Hawaii architect Rob Iopa shares the story behind the design of Kakaako’s Waiea tower

Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp. The Waiea tower

Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.
The Waiea tower

The Waiea, The Howard Hughes Corp.’s luxury residential high-rise on Ala Moana Boulevard, will feature one of the most unique exterior designs among the high-rises in Kakaako, reflecting the area in which it is being built.

Rob Iopa, president of Honolulu’s WCIT Architecture, who had a major role in designing the tower on a former surface parking lot in Ward Village, shared with PBN the story behind the design.

“Essentially, it’s a story of two Hawaiian fishing gods, a father and son from Kauai, who stopped on every island to teach everyone to fish,” he said. “They stopped in Kakaako and found this as their home. When the father passed, he gave his son five fishing tools that were used by Hawaiians to fish. The tower was designed with this story in mind.”

The tower, Iopa said, has two segments, the taller and shorter parts, with a net that creates the glass facade.

“This land was part of the ocean,” he said. “The former shoreline was right where Ala Moana Boulevard is.”

Another part of the story is that the Waiea is a rare example of a local architectural firm playing a major role in the exterior design of a new Kakaako high-rise. Most of the design work is going to out-of-state firms. Find out why in PBN’s Friday print edition.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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Oahu luxury housing sales set a record in 2014

This 4-bedroom, 3-bath home in Waialae Iki is currently on the market for about $1.8 million. A total of 842 single-family homes and condominiums on Oahu sold for $1 million or more in 2014, eclipsing a record set in 2005.

This 4-bedroom, 3-bath home in Waialae Iki is currently on the market for about $1.8 million. A total of 842 single-family homes and condominiums on Oahu sold for $1 million or more in 2014, eclipsing a record set in 2005.

Oahu’s luxury housing market set a record in 2014, with a total of 842 single-family homes and condominiums sold for $1 million or more, an increase of nearly 16 percent from 2013.

The previous peak for homes priced $1 million and above was in 2005 when 794 homes and condos were sold in this price range. Last year’s sales also surpassed the record set in 2005 by 6 percent.

“This price point appeals to a broad market including locals, buyers from the U.S. mainland and international second-home buyers,” she said.

The areas with the highest number of sales for homes over $1 million were Kahala and Diamond Head in East Oahu, while condos at this price range sold most significantly in Kakaako and Waikiki.

In the $4 million and above price range, the Lanikai and Beachside neighrborhoods in Kailua had the highest number of sales with 11 total closed sales.

Kahala and Diamond Head followed with eight closed sales each.

The largest transaction in 2014 was the record-breaking sale of a property consisting of two adjacent oceanfront lots on Kahala Avenue for about $19.4 million, which was brokered by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties’ Team of the Avenue in November. The two parcels were sold before they were listed.

A month-to-month comparison shows a total of 73 luxury properties changed hands last month, compared to 69 in December 2013.

The median sale price for luxury homes in December was $1.45 million, an increase of nearly 8 percent from $1.3 million during the same month in 2013.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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Shirokiya owner lists penthouse at ONE Ala Moana luxury condo for $12.5M

A pair of penthouse units at the newly completed 23-story ONE Ala Moana luxury condominium atop the Nordstrom parking garage at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, — including a combined residence and the grand penthouse owned by Takeshi Sekiguchi, owner of Shirokiya and Vintage Cave Honolulu — are already on the market for a total of $22.3 million.

Sekiguchi, a Japanese businessman who developed the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui and Ko Olina Resort on Oahu, paid about $9.7 million for the grand penthouse, according to public records.

The Nordstrom department store at Ala Moana Center is seen in this photo depicting a rendering of the ONE Ala Moana luxury condominium project, recently completed construction atop the parking garage next to Nordstrom. Two penthouse units are on the market for a combined $22.3 million.

The Nordstrom department store at Ala Moana Center is seen in this photo depicting a rendering of the ONE Ala Moana luxury condominium project, recently completed construction atop the parking garage next to Nordstrom. Two penthouse units are on the market for a combined $22.3 million.

He is now asking $12.5 million for the three-bedroom, three-bathroom 4,069-square-foot unit on the 23rd floor. SRE Matrix, a web-based Honolulu real estate firm that is also owned by Sekiguchi, is the listing firm for the fee-simple unit, which includes 180-degree views of the mountains and the ocean, a lanai and rooftop access.

Amenities include pool, jacuzzi, gym, media room, golf room, party room with kitchen, spa treatment room, barbecue area and kids recreation area. The monthly association fee for the grand penthouse is about $4,370.

The other unit, a combined penthouse unit with five bedrooms, five full- and two half-bathrooms and a second family room that is owned by Lally Family Trust, is on the market for $9.8 million with Heyer and Associates LLC. The combined units were purchased for a total of about $6.5 million, according to public records.

“I think we are seeing some profit taking as there is more inventory of proposed ultra-luxury units coming, especially with the Park Lane [Ala Moana] and Waiea projects [in Honolulu],” Trevor Benn, president and principal broker of Honolulu-based Benn Pacific Group Inc. told PBN in an email. “When an investor can achieve a 50 to 100 percent return so quickly, some will start to look for reinvestment opportunities.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who recently bought hundreds of acres of land on Kauai’s North Shore, has also reportedly purchased several multi-million-dollar units at ONE Ala Moana.

