Italian eatery proposed for vacant Kewalo building in Kakaako

Italian eatery proposed for vacant Kewalo building in Kakaako. by Andrew Gomes Honolulu Star Advertiser………………..….

A vacant building owned by the state and once used for charter boat operations at Kewalo Basin is being eyed for conversion to an Italian restaurant.

A Japanese-based company is seeking to negotiate a lease for the 3,000-square-foot building with the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency that owns the harbor in Kaka­ako.

The company, Bellavita Inc., owns several Italian restaurants in Japan and has sought exclusive rights to negotiate a lease for the building with HCDA.

The agency is scheduled to discuss the proposal at a meeting Wednesday and could make a decision on whether to enter such negotiations at the meeting.

Bellavita, which is led by Masa­hiko Naka­mura, proposes renovating the building for its plan that includes outdoor seating facing the harbor’s front row largely occupied by charter fishing and tour boats.

Nakamura has a passion for Italian food and culture, and operates an Italian language and cultural center in Japan.

HCDAis considering the proposal as a way to liven up the waterfront. The agency also has received a separate proposal by two wedding companies in Japan to establish a wedding venue and a restaurant on a neighboring site at the harbor.

The wedding companies, Goodluck Corp. and Take and Give Needs Co., want to develop an area used for parking and once occupied by McWayne Marine Supply. HCDA’s board voted in August to let agency staff negotiate terms for a potential lease.

HCDAhas said there would be a detailed presentation by the companies, two public hearings, an environmental review and community consultations before a lease could be approved for the wedding and restaurant development plan.

Walk Score for Kaka’ako

_walkscoreCaptureThis location is a Walker’s Paradise, which means daily errands do not require a car.

This location has excellent transit with 59 nearby bus routes.

There are minimal bike lanes and the terrain is flat as a pancake. This location is bikeable, there is some bike infrastructure.

Go to nearby coffee at Island Coffee & Espresso and get groceries at Naturally Pet.

Restaurants near this location include Asahi Grill, Cafe Duck Butt, I Love Country Cafe, California Beach Rock N’ Sushi, Greens And Vines, Summer’s LavaDogs, Mc Donald’s and Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.

Nearby schools include Voyager – A Public Charter School.




(Honolulu, Hawaii) — The developer of the newest residential project in Kaka‘ako to launch sales says the public response and sales have been strong. Symphony Honolulu is to be built at the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard, with the address 888 Kapiolani Boulevard.

“The response to our project indicates there is a strong demand for homes in the urban core of Honolulu,” said Dan Nishikawa, president of OliverMcMillan Pacific Rim, the developer of Symphony Honolulu.

He says 194 residences were sold during the weekend, with several potential buyers still in the sales center reviewing their choices.

Nishikawa says buyers cited location as a major reason for their purchase.

“People want to live close to their jobs so they can walk more and drive less.

Avoiding traffic congestions and long commutes gives them more quality time to enjoy with their family and friends.”

He also pointed out that buyers saw value in Symphony residences compared to other condominium projects in the area.

“The size of our apartments average 1,100 square feet, with the added benefit of amenities such as a pool and spa, work-out and yoga studios, multi-media theaters, and outdoor grills and cabanas with a kitchen.”

The condominium apartments include 288 market-priced residences and 100 reserved housing units. The market price ranges from the low $500,000s for a one-bedroom, the mid $600,000s for two bedrooms, and from the high $800,000s for three bedrooms.

Reserved units are for buyers who meet income and asset requirements set by the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) and will be available for sale at a later date.

Symphony is a mixed-use condominium tower with commercial areas and parking on the lower floors. The ground floor is being designed by JN Auto Group to create a world class auto galleria.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2013 on a 25-month schedule. The project will create 400 jobs for construction and related industry workers. The auto galleria is expected to add 100 positions.

The exclusive project broker is Heyer & Associates, with the project sales gallery at the Inspiration Design Center, 1250 Kapiolani Boulevard, 3rd floor. The sales gallery will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

Hawaii lawmakers to discuss Kakaako condo plans with area residents

May 28, 2013, 7:11am HST
Staff Pacific Business News

Residents of Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood concerned about the plans to add high-rises that exceed the current height limit will meet with Hawaii lawmakers Thursday at the state Capitol.

