Howard Hughes switches Kakaako tower back to for-sale condo units, not rentals

This file rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s planned 424-unit, mostly affordable

This file rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.’s planned 424-unit, mostly affordable

The Howard Hughes Corp. has changed its plans for a Kakaako residential project back to a mostly affordable for-sale condominium tower after requesting a Hawaii agency approve the project as a rental development, an executive from the Texas-based developer confirmed to PBN Thursday.

David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), told PBN in an email Thursday that the company looks forward to working with the Hawaii Community Development Authority board and toward a “shared vision for a healthy, livable Kakaako that the entire community will enjoy and appreciate.”

“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,” he said. “We are working with the board to find a way to move the project forward as quickly as possible that works for all.”

The HCDA originally approved the developer’s 988 Halekauwila St. project, which will be built across from Sports Authority on Ward Avenue, as a for-sale development.

However, earlier this year, Howard Hughes Corp. filed a request with the HCDA to change the Ward Village project to a rental development.

Last month, the state agency, which regulates development in the Honolulu neighborhood, struck down the developer’s request, but a final decision isn’t expected until next month.

The HCDA board took up the issue this week, but after receiving the new proposal to switch the project back to a for-sale project decided to reconvene on July 22 to discuss the project further.

“We got the new proposal minutes before the hearing,” John Whalen, chairman of the board for the HCDA, told PBN Thursday. “It’s a complex proposal. It’s hard to absorb, so we weren’t able to accept it [yet].”

The project, which is being planned for the current 404 Ward Ave., 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.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News