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Old Posted Oct 6, 2004, 8:55 AM
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Downtown professionals targeted for high-rise condo

PMK Development LLC has released new information about development plans for Capitol Place, a 2.4 acre project located in the Capital District at Beretania Street and Queen Emma Street.

The development said Tuesday it intends for the new project to include moderately priced residential condominiums targeted at professionals employed in downtown "who want to live, work, and play all within a radius of a few blocks in downtown Honolulu."

Pflueger Group LLC has joined with affiliates of The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group LLC to form PMK Development LLC, for the construction of Capitol Place.

Plans also include a new Pflueger Honda dealership at the base of the residential tower.

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Old Posted Oct 6, 2004, 6:35 PM
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More info:

he new owner of a former downtown municipal parking lot known as Block J plans to build a 39-story multi-use building with about 400 condominiums, six floors of parking, and a Pflueger Honda dealership on the ground level.

The 350-foot residential condominium tower planned for the 2.4-acre site at Beretania and Queen Emma streets will have 33 floors of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.

Sales of the residential condominiums are expected to begin later this year, with units averaging about $500,000 and one-bedroom units starting in the high-$200,000 range, said Kathy Inouye, chief operating officer of Kobayashi Group LLC, one of the developers of the project.

Other than the auto dealership, there will be no commercial space on the property.

Construction will begin at the end of 2005 and is scheduled to be completed by December 2007, Inouye said.

Pflueger Group LLC has joined with affiliates of local developers The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group LLC to form PMK Development LLC to develop the project, called Capitol Place. The project will be located on the border of the Capitol District, which includes Washington Place, 'Iolani Palace and the state Capitol.

The garage will include at least 100 public stalls charging municipal rates for 12 years, as well as additional stalls for long-term rental at market rates, she said. Developers are trying to add more public stalls, she said.

The site, which has been a municipal parking lot for almost 30 years and is used heavily by people visiting nearby District Court, has 202 metered and 10 handicap stalls. The site will remain a parking lot managed by AMPCO until construction begins.

The city sold the property to Pflueger earlier this year for $10.5 million after several previous attempts to redevelop the area failed. Pflueger plans to move to the site its dealership on Ala Moana, where landowner Kamehameha Schools has redevelopment plans.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2004, 6:42 PM
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Hawai'i Kai developers propose taller buildings

A group of developers hopes to obtain approval for 90-foot-tall buildings near the Hawai'i Kai post office to accommodate 296 high-end condominiums. If approved, it would be among the last remaining such projects in a building boom that began about five years ago.

If the City Council doesn't approve the request, the developers will build the same number of units, to a maximum height of 60 feet, which is currently approved, said Mike Klein, who is affiliated with Hawai'i Intergenerational Community Development Association.

Klein, whose group is one of three developers on the project, said they had incorporated concerns about overdevelopment into the buildings' design. "We can mitigate the look of sprawl along Hawai'i Kai Drive with the height," he said.

The project, Hale Ali'i, would be similar in price and size to the high-rises going up along Ala Moana Boulevard. Individual units there sold for about $1 million each, appealing to upscale owners in their 50s, Klein said. Details about the units are not set yet, he said.

The project has been getting mixed reactions. Residents praise the developer for designing buildings set back from the road that fit in with the community. But others have no tolerance for any additional building in the community, which has seen a development boom in the past five years, with four large housing projects going up now.

When the project was first presented to the community in the spring, Klein assured residents who live on Mariner's Ridge, behind the project on Hawai'i Kai Drive, that their views should not be affected by a 90-foot building. It would be similar in height to the 30-year-old Esplanade condominium building on Lunalilo Home Road, across from Kaiser High School.

The Hale Ali'i project has city zoning, but would require a zone change to allow the developers to exceed the 60-foot height limitation set for the parcel. The developers had thought they could proceed with a variance, but after informal talks with the city Department of Planning and Permitting, they were told to seek a zone change, Klein said. That will require a series of public hearings and City Council approval.

The project received a nod last week from the Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board, which voted 9-1 in favor of it. James Kennedy voted in opposition and Tony Paresa abstained.

The next step is for the developers to apply to the city for a height change, Klein said. That will probably take about a year to decide.

