Howard Hughes’ Whole Foods Kakaako condo project starts constructio

aeo_wholefoodsThe Howard Hughes Corp. officially began construction Thursday on its third mixed-use condominium tower in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, with a groundbreaking ceremony for Aeo, which includes what will be Whole Foods Market’s flagship Hawaii store.

The Texas-based developer already has two other residential towers under construction, Waiea and Anaha, which are located nearby within the 60-acre Ward Village.

“My family is looking forward to calling Ward Village home, that will soon have thousands of families calling this neighborhood home,” said Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corp.

The 54,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market is expected to open in about two years, possibly the first quarter of 2018, with Aeo opening sometime after that.

Todd Apo, vice president of community development for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN that it expects to start demolition of the existing that Office Depot building on the lot toward the end of March. Office Depot is currently moving out of that space.

Demolition will begin with the warehouses in the back of the Office Depot first, with construction fencing coming up around the project in mid-March.

The parking lot of the project is expected to remain open until the end of March.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is partnering with Architects Hawaii Ltd. on the design of the project. Layton Construction is the general contractor.

Bounded by Queen and Kamakee streets, the block is behind the Ward Entertainment Center and also contains the former Nordstrom Rack.

Plans for Aeo also include 12,000 square feet of retail and more than 700 parking spaces in a block-filling podium to be topped with a narrow high-rise offering about 466 residential units.

No development cost was given for the project, which is named after the Aeo stilt bird that once lived the area.

“[The project] is consistent with our mission of honoring the past as we look to build a better future for this community,” Vanderboom said.

In November, the developer said that close to 35 percent of its units in Aeo are under contract.

Howard Hughes also is developing a 43-story, 424-unit mixed-use mostly affordable tower that will include a Longs Drugs ground floor store called Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila at the corner of Ward Avenue and Halekauwila Street.

The project is expected to satisfy the developer’s affordable housing requirement set by state regulators.

Pacific Business News

Howard Hughes plans more retail space below Ward Village’s T.J. Maxx

TJThe Howard Hughes Corp. has begun work on a space below T.J. Maxx at Ward Village in Honolulu for planned retail tenants, a spokeswoman for the Texas developer confirmed to PBN.

Howard Hughes was issued a $2.5 million building permit last week for a “Village Market” project at Suite No. 100 at 1170 Auahi St., according to public records from the City and County of Department of Planning and Permitting.

A spokeswoman for Howard Hughes told PBN that it is not a supermarket/grocery store, but that the developer is doing some work on the space beneath T.J. Maxx, which will eventually be a space for more retail tenants.

The actual name of the space is still to be determined and no timeframe for the development has been set just yet.

In addition to T.J. Maxx, the Ward Village Shops, at the corner of Kamakee and Auahi Streets, includes Nordstrom Rack, Pier 1 Imports and CorePower Yoga.

Honolulu-based Gateside Inc. is listed as the general contractor for the Ward Village Shops project.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News

Longs Drugs to open Hawaii store in Ward Village’s 988 Halekauwila mixed-use project in Kakaako

long_ward_villageLongs Drugs will open a new Hawaii location in Ward Village’s 988 Halekauwila mixed-use tower in Kakaako that’s scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2019, Howard Hughes Corp. executives confirmed to PBN on Tuesday.

“It’s something that has always been on our wish list for quite some time,” Katie Kaanapu, community and retail marketing director for The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), told PBN. “It’s in a really central location, so it’s easy for our residents and visitors to access, whether they are coming by rail, or walking or biking to the area.”

As it is currently proposed, the 23,000-square-foot, full-service Longs Drugs store will be located on the ground floor of 988 Halekauwila, which will have 375 one-, two- and three-bedroom reserved affordable housing units.

The store will be located across the street from the future Kakaako Station for Oahu’s elevated-rail mass-transit system.

“Ward Village is committed to making Honolulu a better place for our local community to live, work, shop and play,” Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corp., said in a statement. “This new Longs Drugs will allow Ward Village residents and other members of the nearby community to comfortably meet their daily needs with greater convenience.”

Though an opening date has not been set, Kaanapu said the entire 988 Halekauwila project is slated to be complete in 2019. Designs for the building are being finalized, she said.

Last week, the Hawaii Community Development Authority gave its approval for the project to proceed with 424 for-sale units, including 375 reserved units. Earlier, it had rejected The Howard Hughes Corp.’s request to turn them into rental units.

Construction also is continuing on the Texas-based developer’s Waiea and Anaha mixed-use towers, which are slated to be finished at the end of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017, respectively.

