The Howard Hughes Corp. says it will begin construction on Ward Village’s Aeo mixed-use, residential tower, including Oahu’s flagship Whole Foods Market, in March.


The 466-unit complex, designed by architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, will be located at 1001 Queen Street and built on the site of what is now the former Nordstrom Rack and Office Depot building, which will be razed to make way for the new development.

Ward Village representatives say they are continuing to work with Office Depot, since no specific moving date has been set yet.

When completed in 2018, Aeo will include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom residences that overlook the ocean and range in size from 409 to 1,331 square feet. The building will also have a lap pool; a dedicated family activity area with a pool and children’s play area; a climate-controlled gym; an outdoor lanai for yoga and meditation; a wellness center with steam and sauna rooms; a private theater; a dog-run area; surfboard and bicycle storage; and outdoor dining spaces.

Apart from the 50,000-square-foot flagship Whole Foods Market will be built on the ground floor of Aeo, the mixed-use development will also include approximately 12,000 square feet of additional retail space, with outdoor seating and retail parking.

Darin Moriki
Pacific Business News

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Interest high in condos at Ae’o with Whole Foods in equation

aeo_star_01A lottery will be held Saturday for condo sales in the planned Ae‘o tower at Ward Village. Pictured is a model of the Ae‘o condominium complex, which will be built at Kamakee and Queen streets.proper prior planning precents piss poor performance

The prospect of living above a Whole Foods store in Kakaako has attracted considerable interest for condominium units in a planned tower at Ward Village where an initial group of buyers will be selected by lottery Saturday.

Howard Hughes Corp., the developer of the tower called Ae‘o, said prospective buyers enrolled in the lottery as of Wednesday outnumber available condo units. However, only 234 of 466 units in the tower are available for sale.

“We received kind of overwhelming demand for the building,” said Race Randle, the company’s vice president of development in Hawaii. “A tremendous response.”

The 40-story Ae‘o represents the fourth planned high-rise condo to begin sales at Ward Village — a master plan approved for up to 22 towers on 60 acres.

Of the four towers being sold, Ae‘o has the most units and is the least pricey even though the average price is about $1 million.

Prices for Ae‘o units range from $405,016 for a studio with 409 square feet of living space to $2 million for a three-bedroom unit with 1,331 square feet of living space.

Hughes Corp. began offering 234 units for sale on July 8 to would-be buyers who will live in the units as owner-occupants for at least a year. The remaining 232 units will be offered for sale later without restrictions.

Sybil Saito, a local resident who entered the lottery, said she and her husband are interested in downsizing from their four-bedroom home in Waialae Nui to a two-bedroom unit in Ae‘o.

Being able to walk to the beach and a movie theater — along with having a Whole Foods downstairs — lent appeal to the idea of living in the growing urban Honolulu high-rise community, Saito said. Also, three adult children in the family will have graduated from college by 2018 when Ae‘o is slated to be completed.

“The timing is great,” said Saito, who was born and raised in Honolulu. ”We’ve always lived in a house. We might be ready to do something different.”

Applications for the lottery will be accepted until midnight Friday. The order of lottery tickets selected will allow ticket holders to sign purchase contracts for units that remain available.

Ae‘o is adjacent to the city’s planned rail line and will replace an Office Depot store and space previously occupied by Nordstrom Rack at the makai-Ewa corner of Queen and Kamakee streets behind the movie theaters at Ward Village. The tower is among a growing number of new Honolulu condo buildings integrated with big retail stores.

At Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s largest shopping center, the One Ala Moana condo tower opened in November adjacent to Nordstrom above the store’s parking garage, and construction is underway on the Park Lane Ala Moana condo adjacent to a planned Bloomingdale’s store.

Nick Vanderboom, Hughes Corp.’s senior vice president of development, said residents in Ae‘o will be able to walk into the 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods store from a second-floor connection in the building.

“I think a lot of people love the concept of living above a grocery store,” he said. “They don’t have to shop for the whole week. You can almost go there every day.”

Ae‘o is part of the second phase of Ward Village. The first phase began with construction of two luxury condo towers, Waiea and Anaha, last year.

According to the most recent quarterly financial report from Texas-based Hughes Corp., 148 of 177 units at Waiea had been sold as of April 30 for an average $3.7 million. At Anaha, 241 of 311 units had been sold for an average of $1.3 million as of April 30.

A more moderate-priced tower called 988 Halekauwila with 424 units expected to roughly range from $300,000 to $700,000 is part of phase one, but has been delayed by financing issues and an unsuccessful attempt by Hughes Corp. to convert the condo project to rentals earlier this year.

The second phase of Ward Village includes one other tower for which Hughes Corp. has begun sales. That tower is one of two referred to as the Gateway Towers on part of where Ward Warehouse stands. Sales began July 7 for 63 units reserved for owner-occupants in the 125-unit ultra-luxury tower that Vanderboom said is priced similar to Waiea.

By Andrew Gomes


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