Honolulu developers interested in re-visiting building in Kakaako

The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group would like to revisit developing projects in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako again in the future, an executive from one of the Honolulu firms told PBN.

Earlier this year, the two developers canceled plans to build the Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury high-rise condominium project and develop a neighboring parcel that would have added a total of 500 residential units to Kakaako.

“Primarily, it was the fact that we got off to a good start with our pre-sales, but over the past three to four months, there was a real slowdown in the market for Vida,” BJ Kobayashi, co-founder and partner of Kobayashi Group, previously told PBN. “Construction costs rising was probably one of the other factors.”

He also noted that there is stiff competition in Kakaako luxury residential market, where The Howard Hughes Corp. and Alexander & Baldwin Inc. also have projects.

“That doesn’t mean that, in the future, that there won’t be a space that could be absorbed,” Kobayashi said. “In our business, timing is everything.”

Jeff Arce, a partner with The MacNaughton Group, told PBN that when it came to Vida, there were a half dozen factors that led to the decision to not move forward with the project. That said, he noted that the developers did sell a lot of condo units.

Kobayashi pointed out that there are a couple of sites that the two firms are looking at possibly developing, and one of those sites could be a high-rise project. The developers already have built the Hokua condo project in Kakaako and ONE Ala Moana near Ala Moana Center.

“Our hands are full,” he said. “Our firms are always in the market looking for great high-rise sites.”

The firms are currently in some sort of development phase for two condo projects in Honolulu, including Park Lane Ala Moana, which is under construction at the state’s largest shopping mall, and the 133 Kaiulani condo-hotel project in Waikiki.

Read more about Honolulu’s growing luxury condo market in Friday’s print edition of PBN.