’s largest LEED-ND Platinum-certified project and the only LEED-ND Platinum-certified project in the state.

The company has the development rights for 22 high-rises in Kakaako.

Phase One

Projected for completion in 2016, it includes development of three residential towers and a new sales and information center in the iconic IBM building.

The first phase represents more than $1.25 billion in local economic impact and thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Oahu, according to a study by ALH Urban & Regional Economics.

Phase Two

Early in its planning stages, this phase includes developing the first portion of Ward Village’s four-acre public park, which will be privately maintained and will open up a mauka-to-makai pedestrian connection from the center of Kewalo Basin Harbor to the heart of Ward Village. It will include water elements flowing toward the ocean, public seating, native plants and walkways.

It also includes Ward Village Gateway, the first mixed-use residential and commercial development project, which will be located at the gateway to Ward Village along Ala Moana Boulevard where Ward Warehouse is currently located.

The project, which the Hawaii Community Development Authority approved this week, will include a public park, two residential towers with 236 total units and about 20,000 square feet of retail along Auahi Street.

It also will include the Whole Foods-anchored project on the corner of Kamakee and Queen streets. This project includes a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods and 12,000 square feet of additional retail space, as well as 466 residences.

Current projects

Ward Village Foundation: Launched in January with an initial commitment of $1 million to the local community over two years, the foundation, which has contributed $305,000 to local nonprofits thus far, is aimed at supporting “forward-thinking initiatives.”

Community events: They include the Kakaako Farmer’s Market, the Courtyard Cinema monthly film series, Ward Village weekly yoga series and Art+Flea.

Kewalo Basin Harbor: The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management of the Kewalo Basin Harbor in September and is considering redevelopment options for the aging small-boat harbor, including upgrading restrooms, adding food service and a convenience store for boaters, security and other improvements.

Ward Village Information Center and Sales Gallery: The center is located on the first level of the recently renovated IBM building, along with a sales gallery on the sixth level. The space is open to the public daily during regular business hours.

Waiea and Anaha: Currently underway are the first two residential towers at Ward Village. Waiea, located at 1188 Ala Moana Blvd. on the surface parking lot across from the movie theaters, broke ground in June and will have 171 residences. Anaha, located at 1108 Auahi St., recently broke ground on the former Pier 1 Imports site and will include 311 units. Both towers will include retail and restaurants fronting Kamakee and Auahi streets.

988 Halekauwila Street: Located across from Sports Authority on the corner of Ward Avenue and Halekauwila Street, this tower may include 424 residences, 375 of them priced for local residents with incomes at the reserved housing levels in Honolulu. It also is being considered as an affordable rental project.

Top Howard Hughes Corp.’s executives in Hawaii

David Striph , Senior Vice President

Striph oversees the company’s assets in Hawaii. He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and was previously a senior managing director at Westmount Realty Capital, a Dallas-based real estate investor. He also has held senior positions at Fortress Investment Group, Fremont Investment and Loan and Amresco Capital Trust. The former CPA is experienced in finance, acquisitions, and asset management.

He and his wife, Carole, moved to Hawaii from Dallas in January 2011. He is an avid boater, wakeboarder and wakesurfer and is a die-hard Jimmy Buffett fan.

Nick Vanderboom , Senior Vice President of Development

Vanderboom oversees the company’s strategic development in Hawaii. Before joining the company in 2010, he was vice president of development for TPMC California and earlier worked as an independent real estate consultant for Forest City Enterprises on mixed-use development projects in California, Nevada, Texas and Hawaii. He also worked at Allan D. Kotin & Associates, a Los Angeles-based real estate consulting firm specializing in public-private joint ventures.

Vanderboom earned a Master of Real Estate Development degree in 2007 from the University of Southern California and received his undergraduate degree in business from USC in 2006. He was a tight end on USC’s football team, winning two national championships and five Pac-10 (now Pac-12) championships.

Race Randle , Senior Director of Development in Hawaii

Randle oversees master planning and development within the 60-acre transformation of Ward Centers into the mixed-use community of Ward Village. He most recently managed residential development activities in Hawaii for Forest City Enterprises and Castle & Cooke Hawaii.

Bobbie Lau , Senior General Manager of Ward Village Shops

Lau supervises the day-to-day operations of The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Hawaii portfolio of properties, including contracted services, marketing, capital improvements, construction at existing assets, tenant relations and financial reporting.