KITV reports Rep. Scott Saiki, D-McCully-Downtown, who lives in Kakaako, is one of the coordinators of the meeting, along with Reps. Tom Brower, D-Waikiki-Ala Moana, and Karl Rhoads, Kalihi-Chinatown; Sens. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, D-Liliha-Downtown, and Brickwood Galuteria, D-Waikiki-Moiliili, and City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga.

KITV reports Saiki said the public is frustrated because plans for the area dubbed “The Third City” are changing and says the public isn’t being given enough information.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, which is charged with overseeing development in Kakaako, in December selected Forest City Hawaii to develop the 690 Pohukaina project, which may include a 650-foot tower.

The agency is scheduled to hear proposals next month from the Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), which last week announced plans for three condominium towers in the first phase of its Ward Village master plan, and from Alexander & Baldwin (NYSE: ALEX) which plans to acquire the site of the former CompUSA building from Kamehameha Schools and build a condo tower there.

Howard Hughes Corp.’s first Kakaako project a 415-unit condo tower on Ward Avenue

May 20, 2013, 10:02am HST Updated: May 20, 2013, 4:41pm HST
Duane Shimogawa  |  Reporter- Pacific Business News

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to build a mostly affordable 415-unit residential high-rise in Kakaako across from Sports Authority, which would include a total of 525,535-square-feet of floor area with commercial space and parking, as well as 25,650-square-feet of recreation space.

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to redevelop the block at 404 Ward Ave. in Kakaako, including the two-story building shown here, into a 415-unit residential tower with commercial space and parking, the first project in its Ward Village master plan.

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to redevelop the block at 404 Ward Ave. in Kakaako, including the two-story building shown here, into a 415-unit residential tower with commercial space and parking, the first project in its Ward Village master plan.

Anthony Ching, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, told PBN that 375 of the 415 units will be affordable, meaning that a family of four with an income between $87,000 and $120,000 will be able to purchase a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom unit.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) hopes to break ground on the project, which will be near a rail transit station, sometime next year, he said.

The Dallas-based developer is scheduled to present its plan to the HCDA on June 19, which is part of Howard Hughes’ revised plans for an urban master planned community in Kakaako called “Ward Village” which includes four separate blocks that will eventually double the retail, dining and entertainment space in what is being called Honolulu’s “Third City.”

This condominium project is the first project proposed for “Land Block 5” of the neighborhood master plan. It’s located at 404 Ward Ave., a block that includes the two-story building that has housed Kanpai Bar & Grill, which closed earlier this year, and Tio’s Garage and Taco Station and Dixie Grill Bar-B-Que & Crab Shack before that.

The HCDA expects to make a decision regarding the project on July 17.

David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., did not immediately return messages Monday seeking comment, but through a spokeswoman said that a press conference announcing the project was planned Tuesday and that the company would present its plan to the HCDA in June.

Ward has an approved master plan that allows for up to 9.3 million total square feet of mixed-use development, including more than 4,000 residential units and about 1.5 million square feet of retail and other commercial space, David Weinreb, CEO of Howard Hughes, told shareholders in a letter in March.

He said that Ward Village has development rights for 22 high-rise towers in an urban master-planned community setting. Ward Village’s transformation is scheduled to happen throughout the next decade.

Separately, A&B Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (NYSE: ALEX) is scheduled to officially present its plans on June 19 to the HCDA for a $200 million mixed-use residential high-rise project on the former CompUSA site in Kakaako called “The Collection,” which should have more than 460 condominium units.

The HCDA expects to make a decision regarding the project on Aug. 7.

Moderate-priced units proposed for Kakaako

Honolulu is accustomed to housing booms — especially for luxury condominiums in the urban core. But a workforce housing boom may now be forming.

A developer has proposed a 217-unit workforce, or moderate-priced, condo tower in Kakaako on a roughly half-acre site now occupied by single-story industrial buildings.

A developer is proposing to demolish the single-story industrial buildings on a half-acre site between Kawai­ahao and Waimanu streets and build a 250-foot condo tower. Pictured is L&L Transmission at 803 Wai­manu St.