Ron Bowman, whose home on Mariner's Ridge overlooks the property, said he didn't see how a 90-foot project would affect his view.

But Andrew Constantaras, another Mariner's Ridge resident, said he saw no compelling reason for the city to change the height allowance.

"We have zoning regulations that restrict building heights to 60 feet," Constantaras said. "A taller building will be an eyesore no matter what cosmetic improvements are proposed by the developer."
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2004, 9:51 PM
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Aloha Tower proposal approved!

The agency charged with upgrading state land around Aloha Tower today formally agreed to back a Dallas firm's roughly $300 million mixed-use development proposal that would split costs and some profit with the state.

Directors of the state Aloha Tower Development Corp. approved an agreement that allows UC Urban to proceed with its residential loft community connected with a downtown streetcar system and ferry terminal subject to the Legislature authorizing state bond financing for much of the public improvements.

If general obligation bond financing is approved during the 2005 legislative session, construction could begin in early 2006.

"With this agreement the ATDC is endorsing a clear vision for the future of Honolulu's downtown waterfront," said David Louie, a private attorney and agency chairman.

UC Urban received the unanimous backing from a mix of private business leaders and officials high in the administration of Gov. Linda Lingle on the agency board, including Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

"This initial agreement commits ATDC and UC Urban to a program, but recognizes that much of what needs to be done will require coordination and consensus from the private corporations, the Legislature, various other state agencies and county government before it can become a reality," Liu said.

UC Urban principal Ken Hughes said both he and agency members worked patiently to agree on the plan that has evolved since he responded to a request for proposals in late 2002.

The ambitious project would be developed in several phases, though the agreement allows amendments to content and sequencing.

An initial phase would include modifying traffic access to the Aloha Tower area and developing Piers 5 and 6 with about 360 condominiums, retail, restaurants and parking. Another 210 condos would be developed in two later phases.

The loft-style condos are projected to sell for $360,000 to $800,000, with an estimated 8 percent of proceeds going to the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs because the project is on ceded land.

Hughes said his company would arrange private financing for the the Pier 5 and 6 work estimated at $150 million.

Other elements included in early phases would be relocating two Hawaiian Electric Co. power plant buildings to make way for a park, and starting a 2-mile downtown streetcar system.

Removing the parking from Irwin Park and developing a parking garage at Pier 2 would happen in later phases.

Two optional elements are creating a downtown bypass tunnel under Nimitz Highway and transforming Piers 10 and 11 into a new cruise ship terminal with parking, a bus and taxi queuing area, state Transportation Department offices and residential condos.
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Old Posted Dec 1, 2004, 2:14 AM
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Here's some of the towers currently under construction in Honolulu!




Brief Description:

Height: 300 ft *100-unit, two-bedroom with only 4 residences per floor, fee simple condominium development, with ocean and mountain views, conveniently located near the entrance to Waikiki. Lanikea will be the first condominium built in Waikiki in over ten years.

Priced from the mid $400,000's to $1.4 million

A view:

Website: Lanikea

Hokua Tower



Brief Description:

Height: 418 ft *247-unit luxury residential condominium, conveniently located between Ala Moana Center and the Victoria Ward retail/entertainment centers.

Priced from the $550,000's to $5.5 million

A view:

Website: Hokua




Brief Description:

Height: 400 ft *370-unit luxury condominium located between Ala Moana Center and the Victoria Ward retail/entertainment centers.

Priced from ??

A View:

Construction Cam

Website: Ko'olani

I'll try to post more info about the other developments eventually!
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Old Posted Dec 2, 2004, 7:19 PM
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Ward Village Development - Central Honolulu

Here's what the view along Auahi Street would look like. A redevelopment official praised the "low-density aspect" of the Victoria Ward plan.

Victoria Ward Ltd. has received state approval to build a new street in its neighborhood complex of retail centers, as part of changes to a $100 million plan to add rental apartments, more shops and a parking structure on its Kaka'ako property.

The company, which unveiled initial plans for the project in July, also modified the apartment component by eliminating one of two planned towers. The surviving tower would be 17 stories, three floors higher, but would contain 53 fewer units for a total of 165.

