Early-morning fire reported at Howard Hughes condo project under construction in Honolulu

11/15/2015

11/15/2015

An early-morning fire on Wednesday was reported on a high floor of The Howard Hughes Corp.’s $403 million Waiea luxury condominium project under construction in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Jenkins said fire crews first received a call at 4:57 a.m. about a two-alarm structure fire at 1044 Auahi St. He said the first responders arrived at 5:02 a.m. to find that there was a fire at the upper level of the Waiea project, which has been under construction since last summer.

Rob Centra, senior vice president of design and construction management at Ward Village for The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), said the fire occurred on the 21st floor of the Waiea project, which will eventually have 36 stories. Centra did not disclose the extent of any damage but did say the fire was not expected to delay construction or push back the building’s planned completion date in late 2016.

The isolated blaze was brought under control by 5:43 a.m. and fully extinguished two minutes later. No injuries were reported, and investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

“There were complications, since the building was under construction,” Jenkins told PBN on Wednesday morning. “The standpipe system did not go up to the area that was on fire, so the fire department utilized three fire extinguishers and a utility hose at the site to bring the fire under control.”

A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Darin Moriki
Reporter
Pacific Business News

Luxury Honolulu condo Waiea foregoes … trash chutes?

A penthouse in the proposed Waiea tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.'s Ward Village in Honolulu, seen in this rendering has a price tag of $20 million, the developer said Friday.

A penthouse in the proposed Waiea tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village in Honolulu, seen in this rendering has a price tag of $20 million, the developer said Friday.

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Waiea luxury condominium, currently under construction in the Texas-based developer’s 60-acre Ward Village in Kakaako, was designed and is being built without trash chutes, the developer confirmed to PBN.

The 36-story, 171-unit condo going up on a former parking lot across from the Ward Consolidated Theatres is one of the first high-rises in Honolulu to skip this common feature.

The developer’s other luxury condo, Anaha, being built diagonally across from Waiea on a former Pier 1 Imports site, has trash chutes.

Race Randle, vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN in an email that Waiea has been designed with trash and recycling rooms on each floor, in lieu of trash chutes.

“This is based on common practice in luxury high-rise developments in cities such as Vancouver and London where trash and recyclables are conveniently collected by staff,” he said. “This proven method, which is being applied to Waiea, offers an added level of service to residents, ensuring effective service and encouraging recycling as part of our LEED Platinum neighborhood.”

When asked by PBN whether other planned condos in Ward Village would have trash chutes, the developer would not specify if any other projects would follow Waiea’s trash and recycling room design, only to say that this method may be applied to future buildings at Ward Village.

In its condo public report released in November, The Howard Hughes Corp. said that there would be no trash chutes in Waiea.

For at least two other condo developments currently under construction in Kakaako, Alexander & Baldwin Inc.’s The Collection and OliverMcMillan’s Symphony Honolulu, trash chutes are being incorporated into the projects, according to their condo public reports.

Waiea was designed by award-winning Vancouver-based architect James K.M. Cheng in collaboration with Honolulu architect Rob Iopa, president of WCIT Architecture.

Nordic PCL Construction is the general contractor for the project at 1118 Ala Moana Blvd.

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter
Pacific Business News

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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Half of units in Howard Hughes’ luxury Honolulu towers sold to Hawaii residents

remade_003More than half of the buyers in The Howard Hughes Corp.’s first two luxury condominium towers in Honolulu are from Hawaii, with the remaining buyers from Japan, Canada, China, Korea, Australia and the Mainland, the Texas-based developer said Friday in a letter to its shareholders.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said that 25 percent of the buyers of the total of 482 units in the Anaha and Waiea towers under construction in Kakaako — which, combined, are more than 80 percent sold — are from Japan, while about 10 percent are from the Mainland U.S.

“The sales to date demonstrate the pent-up demand for quality residential product in the urban core of Honolulu, and the broader undersupply of housing on the island of Oahu,” David Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corp., said in the letter. “Despite the increase in recent development activity on Oahu, current housing production remains near historic lows.”

Oahu needs to produce about 4,000 units annual simply to meet existing demand, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

Honolulu single-family housing permits in 2014 totaled only 809, resulting in an ongoing shortfall that is difficult to close due to the lack of available land for development, the developer said.

“2014 was also a seminal year in progressing the next phase of projects at Ward Village,” Weinreb said. “In November, we obtained approval of the Ward Village Gateway, two towers designed by Richard Meier & Partners that will frame the initial portion of our four-acre community park space, connecting the core of the community from the harbor to a planned rail stop in the heart of our site. We also made progress on plans to bring a major grocery store to the neighborhood.”

In May, the developer signed a lease agreement with Whole Foods Market for a 50,000-square-foot store that will become its Honolulu flagship store.