A developer is proposing to demolish the single-story industrial buildings on a half-acre site between Kawai­ahao and Waimanu streets and build a 250-foot condo tower. Pictured is L&L Transmission at 803 Wai­manu St.

MJF Development Corp., led by Franco Mola, is seeking a permit from the Hawaii Community Development Authority to develop the 27-story project, which would rise 250 feet.

Mola’s project application was filed last month shortly before the sellout of a 635-unit workforce condo tower called 801 South St. on a site nearby that is slated to be further developed with a second tower containing 400 units.

The Mola project and 801 South St. are products of a relatively new HCDA “workforce housing” rule giving developers extra density for buildings with at least 75 percent of units priced for buyers earning no more than 140 percent of Hono­lulu’s median income.

The income limit translates to about $96,000 for a single person or $137,000 for a family of four.

Other projects for workforce rentals in Kakaako are also in the pipeline, including the 204-unit Hale­kau­wila Place apartments that began construction earlier this year, the proposed 690 Pohu­kaina project calling for 804 apartments on state land, and 80 live/work lofts for artists.

Those three projects propose rents that would be affordable to tenants earning 50 percent to 140 percent of the median income.

HCDA, the state agency governing development in Kakaako, also requires that 20 percent of units in higher-priced condo tower projects be priced at the workforce level, and there are at least two such projects in the works.

Chuck Wathen, an affordable-housing advocate and executive director of Hawaii Housing Alliance, isn’t surprised by the rising volume of moderate-priced housing being proposed in Kakaako.

“We really need rentals, and … the supply of units for sale is almost nothing,” he said.

Wathen predicts that Mola’s project, if it comes to market, will almost certainly sell out. “We are basically supply-constrained,” he said.

Of all the workforce condo plans, 801 South St. is positioned to break ground first, in June.

Mola’s project is subject to HCDA approval. The agency has scheduled two public hearings on the plan.

The first hearing is slated for May 1 at 9 a.m. and will include a presentation by the developer. The agency will host a second public hearing June 5 at 9 a.m., after which a decision on the application is expected by the agency’s board. Both hearings will be held at HCDA offices at 461 Cooke St.

The property borders Kawai­ahao Street and the Ewa end of Wai­manu Street between the Imperial Plaza tower and a self-storage facility.

A company named Action Development LLC, managed by Francine Summers and Byron Ho, is listed as the property’s owner. That firm bought the parcels in 2007 for $3.9 million, according to property records.

Mola could not be reached for comment Tuesday, when HCDA announced the public hearing schedule.

The developer is proposing a mix of units from studios with 372 square feet of living space to two-bedroom units with a little more than 600 square feet, according to application details. Unit prices were not specified.

Mola, through companies including Coastal Rim Properties Inc., has been involved in development mainly in California and Hawaii, including the 176-unit affordable senior apartment building Kulana Hale in Hono­lulu.

Coastal Rim’s website says Mola has overseen planning and construction of more than 4,300 homes.

The developer previously had an option to buy the 801 South St. site, but that purchase fell through, and local affordable-housing developer Marshall Hung acquired the property and launched plans for two workforce housing towers.

Article courtesy of the Honolulu Star Advertiser, written By Andrew Gomes and POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 03, 2013

Forest City picks Nordic PCL to build Honolulu’s tallest building

Forest City picks Nordic PCL to build Honolulu’s tallest building

May 9, 2013, 2:26pm HST
Duane Shimogawa  |  Reporter- Pacific Business News

Forest City Hawaii has chosen Honolulu’s Nordic PCL Construction Inc. as the general contractor for the $500 million 690 Pohukaina mixed-use project in Kakaako.

Forest City Hawaii has chosen Honolulu’s Nordic PCL Construction Inc. as the general contractor for the $500 million 690 Pohukaina mixed-use project in Kakaako.

Forest City Hawaii has chosen Honolulu’s Nordic PCL Construction Inc. as the general contractor for the $500 million 690 Pohukaina mixed-use project in Kakaako, which may include Hawaii’s tallest building at 650 feet.

James Ramirez, a vice president for Forest City Hawaii, told PBN that, in addition to Nordic PCL, it has chosen Honolulu-based Benjamin Woo Architects LLC as its local architecture firm for the 800-unit rental project, which will include affordable and market-rate units.