The Hawai'i Community Development Authority, which oversees redevelopment in Ka-

ka'ako, approved the changes and other more minor modifications to the plan at a public hearing yesterday.

Victoria Ward's plan would replace the Ward Village Shops housing Starbucks, Kua 'Aina and other tenants on most of the block bordered by Kamake'e, Auahi and the Queen Street extension.

The agency allowed a 200-foot apartment tower. Under agency rules, Victoria Ward could have applied to build as high as 400 feet, roughly the height of nearby condominiums Nauru Tower, Hawaiki Tower and two others under construction.

"I like the low-density aspect versus a sea of 400-foot towers," said Daniel Dinell, agency executive director.

The new road, dubbed Queen Lane, was added at the request of the city over concern that the additional residential and shopping traffic would put too much stress on Kamake'e, the only mauka-makai road running completely through Victoria Ward's evolving urban village.

Victoria Ward will build, maintain and own the two-lane road, which would be open for continual public use.

The company would acquire the thoroughfare by redeeming land credits it received earlier for giving the state some of its property.

Victoria Ward is also required to contribute another 14,000 square feet of land to the development authority as a public facility assessment, though the company has roughly 40,000 square feet of land credits.

The redevelopment would be another step advancing Victoria Ward's vision to transform Kaka'ako's retail core into a place where people can not only shop, dine and be entertained, but also live and work.

The redeveloped Ward Village Shops would expand Victoria Ward retail space by about 200,000 square feet, wrapping new stores and the apartment tower around a 1,010-stall parking structure.

Pier 1 Imports would remain where it is under the plan. Other tenants on the redevelopment site would be moved to new shop space to be built on the site of the former Tesoro gas station on the corner of Ward Avenue and Auahi or a planned expansion of Ward Centre.

Ward Village redevelopment would commence after completion of the two smaller projects, and the new stores are projected to be finished in spring 2006, followed by the apartments in fall 2006.

This is what the area looks like now:


This is the final plan for Ward Village Shops:

Units: With one less tower, the project will house 165 rental apartments instead of 218 as originally planned.
Height: The tower will be 17 stories.
Retail: Commercial space will be increased to 224,000 square feet from the original 160,000 square feet.

Yay Go Honolulu!

Last edited by Urbanguy; Dec 2, 2004 at 7:27 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2004, 6:19 PM
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Ford Island builds on its history

FORD ISLAND Herb Franck not only remembers Pearl Harbor, he remembers the first bomb blast there on December 7, 1941. At 7:55 a.m. a 250-pound explosive ripped apart Hangar 6, killing his friend Ted Croft, aviation ordinance man, 1st class.

At that moment Franck, a 22-year-old aviation machinist mate, 1st class, was having breakfast at the mess hall near where the USS California was moored. He heard the explosion and the sound of unusual plane engines, and ran outside to find low-flying Japanese Zero fighters overhead. That's when he and his mates noticed smoke and fire billowing from Hangar 6.

"Our squadron was on the south side of Hangar 6," said Franck, 85, who now repairs vintage aircraft engines for the San Diego Aerospace Museum. "They dropped the first bomb right there. Ted was in the duty section of the hangar when it hit. He would have been off duty in five minutes."

Croft was the only person to die that day on Ford Island 450-acres in the middle of the harbor. But from the instant the first bomb hit Hangar 6, the island belonged to history.

Allan Palmer, executive director of the Pacific Aviation Museum, stands in front of the old Ford Island control tower, which has been used as a movie scene backdrop.

Pearl Harbor, previously unknown to the majority of Americans, forever became a national focal point, like Gettysburg and the Alamo.

And for six decades Ford Island, complete with its bullet holes, strafe marks and other reminders of the attack, sat undisturbed as if sealed in a time capsule. The fact that the military outpost could only be reached by ferry boat kept its history intact. The 100 folks living in three dozen quaint officers quarters built in the 1920s, along with 200 barracks soldiers, pretty much had the sleepy island to themselves.

While people everywhere knew of Pearl Harbor, few had heard of Ford Island, where the Pacific Fleet battleships were moored and the infamous attack on the base began.

In 1998, the Admiral Clarey Bridge connected Ford Island with Kamehameha Highway and Salt Lake Boulevard and progress could no longer be kept at bay.