In addition to Whole Foods, The Howard Hughes Corp. said its plan for this block includes additional retail and over 400 residential units, designed by internationally renowned architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson who are probably best known for their work creating flagship Apple stores. The developer received approval for this project in February.

“Our focus on bringing the top architectural talent from around the globe to Hawaii is something that we believe will further separate Ward Village from its competition, creating a community that is unique not just in Hawaii, but benchmarked against other great urban master plans across the globe like Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Battersea Power Station in London,” Weinreb said.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes Corp. says Honolulu luxury towers three-quarters sold

anaha_01The Howard Hughes Corp. said Monday that 88 percent and 78 percent of the units in its two luxury condominiums in Kakaako — 171-unit Waiea and 311-unit Anaha — werre under contract as of Feb. 1, according to the Dallas-based developer’s 2014 annual report.

Located on a former surface parking lot fronting Ala Moana Boulevard, diagonally across from Anaha’s site, Waiea is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Anaha, which is located on the former Pier 1 Imports site, is anticipated to be completed in 2017, The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said.

As of Feb. 1, it has received $155.8 million in buyer deposits for Waiea and Anaha, which represent $854.4 million of contracted gross sales revenue.

Both towers are expected to cost about $804 million to develop.

The developer recently closed on $1.3 billion of property financings and refinancings, including a $600 million construction financing for Waiea and Anaha.

ONE Ala Moana, a 206-unit luxury condo located on Nordstrom’s parking garage, which was developed in a joint venture involving The Howard Hughes Corp., The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, closed on the sale of 201 of its units in the fourth quarter.

During 2014, the Texas-based developer also entered into a 20-year lease with Whole Foods Market to open a flagship store as part of a residential project in Kakaako.

Additionally, The Howard Hughes Corp. got approvals for the Ward Gateway condo towers to be built where Ward Warehouse is now located.

The company reported a profit of $111 million in 2014, up slightly from a profit of $109 million in 2013.

In the fourth quarter, it reported a profit of about $22 million, down from $44.4 million the same quarter in 2013.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Living on top of the world — Hawaii style

Amenities mean everything when money is no object

Howard Hughes Waiea In a model unit of the planned Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village in Kakaako, which will soon be home to two ultra-luxury condominium buildings called Waiea and Anaha, and where a yet-to-be-built penthouse.

“Wave at the toilet,” Shanefield, the project’s development manager, tells a guest.

With a flutter of the hand, the lid of the electric toilet, which is made by Toto and retails for around $2,500, opens as if by magic.

From start to finish, the user never has to touch the lavatory.

Welcome to the world of high-end amenities that are now becoming more and more standard in new condos and homes in Hawaii. While Waiea and Anaha won’t be ready for two years, sales began last month. And, while members of the sales team declined to disclose numbers, they say that units, ranging from 727 to 3,500 square feet and priced from $500,000 to more than $20 million, are selling at a brisk pace to high-end buyers who are flush with cash and who want the best in the latest high-end amenities.

What buyers are looking for now in amenities is function. They want all the “extras,” but not extras such as, say, a gift-wrapping room, or four-inch granite countertops that drive the price of a condo up, when a one-inch countertop will do.

They want things, but they want things that they will actually use.

Howard Hughes Waiea“Simplicity seems to be a theme for both the high-end clientele and your median-priced home buyer,” said Ryan MacLaughlin, a Realtor with Island Sotheby’s International Realty on Maui. “Both young and old are looking for the more comfortable, smaller-sized homes with amenities at their fingertips. They are not looking for the mega house or the five-car garage, or the Olympic-sized swimming pool. They seem to be driving their economically efficient car to their more conservative-sized smart home where they can run everything in the home from their iPhone or Pad, and be able to take a dip in their pool in their very private backyard.”

Indeed, but while they don’t want an Olympic-sized pool, they do want an infinity pool, which Anaha will have — in some units. And, if they don’t want a mega-sized home, they want one that makes them feel like they are truly living the quintessential Hawaii lifestyle. Many are moving in because he wants a place where he can maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The first thing we capitalize on is the view or whatever natural attributes that are obvious,” said Peter Vincent of Peter Vincent Architects. “That’s timeless, but it continues to be a more casual lifestyle. People aren’t looking for a lot of formal spaces. People live in Hawaii because they like the casual lifestyle. There may be elegance, too, but typically they are not looking for formality and really embrace the outdoor lifestyle.”

More than ever, people are willing to pay for that lifestyle and the amenities that make that possible. That includes building homes that are open and airy, rather than compartmentalized.

Home buyers want “flexi-rooms” that can serve dual purposes.

