Hawaii agency approves Howard Hughes’ Kakaako residential project

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s planned 988 Halekauwila project

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.’s planned 988 Halekauwila project

The Hawaii Community Development Authority gave its final approval Wednesday on The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Kakaako residential project at 988 Halekauwila St.

The Texas-based developer plans to start construction on the mostly affordable for-sale condominium tower across from Sports Authority by late 2016, according to its senior vice president of development, Nick Vanderboom.

“We have no exact timeframe,” he said to the HCDA board. “We’re committed to moving the project forward as fast as we can in order to bring it to the market.”

The project, which was originally approved by the HCDA as a for-sale development, was then proposed by the developer as a rental project.

However, the HCDA board struck down that request and told Howard Hughes to stay with its original plan as a for-sale project.

Its original permit includes building a tower with 424 for-sale units, including 375 reserved units.

“Ward Village looks forward to working with the HCDA board and towards a shared vision for a healthy, livable Kakaako that the entire community will enjoy and appreciate,” said David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., in a statement. “We are committed to affordable housing at Ward Village, and will do so with a for-sale project at 988 Halekauwila, as originally approved by the HCDA. [On Wednesday], we finalized the next steps to move the project forward as quickly as possible.”

The project, which is being planned for the former site of the Kanpai Bar & Grill and Dixie Grill, and the current California Rock ‘N Sushi, is part of The Howard Hughes Corp.’s first phase of its 60-acre Ward Village master plan.

Under the current rules, Howard Hughes can’t move people into its Waiea and Anaha luxury condos, which are also part of phase one, until it puts financial assurance that it will build 988 Halekauwila, or starts construction on the project.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News