Now the island is in the midst of a transformation that could dramatically alter its appearance, its function, and its visibility. In October, the Navy dedicated 140 homes next to the old airfield, the first new housing on the island since the 1920s.

An $84 million Ford Island master development project in the works by private developers calls for plans to build hundreds of two-bedroom apartments, dozens of two-story residential townhomes, and a waterfront promenade with shops and restaurants.

And the $50 million, 16-acre Pacific Aviation Museum-Pearl Harbor, the first phase of which is scheduled to open on Dec. 7, 2006, promises to open the island for the first time to hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

An icon of WW II

Flying legend Chuck Yeager, the man with "the right stuff," kicked off the museum's fund-raising campaign with a keynote address at a sold-out banquet at the Officer's Club at Hickam Air Force Base last week.

"This is a tremendous endeavor," Yeager told the crowd. "As I've said, you're starting late, but I think, looking at the talent you've gathered together, you'll hack it."

In Yeager's first visit to Ford Island, he walked away impressed with the sense of history he found there.

That reaction is not unusual, according to Allan Palmer, executive director of the aviation museum.

"Last year, right here where we're standing, Apollo astronaut Wally Schirra looked around and almost got tears in his eyes," said Palmer as he planted his feet on the concrete not far from Ford Island's most noted icon, the red and white striped control tower that has been featured in major motion pictures.

"He said, 'Back when I was a young fellow, the attack that happened here was what got me to go down and sign up for the Navy and I flew throughout the rest of the war, and Korea, and got into the space program.'"

Schirra said his whole life had been shaped by the events of Dec. 7.

It's that passion that the aviation museum wants to tap into, said Palmer, who served two tours as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, and has an extensive background in operating aviation museums.

New housing is being built on once-sleepy Ford Island. The Navy dedicated 140 homes next to the old airfield.

Aviation museum

This is one of the hangars that will become the Pacific Aviation Museum, with exhibits on the history of flying.

The Ford Island museum will augment Pearl Harbor's existing three attractions, the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship USS Missouri Memorial, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, said Palmer.

The main components, when complete, will be three vintage hangars original bullet holes and all that will feature a phantasmagoria of multi-level interactive attractions, flight simulators, vintage aircraft, large screen films, dioramas and even a full-scale WW II-era aircraft carrier deck. The idea is to transport visitors through time and place them at every aspect of the story of aviation from 1913 to the present.

The focus will be on the Pacific, and of course Pearl Harbor, but the museum will include major components dedicated to the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Pearl Harbor did more than just catapult America into World War II, says Palmer. The attack was the first major air campaign using aircraft carriers a monumental technical advance.

"That moment changed forever the thinking about warfare," he said. "That all happened right here in the harbor and it was seminal moment in history. And yet, there's not an airplane in sight."

Time to modernize

That could soon change. Herb Franck sees it as good news.

In March of 1942 Franck left Ford Island and shipped out to Australia. But he returned 17 years later for his last tour of duty in the Navy this time as the commander of the naval air station. Even then, he says, he was stunned at how the island looked the same as it did when he left.

In 1964, the airfield was officially decommissioned and activity on the island slowed to a snail's pace. Franck, who still visits the island nearly every year, believes the Pacific Aviation Museum is the best hope to preserve Ford Island's fragile past. As for the housing, shopping centers and other changes, Franck believes they were inevitable.

He's enthusiastic about the thought of thousands of American kids visiting the place where the Pearl Harbor attack began and experiencing firsthand the events of that morning.

"If the government did not put some valid use on the island after it was no longer an active air-field, it was only a matter of time before a lot of its history would have gone by the wayside," said Franck.

Like Yeager, Franck thinks the museum is long overdue. He fears the process of forgetting Pearl Harbor has already begun.

Not long ago Franck spoke to a high school senior touring the aerospace museum in San Diego.

"I asked him, 'Hey, do you know about Pearl Harbor?' And he said, 'No, who's she?'

"True story. That kind of tears you apart."

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Old Posted Dec 13, 2004, 7:02 PM
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Another luxo-condo tower to rise downtown

A California developer plans to build a 35-story luxury condominium complex at the corner of Beretania and Bishop streets, the second new high-rise planned for downtown in 2005.