In December, the Hawaii Community Development Authority unanimously selected Forest City Hawaii to develop the project, which will be built on state land under a 65-year ground lease.

Forest City and the HCDA are in the midst of an 18-month development process, which includes an conducting an environmental assessment.

Forest City Hawaii has chosen Honolulu’s Nordic PCL Construction Inc. as the general contractor for the $500 million 690 Pohukaina mixed-use project in Kakaako.

Kakaako’s Building Boom – Part Two

Howard Hughes Corp. has already spent $3.5 million renovating Ward Centre, the shopping center where a Bed Bath & Beyond store will open this fall in the space formerly occupied by Borders bookstore.
HHC’s plans include a mixture of retail, residential and commercial construction projects over the next 12 years. More specifics should come in December, when the company says it hopes to announce “refinements” to the master plan created by General Growth Properties, former owners of Ward Centers. Almost daily, Striph says, he is in contact with KS, OHA, HCDA and other major players to coordinate efforts and “take a holistic view” of Kakaako.

“We’re trying to look at this as one whole area,” Striph says. “We want to make it the hottest, most vibrant residential community on Oahu. That’s our goal. We want to be really thoughtful and respectful of the community. We’re taking our time and want to do it right, reflecting the area’s history.”

KS’s master plan, completed in 2009, calls for seven residential towers, up to 400 feet high, with low-rise “podium” units surrounding them. The build-out spans 15 years but has begun with alacrity.

Currently available Kaka’ako area properties for sale

“We’ll have warm bodies in the lofts by the end of October,” says Bob Oda, KS senior project manager. It’s part of KS’s affordable housing commitment.

Contractors will build the market-price units in the residential towers, says Paul Quintiliani, KS commercial real estate director, while KS itself may build the rental units. “We need to hit multiple price points to create a mixed-income community.”

HCDA’s latest Kakaako master plan, just a year old, calls for mixed-density using both high-rise and low-rise residential and commercial buildings, plus parks and civic parking. The homes will potentially provide low-, medium- and market-price condos and rentals close to a range of jobs, including high-tech jobs at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, the Cancer Center of Hawaii, now under construction, and private businesses in bioscience.

So far, there have been 1,388 units built in Kakaako since 1988 that are either affordable rentals or affordable units for purchase, says HCDA. The already-built projects include three developments devoted to seniors. Another 187 affordable units are either permitted or under construction.

Currently available Kaka’ako area properties for sale

“In the early vision, it was the Blade Runner view,” says Anthony J.H. Ching, HCDA’s executive director. “We were going to be living in the stars and sky, with superblock condos connected by elevated walkways. The next permutation was mixed-use to accommodate small businesses, but still a high-rise community. But now, with (new urban-planning) rules emphasizing an active street scene, we’re back down to the street. We want people to be able to walk along, to look into the windows, to engage.

“It will be like the Whole Foods corner in Kailua – there’s a sidewalk, a living wall that softens the building, and you can walk out into the trellis area and just sit there though you’re not far away from a four-lane road. But it’s softened with a landscaped median and you feel comfortable enough to engage in a conversation. It’s casual. It encourages people to interact. Imagine if you have that kind of environment in Kakaako?”

This vision for the future includes a cultural overlay from projects envisioned by OHA on 30 acres of newly acquired state land makai of Ala Moana boulevard. The agreement, finalized July 1, transferring 10 parcels worth $200 million, largely settles the longstanding dispute between OHA and the state over shared
revenues for the use of Public Land Trust lands. It sets the stage for OHA to develop affordable rental housing, a cultural center to celebrate Native Hawaiian arts, an ocean-side promenade with a string of stores, and a high-rise up to 200 feet high at 919 Ala Moana to provide space for Native Hawaiian service organizations. Additionally OHA wants perpetual access to the ocean at Kewalo Basin.

A master plan will be developed for OHA’s 10 parcels, says OHA chairwoman Colette Machado, and it’s expected to be complete within two years.

Currently available Kaka’ako area properties for sale

OHA has asked HCDA to pull back on plans to develop two loading dock piers in front of Fisherman’s Wharf in order to keep that waterfront open. “We want that place free, to be able to house the Hokulea and other canoes,” Machado says. “… This is a no-brainer for Hawaiians. We want unimpeded access to the shoreline. That’s why Kakaako is so important to the trustees. It’s the last valuable shoreline in Honolulu.”