Meanwhile, condominium sales have begun for The Howard Hughes Corp.’s 466-unit Aeo project, which is scheduled to be complete in 2018.

Darin Moriki
Pacific Business News

Ward Village Shops retail space to expand by 60 percent

Red Pineapple boutique owner, Nalani Holliday.

Red Pineapple boutique owner, Nalani Holliday.

As The Howard Hughes Corp. builds high-rise condominiums and rebrands Ward Village, its retail footprint will grow by about 60 percent, according to Ward Village Shops Senior General Manager Bobbie Lau.

Ward Village Shops’ five commercial neighborhoods have more than 135 shops and restaurants, and one out of seven are locally owned businesses.

The developer plans to keep that ratio, Lau says.

“It’s our intention to keep that 70 percent ratio because that’s what makes us unique — the local mix, with some big boxes,” she said, noting that all high-rise condominiums will leave room for retailers on the first floor, sometimes two floors.

Lau said The Howard Hughes Corp. is working with current Ward Warehouse tenants to find future spots for them in the new development.

Nalani Holliday, owner of Ward Centre boutique Red Pineapple, says she believes the changes will be positive for retailers, with extra space and green, shady, family-friendly walkways.

The new mixture of residents, local and foreign shoppers, and businesses will be an asset for Kakaako, she said, including the new flagship 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market store that is scheduled to open in 2017.

“It’s all going to be new and improved,” Holliday said. “I think it will be a great bustling space and with the addition of Whole Foods. It does attract a different person from Ala Moana — someone who is not in a rush — and as a retailer, I’m looking for the customer who wants something unique and different.”

Red Pineapple’s neighbor, Sedona, has been at Ward Centre for more than two decades. Sedona President and co-founder Malia Johnson said that while construction is underway at Ala Moana Shopping Center, she has seen a lot of customers returning and discovering the new shops Kakaako has to offer.

She says some of the appeal is that many of the shops located at Ward and in Kakaako have just one location, including Sedona, Red Pineapple and the University of Hawaii’s Rainbowtique store.

“We really drive the customers here, because we’re very much a destination store,” she said. “I wouldn’t stay here for 25 years if I didn’t really feel like part of the growth and a part of Kakaako.”

To learn more, read this week’s special report on Kakaako in the Friday print edition.

Lorin Eleni Gill Reporter – Pacific Business News

New name ties retail to Ward redevelopment

The Howard Hughes Corp is changing the name of Ward Centers to Ward Village Shops to better capitalize on and unify its 60-acre master redevelopment, which will initially include three new residential towers.

The Howard Hughes Corp. will make the name transition, including signage changes, this fall, said Katie Kaanapu, director of community and retail marketing for Ward Village Shops in Kakaako.

The complex’s five “shopping neighborhoods,” such as Ward Centre, will keep their names, she said.

Race Randle, senior director of development for The Howard Hughes Corp. said this week the name reflects the company’s goal to make the complex a true village that will include parks as well as three new towers — Anaha, Waiea and 988 Halekauwila — that will contain more than 900 residential units.

PBN reported in August that Howard Hughes plans to replace Ward Warehouse with two condo projects in the second phase of its plans.

Ward Village Shops has more than 135 shops in 750,000 square feet of space. Officials say 10 million people visit the complex each year.

Meanwhile, a number of retail stores and restaurants have recently opened or are about to there:

• Bellini Bistro & Bar will open in January next to Ninja Sushi. Its chef, Dave Nguyen, will prepare Italian dishes such as oxtail osso buco, fish piccata and tiramisu using ingredients imported from Italy.

• Paina Cafe, which already has a restaurant at Ward Warehouse, will open its second location in early 2015. Besides poke, the restaurant will also serve salads and sandwiches.

• Ben & Jerry’s is opening in January to Ward Village in Ward Entertainment Center and Mexico Cantina is opening at the end of the year at Ward Centre.

• MORI by Art + Flea, a fashion, art and music retailer that has monthly pop-up markets at Ward Village, will open its first retail that will feature local products at Ward Warehouse near Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. MORI by Art + Flea will be taking the former Quiksilver space. Bellini Bistro & Bar will be occupying the former locations of Leloa Baby Collection and Taco Del Mar — they are combining two spaces. Paina Cafe will be occupying the former Tango Market location.

• Calendar Club, a seasonal shop, will open at Ward Warehouse next month.

• T&C Surf recently opened its second location at Ward Centre next to Genki Sushi in the former Jams World space, Kaanapu said. Jams World recently moved to the former Jeff Chang Pottery space.

Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business News