To be called The Pinnacle Honolulu, the sleek, narrow building will offer 50 residential units, only two per floor, ranging in price between $650,000 and $1.2 million.

The Pinnacle LLC, a subsidiary of Caribou Industries Inc. of Santa Ana, Calif., plans to build on the sliver of land across the street from Block J, the site of another proposed high-rise.

Both will be approximately the same height, 350 feet, but the Pinnacle project should be the first to break ground, with an expected start date in March.

The Pinnacle joins a number of other high-rise condo projects under way in Honolulu, including PMK Development's proposed project across the street, The Hokua and Koolani, both already rising from the ground in Kakaako, and the Moana Pacific, under construction on Kapiolani Boulevard.

Michael Harrah, CEO and president of Caribou Industries Inc., bought the 13,637-square-foot site in June for $4 million and said he knew its location at 1199 Bishop St. was attractive.

"What really intrigued me about this is the gateway," Harrah said. "You'll have 24 hours of magic from the city lights looking toward the ocean, and you'll get the sunrise and the sunset."

The site, now operating as a Park & Lock lot, is a short walk from the State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Chinatown and Aloha Tower Marketplace.

U.S. Pacific Construction of Honolulu is the general contractor. David Stringer of Stringer Architects and Hank Reese are project architects.

Units will offer three bedrooms and measure from 1,500 to 2,700 square feet, with exclusive elevator entrances. Specifications include 10-foot-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and two parking stalls per unit.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2005, 7:59 PM
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Aquarium, resort to crown Ko Olina

State tax credits will help fund the $1 billion project of condos and a Hawaiian village

Plans for the $1 billion Grand Ko Olina Resort & Spa, with an interactive aquarium adventure lagoon and shark island, were announced yesterday in the governor's office. Present were Ted Liu, left, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Ko Olina developer Jeff Stone; landowner and developer Takeshi Sekiguchi; Mayor Mufi Hannemann; Lt. Gov. James Aiona; and Gov. Linda Lingle.

Ko Olina Resort & Marina unveiled plans yesterday for a $1 billion interactive aquarium and 25-acre, 1,000-room resort, a project partially underwritten by $75 million in state tax credits.

The Grand Ko Olina Resort, Hotel & Spa will include an oceanfront hotel condominium, time shares and a Hawaiian village surrounding a swim-through lagoon and separate shark tank. The project is patterned after the lavish Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla.

Visitors to the 5 million-gallon aquarium will be able to visit an underwater dome that provides 360-degree views of sharks, swim in an interactive reef and visit a beach lagoon sealed from the ocean.

"The Grand Ko Olina will help re-brand Oahu as a unique resort destination, just as the Grand Wailea did for Maui," said Ko Olina developer Jeffrey Stone. "It will boost West Oahu's prominence in the visitor industry and add a one-of-a-kind icon to Hawaii that is directly connected to Hawaii's unique ocean environment and culture."

The resort already includes the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, time shares and a golf course.

The state's rebounding economy and visitor industry have fueled growth in the resort and in the population of West Oahu, which grew 89 percent from 1990 to 2000.

It has also brought about the return of one of Ko Olina's original developers, Takeshi Sekiguchi, who is best known for developing the Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons Wailea resorts on Maui.

"My decision to re-enter Hawaii's market was based on the economic recovery of the Japanese economy and the forecast of increased eastbound travel from Asia," said Sekiguchi, who owns the land for the development. "I believe the Grand Ko Olina will serve as a major destination for this revitalized market."

A model of the aquarium lagoon and shark island.

Project partners have not been announced, but Sekiguchi said Grand Ko Olina will convince investors from Japan and other Asian countries to pump more money into Hawaii projects. The development is likely to break ground this year, with major hotel partners expected to be announced this summer, Stone said. No timetable has been set for completion.

"We are absolutely certain that we have attracted the players who are committed to this project," he said.

Ko Olina's recovery and expansion will create business opportunities, jobs and tourism, said Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

"It brings together the best in our economy," Liu said, referring to the resort's marriage of tourism and marine science technology.

