Construction set to start on Whole Foods condo tower in Kakaako

aeo_wholefoodsThe Howard Hughes Corp. plans to start construction on its mixed-use condominium that will include Whole Foods Market’s flagship Hawaii location in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako on Thursday, the Texas-based developer said.

Located at 1001 Queen St., at the corner of Queen and Kamakee streets behind the Ward Entertainment Center, Aeo will include 466 units and a 54,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market store on the ground floor.

The tower and organic supermarket chain will replace Office Depot on the block that used to also house a Nordstrom Rack, which has relocated within Ward Village.

During Halloween, a retailer selling costumes and other items for the late October holiday took the former Nordstrom Rack space, but has since closed.

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s (NYSE: HHC) 60-acre Ward Village includes two mixed-use luxury residential towers — Waiea and Anaha — that are now under construction, as well as Aeo, Gateway Towers and Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila St, which will include a Longs Drugs store.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News

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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Howard Hughes Corp. may ‘adjust’ prices for some units at Honolulu condo tower


The Howard Hughes Corp. says it may “adjust” the sales price of its remaining condominium units in its Aeo mixed-use residential project in Honolulu in response to the high demand and interest seen since an initial lottery began last month for the project, which will include Whole Foods Market’s new Hawaii flagship store.

An e-mail sent by Ward Village Residential Sales Director Dwight Synan to prospective buyers said the new prices will take effect on Aug. 10. He also noted that all of the studio units in Aeo, which had a starting price of $405,016, were sold out.

He said people who have already expressed interest in the project can purchase a unit at the old price before the price increase takes effect.

As it is currently proposed, The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) has said the 466-unit complex will also include 60,000 square feet of retail spaces. Construction on the project, which will be built on the Office Depot and former Nordstrom Rack site behind the Ward Entertainment Center complex, is slated to be complete by 2018.

Under the new price list, prices for one-bedroom units will start at $817,000. Initially, the starting price for those units was $573,000, but all the lower-priced units have sold out. Prices for two-bedroom units will start at $1.04 million, instead of the previous $860,000 since those lower-priced units have also sold out. Prices of three-bedroom units will start at $1.76 million.

Some real estate industry experts say the decision to increase prices is not a surprising one and are the result of demand for more housing options.

“It’s uncommon, but it is market driven, and we have an uncommon market relative to the rest of the world,” Ricky Cassiday, real estate economist from Data@Work, told PBN in an email. “Hawaii residential property can be very volatile, especially on the upside. Historically, we have seen price appreciation at double-digit increases.”

Jon Yamaguchi, president and CEO of his Yamaguchi & Yamaguchi Inc. real estate appraisal and consulting services company, said the big question now is what type of role will speculative buyers will eventually have on the market.

“Those are the ones who are going to hurt the market because we’ve seen it before,” Yamaguchi said. “If you’re spread very thin, you don’t have the financial backing, and you’re banking on flipping it, but it doesn’t happen because there’s too much supply, then you’re going to have all of these guys who are going to start dumping and that’s when you start having a falloff market.”

Construction also is continuing on the Texas-based developer’s Waiea and Anaha mixed-use towers nearby, which are slated to be finished at the end of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017, respectively. Meanwhile, the design process is being finalized for the master planned community’s 988 Halekauwila project, which will have 375 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable units and is slated to be complete by 2019.

The story has been revised to clarify that the lower-priced units have sold out.

Darin Moriki
Pacific Business News


Lottery to start sales for half of 466 condo units in Howard Hughes’ Aeo project

aeo_wholefoodsLottery to start sales for half of 466 condo units in Howard Hughes’ Aeo project

The Howard Hughes Corp. is opening sales for its third Honolulu condominium tower in its Ward Village master plan, Aeo at 1001 Queen Street, this weekend with 234 of the building’s total 466 units being offered to owner-occupants in a public lottery.

The building, which is being designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, will also have 60,000 square feet of retail, including Hawaii’s flagship Whole Foods Market store, is being built on the former Nordstrom Rack and Office Depot site behind the Ward Entertainment Center, is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

It’s the third tower to start sales for Texas-based Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), which said in May that its two other towers under construction, the 171-unit Waiea project and the 311-unit Anaha project, were more than 75 percent sold.

Prices for the owner-occupant units at Aeo, whose buyers will be required to use them as their principal residence for at least one year, begin at $405,016 for a 409-square-foot one-bath studio, $573,000 for a 612-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath unit; $860,000 for an 860-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath unit; and $1.39 million for a 1,239 square-foot three-bedroom, three-bath unit.

The public lottery for the units will be held on Saturday at the Howard Hughes sales office at the IBM Building at 1240 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 100.

Darin Moriki Reporter Pacific Business News

Sales to begin at Ward Village’s Aeo at 1001 Queen Street tower

Sales, including an owner-occupant lottery, are slaeo_star_03ated to begin Saturday, July 18, for Aeʻo at 1001 Queen Street.

The 466-unit mixed-use condominium tower will be built at the corner of Queen and Kamakee streets, and include Hawaii’s future flagship Whole Foods Market.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.

Ae‘o will include studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 409 to 1,331 square feet, each including partial ocean views. Prices start in the low $400,000s.

Amenities include a lap pool with ocean views, a dedicated family activity area with 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 theater, surfboard and bicycle storage, and outdoor dining spaces.

Ae‘o (pronounced “eye-oh”) is named after the Hawaiian stilt bird. The building is designed by architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and will feature a contemporary exterior inspired by the patterns of local trade winds.

Hundreds enter lottery for Ae’o condominiums at Ward Village

About 450 people on Saturday entered the owner-occupant “lottery” to buy a condominium at Ae’o in Ward Village.

The 466-unit mixed-use condominium tower will be built at the corner of Queen Street and Kamakee Street, and includes Hawaii’s future flagship Whole Foods Market.

KHON2 got a tour of one of the models.

The development offers studios, one, two and three-bedroom units.

Each will include partial ocean views and prices start in the low $400,000 range.

KHON2 spoke to one woman who was at the lottery for her daughter.

“She would just walk out of the condo, get her groceries go to restaurants, anything like that she would love it,” said Lindy Hashimoto.

Amenities include a lap pool with ocean views, a family area with a pool, a gym and a wellness center with steam and sauna rooms.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.

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