“The key amenity is being outdoors,” said Race Randle, director of development for the Howard Hughes Corp. And that includes while showering, which is why outdoor showers are very popular in single-family homes.

Howard Hughes WaieaRob Kildow, principal broker of Hualalai Realty on the Big Island, sells homes at the resort that range from $5 million to $27 million. People who buy them want to feel like they are outside when they are inside, and vice-versa.

“There is no difference from being outside and inside,” he said.

Once inside, buyers want the best. Kitchens at the Hughes projects have quartzite countertops, with no visible handles on the cabinets. A wine cabinet near the refrigerator, which retails for around $8,000, holds 106 bottles. The Miele refrigerator, which retails for around $8,300, through the power of technology automatically lets a repairman know when it needs to be repaired.

Speaking of automation, it is now considered a standard amenity. With the widespread use of iPads and other tablet computers, everyone can open their blinds without touching them. They can control the temperature, and high-end security systems let them keep an eye on home while they are away.

While the kitchen has always been the hub of many a home, Marion Philpotts-Miller, a principal with Philpotts Interiors in Honolulu, said that is truer than ever today. Separate, alcoved dining areas are out. Developers are concentrating on installing the best appliances, particularly Miele. The Ward Village buildings have Miele ovens — a convection oven, a regular oven and a steam oven – that retail for around $2,000 to $3,000 each. They also feature Miele coffee systems that retail for around $3,000 that Randle calls the best in the world, along with a sliding warming tray for mugs.

Light serves as another functional amenity.

“They like the lighting systems that are much more sophisticated,” Philpotts-Miller said. “Between art lighting and pin stops on floral arrangements to the uplighting of coral walls, it’s become much more of an art and discipline.”

Outside the residences, the amenity levels of the Ward Village buildings include playgrounds, putting greens, open-air dining areas, steam rooms, bars, tennis and volleyball courts, cinemas, media rooms and libraries.

Another major condo project currently underway in Honolulu is ONE Ala Moana, which is being developed by a partnership of the Howard Hughes Corp., The MacNaughton Group and the Kobayashi Group. The building is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and will include a wine-tasting room as well as a chef’s kitchen where residents can host personal chef-inspired dinner parties.

Howard Hughes WaieaMuch of the work for these high-end projects is done off-island. For example, the primary architects and designers on the project are located on the Mainland, Randle said, because few firms on Oahu can handle such a large project by themselves.

Instead, Howard Hughes has contracted big-name architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz and James K.M. Cheng and paired them with local firms on Oahu, Benjamin Woo Architects and WCIT Architecture.

Randle said the pairings work because while the larger firms plan the overall grand vision of the buildings, the smaller firms are local and can handle the day-to-day issues that come up, such as making sure the buildings meet Hawaii building codes.

Despite the trend toward simplicity, many mega-rich buyers still want mega-amenities, and Kildow knows them well. He said the most over-the-top amenity he has seen is one homeowner who put in a $3 million kitchen.

Jeffrey Long, the founder of Honolulu architectural firm Long & Associates and known for his opulent homes, also has had some over-the-top requests.

“One homeowner requested that we design a Star Wars theater for his residence,” he said. “The result was spectacular, with a life-sized C-3PO and R2-D2 and blue LED lights. We also designed a home with an infinity pool on the upper level, right outside the living room, capturing the spectacular views.

Long said his firm also has had requests for water parks, indoor car displays and elevators that bring the cars up from the basement.

But one request really stands out.

“The craziest thing we [designed] for a client was a 20-person home bomb shelter,” he said.


Howard Hughes Corp. breaks ground on Waiea condo tower in Honolulu

From left, David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii, the Howard Hughes Corp.; David Weinreb, president and CEO, the Howard Hughes Corp.; Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Mayor Kirk Caldwell; and Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development, the Howard Hughes Corp., at the groundbreaking for the Waiea condominium at the Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu.

From left, David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii, the Howard Hughes Corp.; David Weinreb, president and CEO, the Howard Hughes Corp.; Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Mayor Kirk Caldwell; and Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development, the Howard Hughes Corp., at the groundbreaking for the Waiea condominium at the Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu.

Howard Hughes Corp. President and CEO David Weinreb was joined by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Saturday for the groundbreaking on the Waiea condominium tower at Ward Village in Kakaako Saturday morning, with the governor saying that the massive residential, commercial and retail community will be like nothing Hawaii has seen before.

“Respect the past, but live in the present in order to create the future,” Abercrombie said to an audience of dozens that included future residents of the tower. He said the Ward Village represents a collaboration among political, economic and social circles that has never before existed in Hawaii.