Before joining the team at Ward Village, she was senior vice president of Colliers Monroe Friedlander, now known as Colliers International Hawaii, where she was responsible for the company’s property management division throughout the state for more than a decade.

Lau is vice president of the Kakaako Improvement Association and previously served on the boards of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Hawaii and the Institute of Real Estate Management, Hawaii Chapter.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes Corp. to replace Marukai Market at Ward Village with mixed-use project

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to submit plans to the Hawaii Community Development Authority early next year outlining plans for a mixed-use project with significant commercial space that would replace the existing Marukai Wholesale Market near the Ward Entertainment Center, the head of the state agency overseeing the redevelopment of the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako told PBN this week.

Anthony Ching, executive director of the HCDA, said that the agency expects to see plans for the project from the Texas-based developer in the first or second quarter of 2015. He declined to divulge any other details about the project.

David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., which is in the midst of developing its 60-acre Ward Village master plan, told PBN Tuesday that the company currently does not have any information to share about a potential project at the Marukai Wholesale Market location.

“We are pleased to be continuing the planning stages for phase two of Ward Village with our Ward Village Gateway and “Block M” projects, both of which move us towards our vision for an integrated neighborhood that provides a gathering place for all,” he said in an email to PBN.

Ward Village Gateway, which will replace the existing Ward Warehouse shopping center with a couple of high-rise towers and street-level commercial and recreational space, won approval from the HCDA late last month.

The developer’s “Block M” refers to the Whole Foods Market project at the site of the former Nordstrom Rack store and current Office Depot, which will include a residential tower as well as additional retail space.

The HCDA is holding a decision-making hearing on this project on Jan. 7 at noon at its office at 461 Cooke St. in Honolulu.

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to redevelop Ward Centers in Kakaako into Ward Village over the next decade. The plan for the 60 acres includes adding 4,000 high-rise residential units and more than a million square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as open spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets.

Ward Village has received LEED Neighborhood Development Platinum certification, making the Honolulu project the nation’s largest LEED-ND Platinum-certified project and the only LEED-ND Platinum-certified project in the state.

The company has the development rights for 22 high-rises in Kakaako.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

The Howard Hughes Corp. moves forward with plans for Hawaii’s Kewalo Basin Harbor

About 100 community members and stakeholders gathered at the "Net Shed" in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako to talk about revitalizing the Kewalo Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management of the small boat harbor, which is between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, in September.

About 100 community members and stakeholders gathered at the “Net Shed” in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako to talk about revitalizing the Kewalo Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management of the small boat harbor, which is between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, in September.

The Howard Hughes Corp., which took over management of the Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu in September, is considering redevelopment options of the aging small boat harbor, including upgrading restrooms, adding food service and a convenience store for boaters, security and other improvements.

Late last week, executives from the Dallas, Texas-based developer gave PBN an update on the project.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), which has a pair of luxury high-rise condominiums under construction across Ala Moana Boulevard, with development rights for a total of 22 condos in its Ward Villages master plan, recently kicked off the public meetings process for the renovation of the harbor between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

About 100 people from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, environmentalists, Friends of Kewalos, surfers, University of Hawaii and other community members attended the recent talk-story session at Kupu’s Green Training Facility, known as the “Net Shed,” to gather information about where it was, where it is now and what it should become.

“Right now it’s a pretty lackluster experience,” David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN. “We need to make it more of a community center where people can gather.”

Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development in Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN that first off, it will begin replacing piers and the utilities at the small boat harbor.

“The basic things,” he said. “Then longer-term is the land side.”

Next year, it will start the in-the-water improvements.

The developer also will be holding additional public meetings regarding the harbor, although nothing has been scheduled just yet.

The Howard Hughes Corp. secured the lease for the harbor for up to 45 years in a public-private partnership aimed at revitalizing the small commercial boat harbor.

The developer and the HCDA, the state agency overseeing the redevelopment of the Kakaako neighborhood across the street from the harbor, recently traveled to the Mainland, including Texas and California, to conduct research that will help with the upgrade of the harbor.

Kewalo Basin currently has 144 boat slips in various states of disrepair and is in need of an overhaul, according to the HCDA, which assumed control of the harbor in 2009.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has committed to spending millions of dollars to improve the harbor with security upgrades and dock renovations, to benefit the charter boat businesses, fishermen and other harbor users.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes Corp. secures $600M construction loan for Hawaii condo projects

remade_003The Howard Hughes Corp. said Monday it has secured a $600 million construction loan from Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies to built the Waiea and Anaha condominium towers at its Ward Village in Honolulu.

Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) broke ground on Waiea, across from the Ward Entertainment Center, in June, and started work Saturday on the Anaha tower, which will be built on the site of the former Pier 1 Imports store diagonally across the street.

Howard Hughes Corp. is also planning to build a Whole Foods Market-anchored mixed-use condo tower on the site of the former Nordstrom Rack less than a block away.

Staff Pacific Business News

Hawaii agency moves up hearings for Howard Hughes, MacNaughton-Kobayashi condo towers

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 Hawaii Community Development Authority has rescheduled the decision-making public hearings for The Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan to replace Ward Warehouse and the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group’s Vida luxury condominium high-rise on a 3.5-acre site in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako.

The state agency, which oversees the redevelopment of the fast-growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, originally scheduled the Howard Hughes hearing for Dec. 3, but has moved it to Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving. The presentation hearing for the Kobayashi-MacNaughton project, which is scheduled for Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. has not changed, but the new date for the decision-making hearing has also been moved to Nov. 25 at noon, from Dec. 17.

Both hearings will be held at 461 Cooke St. in the Makai Conference Room.

The HCDA already held two public hearings on The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) project, which includes a total of 236 units in two towers, as well as commercial and recreation space on the site of the current Ward Warehouse.

The Howard Hughes Corp. is asking the HCDA for four modifications, including to increase the maximum platform height to 65 feet with an allowance of an additional 15 feet in height for 15 percent of the roof area that will be used for accessory uses.

MK Development, a joint venture of the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group, purchased six acres from Kamehameha Schools for an undisclosed price to develop two ultra-luxury mixed-use residential projects totaling about 500 units along the mauka side of Ala Moana Boulevard.

The 38-story Vida tower at 888 Ala Moana Blvd. will include 265 two- and three-bedroom units and will be designed by Los Angeles-based Arquitectonica and Honolulu-based Ben Woo Architects, which will be helping the project seek LEED certification with an energy-efficient design and features.

Amenities for the project include guest suites, movie theaters, dining rooms with a chef’s kitchen, children’s play areas, game rooms and a putting green.

Heyer & Associates LLC will be handling sales of the project.

The Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group also developed the Hokua and Capitol Place mixed-use projects in Honolulu, and are also working on a project that includes seven ultra-luxury condominium towers planned for what is now a parking area of Ala Moana Center fronting Ala Moana Boulevard called Park Lane Ala Moana, with a development cost of about $300 million, according to public records.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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High rise towers planned for Ward Warehouse site

Capture2 high-rises with 236 residential units, commercial space

HONOLULU —The Howard Hughes Development Corporation unveiled its plans for the redevelopment of the Ward Warehouse shopping center.

The company plans to erect two high-rise towers with 236 residential units and commercial space.

Plans also call for open space, a recreational area and 548 parking stalls.

The two story Ward Warehouse complex was built in 1975 and its redevelopment will displace a number of small businesses.

The transformation of the four-acre parcel will bring the most dramatic change to Kakaako.

It’s being called the Ward Village Gateway.

The Howard Hughes Development Corporation plan calls for two towers for a total of 236 residences, along with townhomes, two parking structures and commercial space.

The most significant feature will be a one-acre park–a grand central plaza with a promenade and that will open views to the ocean where there are currently none

“This project is going to create a one-acre park connecting mauka to makai, Kewalo Harbor all the way to the planned rail stop at Ward Village. It’s going to create improved street scapes with wide sidewalks, bike lanes and new retail space along Auahi Street,” said Nick Vanderboom, Vice President of Development.

The company’s plans will displace about 50 merchants at Ward Warehouse

It has begun meeting with tenants to see who can be relocated now.

“We are working closely with our tenants about relocation possibilities. We have intentionally held space within Ward Center and we are already in talks with some of them to relocate within Ward Village,” said Vanderboom.

It was during the presentation before the HCDA board that the company acknowledged it is considering adding a third tower but it’s not ready to say much about those plans just yet.

“There may be a third on that parcel but that would be consistant with the master plan though,” said, Senior Vice President David Striph.

The company isn’t also ready to say much about pricing of its units.

It did however signal that construction of the two Gateway Towers will take place around the same time that it moves forward with the construction of another tower at the corner of Ward and Halekauwila streets.

It was last year that the HCDA gave the green light for the more affordable reserve units project planned for the old Dixie Grill lot.