Developers said Grand Ko Olina is expected to add 1,000 jobs, ranging from resort and aquarium operations to marine science research, and Hawaiian culture educational opportunities.

"This resort is exactly what the state needs in terms of diversifying the economy and creating good-quality jobs," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who pledged that the expansion of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill would not interfere with development and that it would close in 2008.

The state also assisted the development. Last summer, lawmakers approved a 10-year, $75 million tax credit for the aquarium. Lingle approved the bill but required the resort to spend $2.5 million for job training in the Leeward Coast.

Grand Ko Olina will enlist the expertise of professors from the University of Hawaii's Ocean Science Department and the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and will share some exhibits with the Waikiki Aquarium, Stone said.

Ko Olina's aquarium is not expected to hurt business at the Waikiki Aquarium, which caters to a large share of walk-ins from Waikiki hotels, aquarium Director Andrew Rossiter said during an interview last spring.

"I don't think it will impact the Waikiki Aquarium, because the objectives and audiences are different," Rossiter said.

Ko Olina developer Jeff Stone, right, and Takeshi Sekiguchi, landowner and an original developer of Ko Olina Resort, looked over a model of the planned $1 billion Grand Ko Olina Resort & Spa yesterday in the governor's office.
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Old Posted May 28, 2005, 6:11 PM
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Hello, long time no see people here are some updates for Honolulu!

Kaka'ako is on the rise!

Here's a map of Existing and planned Kaka'ako residential projects

Sanford Zalburg gets a great view of Kaka'ako and its changing face from the lanai of his condo at Pi'ikoi Street and Ala Moana. The neighborhood is undergoing a residential building boom that is transforming the light industrial area into a desirable urban village.

Arshad Khan didn't hesitate when someone asked the best reason to live in Kaka'ako.

The location is excellent, he said. "It's close to Waikiki, downtown, everywhere."

Khan, a 34-year-old real estate office worker who has lived in a Kaka'ako rental apartment for the past six years, is just one of thousands of people in the past few years who have traded the traditional dream of a yard and home in the suburbs for a place in town.

And there's going to be a lot more of them as the area continues to be transformed from a rundown light industrial tract to a highly desirable urban village.

City planners predict that Kaka'ako will be one of the fastest-growing residential areas on O'ahu over the next 25 years, with more than 25,000 people moving in, increasing the population by 178 percent, behind only several residential areas between 'Ewa Beach and Ko Olina.

Residential development was always part of the vision for Kaka'ako, long before people started talking about smart growth or the new urbanism, said Daniel Dinell, executive director of the Hawai'i Community Development Agency, which supervises the area's development.

Now, you're finally starting to see the manifestation of that vision, Dinell said. "The several hundred million dollars invested in the infrastructure is starting to pay off."

Almost a dozen residential projects, including rental units, urban lofts and $1 million-plus condos are being built or are on the drawing boards for the area, which for decades languished while communities on its flanks, Ala Moana, Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, flourished.

Luxury living in town

The Ko'olani luxury condominium complex, at right, is among the dozen or so residential projects under construction in Kaka'ako.

Much of the current movement is driven by Mainland investors or older Hawai'i residents eager to move back into town after years of fighting traffic and other problems in the suburbs.

Eighty percent of our buyers are local empty-nesters, said Larry Fukunaga, the owner's representative for 909 Kapi'olani, a high-rise project set to start construction this year on the corner of Kapi'olani Boulevard and Ward Avenue.

Most are older residents able to parlay soaring equity in their homes and low interest rates into a suddenly affordable luxurious condominium closer to everything.

These are people who are established and have some money. They want something more comfortable, more convenient and easier to take care of than what they have now, Fukunaga said.

Others worry that the building boom is leaving behind young professional buyers, the same ones who have traditionally driven the return-to-the-city-living trend across the Mainland.

I'd love to be able to live in Kaka'ako, but I can't afford it, said Kelly Irvine, a 28-year-old architect who shares a home in 'Aina Haina.

Most people my age who work in town want to live close by, even if it means living in a smaller apartment. They don't want to spend all their time in a car. Kaka'ako is a great place because it's right next to the theaters, the bars, the beach and the jobs. But the market right now is out of our price range, Irvine said.