Other well-known buyers in Hawaii who have purchased units at ONE Ala Moana include Steve Sombrero, president of NAI ChaneyBrooks; Henk Rogers, founder of Blue Planet Foundation; Dave Erdman, president of PacRim Marketing Group; Eddie Flores Jr., president of L&L Drive-Inn and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue; Richard Lim, former director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Mike Irish, owner of Halm’s Enterprises; Peter Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Hawaii; Mark Bratton, vice president and investment properties division manager at Colliers International Hawaii; and Sachi Braden, owner of Sachi Hawaii.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Currently Listed For Sale at ONE Ala Moana

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Howard Hughes Corp.’s second Honolulu luxury tower to start construction in coming months

anaha_01The Howard Hughes Corp. is preparing to start construction in the coming months on its second luxury Honolulu condominium tower called Anaha that is planned for the former Pier 1 Imports location in Kakaako, the senior vice president for the Texas-based firm’s Hawaii operations told PBN.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said in its first quarter earnings report in March that it had pre-sold 54 percent of the project, which includes 311 units.

“Over the last few months, sales have continued to progress,” Howard Hughes Corp.’s Senior Vice President for Hawaii David Striph told PBN via email.

Last month, the developer broke ground on its Waiea luxury condo tower on a former surface parking lot fronting Ala Moana Boulevard, diagonally across from the Anaha site.

Both towers are part of the developer’s first phase of its Ward Village master plan.

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to add more than 900 residential units in the first phase of its Ward master plan, which includes these two mixed-use high-rises.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

 

Ultra-luxury condos at Hawaii’s Ala Moana Center to start construction soon

This diagram over an aerial photograph of Ala Moana Center provided by developers The MacNaughton Group, Kobayashi Group and BlackSand Capital shows where a group of ultra-luxury condominiums, as well as a new Bloomingdale's store, will be built.

This diagram over an aerial photograph of Ala Moana Center provided by developers The MacNaughton Group, Kobayashi Group and BlackSand Capital shows where a group of ultra-luxury condominiums, as well as a new Bloomingdale’s store, will be built.

The Honolulu developers of the $300 million Park Lane Ala Moana project, a row of seven ultra-luxury, condominium towers planned for what is now a parking area at Ala Moana Center held a ground blessing on Wednesday morning and plan to start construction within a couple of months, an executive from the development team told PBN.

Kathy Inouye, partner and chief operating officer of the Kobayashi Group LLC, which is developing the low-rise project along with The MacNaughton Group, BlackSand Capital and landowner General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), said prices for the 215 units in the project haven’t been established.

“[The ground blessing] is something that we like to do to thank the different [partners] we are working with, [including] the contractor that’s working on the site,” she said.

Located at 1488 Ala Moana Blvd., the eight-story buildings, which will each be 100 feet tall and have 215 units that range in size from 850 square feet to 6,000 square feet, also will include two floors of residential parking, 2.5 floors of commercial parking and amenity spaces.

Park Lane Ala Moana, which will be built adjacent to the Bloomingdale’s department store under construction at the state’s largest shopping mall that is undergoing a major redevelopment of its Ewa Wing, was first reported by PBN.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

ONE Ala Moana luxury high-rise expects 2014 completion date

Feb 28, 2014, 10:33am HST UPDATED: Feb 28, 2014, 11:16am HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

The construction scene at the One Ala Moana ultra-luxury condominium tower being built atop the Nordstrom parking garage at Ala Moana Center.

The construction scene at the One Ala Moana ultra-luxury condominium tower being built atop the Nordstrom parking garage at Ala Moana Center.

The ONE Ala Moana ultra-luxury condominium tower being built atop the Nordstrom parking garage at Ala Moana Center is expected to be completed by the end of this year with units selling for an average of $1.6 million, according to the Howard Hughes Corp., one of the development partners.

The Texas-based developer, part of HHMK Development, which also includes The MacNaughton and Kobayashi Group, provided additional details in its annual report this week.

The developers expect to invest a total of $265.1 million in the project, including construction, sales and financing costs. As of Dec. 31, they had spent $109.4 million, the Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said.

The project is being financed by a $132 million construction loan, along with two $20 million mezzanine loans from List Island Properties and A&B Properties, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (NYSE: ALEX).

In December 2012, all of ONE Ala Moana’s condo units sold within the first two days on the market for an average price of $1.6 million. As of last July, the developers had collected $66.2 million in buyer deposits, representing 20 percent of contracted sales prices.

Among the amenities in the 23-story, 206-unit building are a wine-tasting room, a chef’s kitchen where residents can bring in their personal chefs, and a private salon where personal shoppers from Ala Moana Center stores can bring items to residents.

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Ultra-luxury project at Ala Moana Center to include 215 condo units

Feb 5, 2014, 2:55pm HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

This rendering shows the six ultra-luxury condominium buildings planned for a portion of Ala Moana Center. The project will have a total of 215 units, according to a building permit filed with the City and County of Honolulu.

This rendering shows the six ultra-luxury condominium buildings planned for a portion of Ala Moana Center. The project will have a total of 215 units, according to a building permit filed with the City and County of Honolulu.

The planned seven ultra-luxury condominium towers to be built on what is now a parking area of Ala Moana Center fronting Ala Moana Boulevard will include 215 units with 109 two-bedroom units, 65 three-bedroom units, 36 one-bedroom units and five five-bedroom penthouses, according to a permit filed recently with the City and County of Honolulu.

The application for the “Low Rise Residential” project includes no other details, except that the estimated sewer connection date is set for Dec. 31.

PBN first reported on the project, which is being developed by Honolulu developers The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group as well as the Hawaii-based investment firm BlackSand Capital and mall owner General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP).

The eight-story buildings, which will be 100 feet tall, range in size from 850-square-foot units to 6,000-square-foot units and will have 2.5 floors of commercial parking.

No price ranges for the units were given for the project, which will be built adjacent to the Bloomingdale’s store under construction at Ala Moana Center. It is scheduled to start in mid-2014, with a completion date in 2016.

Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) is also moving its Ala Moana store to that end of the mall, along Piikoi Street, and a Whole Foods Market (NYSE: WFM) is being planned for the ground floor of that store.

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