However, according to Stu Glauberman, compliance assurance and community outreach officer for HCDA, Kewalo Basin’s harbor remains within the purview of HCDA. “Plans for harbor improvements have not changed nor been put on hold,” he says. Current plans call for KB Marine L.P., which has a 50-year lease, to build two wave-abatement fences and 100 mooring slips at a cost to KB of $20 million. Plans for the loading docks at Fisherman’s Wharf call for them to be built with harbor revenues and $3 million from the state revolving fund, but there’s no set timeline in place.

The final details of Kakaako’s transformation will change and be debated over the coming two decades, but the broad strokes seem guided by a vision that the major landowners share with the governor.

“What I want to see,” Abercrombie says, “is a contem-porary Hawaiian version of organic architecture in a context of urban growth, where high density in the core can be transposed into community life that reflects Hawaii and its basic values.

“If you go high, then you can disperse your density at street level, where people live, and prevent urban sprawl.
It will emphasize walking, open space, view-plane corridors. You’ll see it like a village.”

Weekend lottery to decide who will buy condos at former Honolulu Advertiser site

Weekend lottery to decide who will buy condos at former Honolulu Advertiser site

Duane Shimogawa | Reporter- Pacific Business News  |  Mar 22, 2013, 3:36pm HST

The developer of a $200 million high-rise affordable condominium tower planned for the site of the former Honolulu Advertiser building will conduct a lottery on Saturday to decide who will snatch up the units, which are priced between $250,000 and $550,000.

This rendering shows Downtown Capital LLC's 801 South St. project, which will be built on the site of the former Honolulu Advertiser building in Honolulu. Courtesy Downtown Capital LLC

More than 4,000 people have visited the sales office at the corner of Queen and Keawe streets in pursuit of a unit in the 46-story tower at 801 South St., which will feature a mix of studio and one-and-two bedroom units.

The lottery will be conducted at the sales office starting at 10 a.m. Those who turned in eligibility packets are welcome to attend, but they don’t have to be present if their number is chosen.

The results will be posted online at

“We are very pleased but frankly not surprised at the robust interest in the units,” Project Developer Marshall Hung of Downtown Capital LLC said in a statement. “This project addresses the critical shortage of housing that Hawaii’s residents can afford in Honolulu’s urban core.”

All of the 635 units are priced as workforce housing units. Bank of Hawaii (NYSE: BOH) will be the lead lender for the construction financing.

The developer expects to sell out quickly, paving the way for a second tower made up of 400 workforce housing units.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority approved the project last December. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

The project team includes Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Kazu Yato AIA & Associates Inc. and Marcus & Associates.

California developer Franco Mola plans to build workforce housing in Kaka’ako

Duane Shimogawa  |  Reporter- Pacific Business News
Apr 2, 2013, 1:54pm HST

A California-based real estate developer is planning to demolish several existing single-story industrial buildings and develop a 20-story, 217-unit workforce housing condominium project with ground-floor retail space in the Kakaako neighborhood in Honolulu.

The property, at 803 Waimanu St., encompasses a little more than 21,000 square feet.

It was once on the market for $4.8 million, according to the commercial real estate property website LoopNet.

The planned project also includes parking for 245 vehicles.

According to the plans, there will be no amenities and the ground floor may include a convenience store such as a 7-Eleven.

“It seems like these types of projects are catching on,” Hawaii Community Development Authority Director of Planning and Development Deekpak Neupane told PBN. “I think as far as affordable housing goes, it’s a good project.”

It will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Neupane says that a two-bedroom unit would go for about $350,000.

Construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of next year and be done in 24 months.

The HCDA has scheduled a public hearing at which the developer, Franco Mola’s MJF Development Corp., will present its plans on May 1 with decision-making scheduled for June 5.

MJF Development could not be reached for comment.

Mola is no stranger to the Hawaii market, as he once had plans to redevelop the former Honolulu Advertiser property on Kapiolani Boulevard into a two-tower commercial and residential complex, which is now a project headed up by Hawaii developer Marshall Hung.

Kakaako Properties For Sale

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