The company has been exploring whether it can build affordable rentals instead of for sale units.

Howard Hughes plans to ask for four modifications to the area rules for its Gateway tower project.

It is asking the Hawaii Community Development Corporation to increase the building platform to 65 feet and to be given a break on the 15-foot setback requirement.

A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held on Oct 2.

Read more: http://www.kitv.com/news/twin-towers-planned-for-ward-warehouse-site/28358680#ixzz3Gx3ktrB6

Howard Hughes Corp. to present plans for Honolulu high-rise, Whole Foods Market store

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to present its plans in November for a new mixed-use condominium high-rise in Kakaako at the former spot of Hawaii’s first Nordstrom Rack store, which will include a planned Whole Foods Market as part of the project.

The project, which will be located at 330 Kamakee St. and is part of the Texas-based developer’s Ward Village Master Plan, includes about 466 units in the tower, which will be built on a platform structure, according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency that oversees the redevelopment of the Honolulu neighborhood.

“The first phase of the Ward Village Master Plan has brought significant economic growth and increased community amenities to the neighborhood,” said David Striph, senior vice president for Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp. “As we move forward with the early planning stages for phase two, we have submitted an application to the Hawaii Community Development Authority for a sustainably-designed mixed-use project at 330 Kamakee Street.”

The project will have a combined total of 78,319 square feet of commercial space, 53,375 square feet of indoor and outdoor recreation space and 1,301 parking stalls.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHS), which is currently developing two other condo towers nearby, is asking for five modifications for its project, including one to adjust the tower view corridor setback along Queen Street and increase the maximum platform height to 75 feet, with an allowance of an additional 12 feet in height for 15 percent of the roof area that will be utilized for accessory uses.

“Our application includes a modification to rotate the project in order to preserve mauka to makai view planes in response to community input,” Striph said. “In addition to a flagship grocery store, phase two will include well-maintained public open spaces, complete streets and significant improvements to the neighborhood.”

The new Honolulu Whole Foods Market store will be located in the space currently occupied by an Office Depot and the former Nordstrom Rack behind the Ward Theatres complex. The 50,000-square-foot store, which will be the company’s largest location in the state, is slated to begin construction next year and be completed in 2017.

Last year, The Howard Hughes Corp. began the transformation of Ward Centers into Ward Village, an urban master-planned community that will include approximately 4,000 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of retail and commercial space.

The 330 Kamakee project’s presentation hearing is scheduled for Nov. 5 at noon in Honolulu at 461 Cooke St.

There are two more hearings scheduled for the project, another on Nov. 6, which will be a modification hearing, and another on Jan. 7, 2015, which will be a decision-making hearing.

The Jan. 7 hearing will be located at a different venue from the presentation and modification hearings with it being held in Honolulu at 545 Queen St. on the second floor.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes Corp. withdraws petition for reserved units at Kakaako residential project

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s planned 424-unit, mostly affordable condominium at 988 Halekauwila, part of the developer's Ward Village master-planned community.

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.’s planned 424-unit, mostly affordable condominium at 988 Halekauwila, part of the developer’s Ward Village master-planned community.

The Howard Hughes Corp. is temporarily withdrawing its petition dealing with reserved housing units on its 424-unit residential tower planned for 988 Halekauwila in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood as part of the first phase of its Ward Village master plan.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said that 375 of the total number of units will be offered at prices lower than the market-rate luxury condo towers.

“Ward Village is dedicated to helping fulfill the housing needs of our neighborhood, [and] we have listened to the community and have heard great demand for more affordable options, including rentals at lower income levels,” Race Randle, senior director of development for the Texas-based developer, said in a statement. “In response to this message from our community, we have asked for clarification of [Hawaii Community Development’s] rules to better understand what options are available.”

He also said that “due to the misunderstanding of our request, we have decided to temporarily withdraw it so that we can further clarify our intentions to the appropriate stakeholders.”

“This rule clarification in no way changes our commitment to build 375 reserved housing units at 988 Halekauwila, nor does it change our strong commitment to creating a diverse community at Ward Village with an array of housing options and price points, including affordable and market-rate housing,” Randle said.

The developer noted in its second quarter earnings report that it is finalizing plans for this project, and that as of June 30, it has spent $3.8 million on developments costs on the project, which will be located on what is the former site of the Kanpai Bar & Grill and the current California Rock ‘N Sushi.

The project also will include six levels of parking and about 23,000 square feet of retail space.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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