If things go according to plan, that future includes two luxury towers— Waiea and Anaha — that will be built by the Howard Hughes Corp. and are geared toward higher-level income residents, as well as other, more affordable condominium towers that will eventually be built. Whole Foods Market (NYSE: WFM) recently announced that it will open a 50,000-square-foot store in Ward Village.

The project will have a total economic impact of $975 million and represents $2 million in annual property taxes for the City and County of Honolulu, said David Striph, senor vice president of Hawaii for the Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC).

Caldwell told PBN that the project has been almost 40 years in the making, since the Hawaii Community Development Authority was founded.

He said about $300 million has been put into infrastructure improvements and that Kakaako is ready for such a large project.

Weinreb told PBN that the biggest challenge was assimilating the needs of the community into the project.

Abercrombie told PBN that seniors will enjoy living in a place where they can walk wherever they need to go.

The project represents the beginning of a new era for Honolulu, Caldwell said.

“We are on the cusp of becoming a capital for the Asia-Pacific area,” he said. “A true capital city we can all brag about.”

Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business News

ANAHA - Click here for residence details and floor plans

ANAHA – Click here for residence details and floor plans

WAIEA - Click here for residence details and floor plans

WAIEA – Click here for residence details and floor plans

ANAHA TOWER
WAIEA TOWER

Groundbreaking for Howard Hughes Corp.’s Waiea condominium tower in Honolulu slated for Saturday

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood— Anaha and Waiea, seen here in this rendering.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood— Anaha and Waiea, seen here in this rendering.

Groundbreaking for Howard Hughes Corp.’s Waiea condominium tower in Honolulu slated for Saturday

The Howard Hughes Corp. will break ground Saturday on Waiea at Ward Village in Kakaako, the first of two planned luxury condominium towers, where a penthouse is listed for a record $20 million.

The groundbreaking is slated for 10 a.m. at the site. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Carldwell is expected to join Gov. Neil Abercrombie and project officials for the ceremony.

Construction on the condominium tower project at 1118 Ala Moana Blvd. will begin this month.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) says Ward Village will be a mixed-use master-planned development with 4,000 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of retail and commercial space.

Seventy percent of the 171 units in the Waiea tower and 55 percent of the 311 units in the planned Anaha tower diagonally across the street have sold.

Prices at Waiea range from $1 million for a one-bedroom unit to $20 million for a penthouse.

Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business News

The Howard Hughes Corp. reports strong sales for two ultra-luxury high-rise condominiums in Kakaako

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood— Anaha and Waiea, seen here in this rendering.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood— Anaha and Waiea, seen here in this rendering.

The Howard Hughes Corp. reports strong sales for two ultra-luxury high-rise condominiums in Kakaako

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

The Howard Hughes Corp. has reached contractual agreements for about half of the 482 units in its two ultra-luxury high-rises in Kakaako — Anaha and Waiea — part of its Ward Village master-planned community, according to its first-quarter earnings report released Thursday.

“We are pleased with the sales progress to date, which is proceeding according to our expectations for the high-quality residences we are developing,” the Texas-based developer said.

It also has received $55 million in buyer deposits, representing about $609 million of gross sales revenue for the two high-rises, which began pre-sales in February. The gross sales revenue assumes that buyers will close on the units when they are completed.

Construction of the two towers is expected to get underway this summer.

Meanwhile, construction for ONE Ala Moana, a 206-unit ultra-luxury condominium tower being developed in a 50/50 joint venture involving The Howard Hughes Corp., The MacNaughton Group and the Kobayashi Group., is now 52 percent complete with an expected opening in the fourth quarter, the Howard Hughes Corp. said.

Howard Hughes says construction of Honolulu luxury condos to start in summer

Mar 6, 2014, 2:53pm HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

A penthouse in the proposed Waiea tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.'s Ward Village in Honolulu, seen in this rendering has a price tag of $20 million, the developer said Friday.

A penthouse in the proposed Waiea tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village in Honolulu, seen in this rendering has a price tag of $20 million, the developer said Friday.

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s two ultra-luxury condominium high-rises in Kakaako, which began the sales process last month, is expected to start construction this summer, the Texas-based developer said in its 2013 annual report to shareholders.

Thus far, The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) has spent $17.1 million on the development of the two towers, named Anaha and Waiea, which will add nearly 500 residential units to the Honolulu market, including a penthouse with an asking price of $20 million, a record for the highest asking price ever for a new condo unit in Hawaii.

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.

The developer also said in its annual report that it sold its rights to its 50/50 development joint venture for $47.5 million in the ONE Ala Moana ultra-luxury condo project, which is under construction atop the Nordstrom parking garage at Ala Moana Center.

The 206-unit ONE Ala Moana project is being developed by HHMK Development, which includes The MacNaughton and Kobayashi Group, as well as The Howard Hughes Corp., and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Company Disclaimer: Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.