Place of potential

Small shops, mostly specializing in auto repair, still do business in Kaka'ako, in the shadow of the luxury high-rises going up in the area near Ala Moana.

Kaka'ako has always been a place of potential.

Originally swamp land that was often covered with water at high tide, Kaka'ako was filled in and reclaimed in the 1880s to make way for new residences close to a growing downtown Honolulu.

Through the first half of the 1900s, it was a dynamic, growing, multi-racial residential community that included Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Caucasian, Chinese and Filipino families living in ethnic camps ranging in size from a few homes to several blocks.

Much as planners today anticipate Kaka'ako becoming a one-stop place to live, shop, work and entertain, the area 75 years ago was seen as something of a gathering place for sports, church groups, bon dances and other cultural activities.

About 1945, though, the area went into a long, steady decline, with more and more people moving to the suburbs, Dinell said.

By the 1970s, most of the residents were gone and the area took on a run-down, low-grade industrial look that contrasted sharply with the growth going on in all directions. That's when the state stepped in, creating the HCDA and giving the agency wide authority to plan and develop a new Kaka'ako, first by putting in hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements to area sewers, streets and other infrastructure.

After several false starts, the plan finally seems to be working.

Over the years there were a lot of announcements of plans that never came to fruition, said John Breinich, who moved into the area in 1991 and is head of the Ala Moana-Kaka'ako Neighborhood Board. "Now, it seems like all at once things are finally happening. It's nice to be in a community that has life and growth and expansion."

Many observers credit the latest residential growth to development of commercial and other projects in the makai part of the district. Those include the new campus of the University of Hawai'i medical school, a new cancer research center and a planned waterfront complex fronting Kewalo Basin.

Most of us thought the area would be developed a lot sooner than this, said Fukunaga, whose first job out of college was an HCDA planner in 1979. "It took 25 years, but at last, the makai district is reaching a critical mass and the residential projects are starting to pop up on the mauka side."

Not quite like home

An empty lot at Kapi'olani Boulevard and Ward Avenue soon will be home to 909 Kapiolani, a mixed-use high-rise development.

With the boom, though, some planners worry that the area's design controls will be lessened in a rush to develop, sacrificing a pedestrian-friendly feel for wider roads, and sacrificing more affordable housing for quick profits.

A lot of us with children like the idea that they could live in the city and enjoy it as much as we do, said Loren Matsunaga, a principal with the architecture firm Urban Works, which has had its offices in Kaka'ako for more than 20 years. "But right now it isn't affordable."

There are also fears that the area will lack a cohesive and pedestrian-friendly design as separate areas are built up in spurts by different landowners and more and more cars fill the area without more public transportation.

Dinell said HCDA has done a good job of encouraging diversity and design.

There's a perception that it's only about luxury high-rises, but that's not the case, he said. "Over the years about 30 percent of the units have been reserved for rentals or affordable sales. There are a lot of silent buildings scattered through the area."

The agency also has insisted that pedestrian-friendly design elements be incorporated into both public and private projects.

You can see it in the infrastructure. We've got very generous sidewalks, big shade trees and street-front designs that encourage activity, he said.

With increasing population, new problems are cropping up.

Noise and congestion are on the rise and Kaka'ako still lacks a supermarket of its own (not counting the old-time Hamada Store on Queen Street) and a traditional public elementary school (there are several private schools and a public charter school) within its district borders.

Those are going to come, Dinell said. "There's a recognition that a school will be necessary at some point in the future, though it may not look like a traditional suburban school with a parking lot and playing field."

All of that development, though, is proving attractive to residents able to afford the luxury condos being built or fortunate enough to find an affordable residence in the area.

It's noisy as hell sometimes, but I wouldn't think of going anywhere else, said 88-year-old

Sanford Zalburg, who bought a unit in the area's first high-rise building, 1350 Ala Moana, 33 years ago and hasn't left.

We're lucky we found an affordable place. Otherwise, no way, added Russell Sunabe, a 50-year-old community college teacher who lives in a two-bedroom condo on Waimanu Street with his wife and two children.

We like the location and really feel comfortable here. Sometimes, I still wish I had a big home or a yard, but I'm not willing to live in Kapolei or 'Ewa to do that, he said.

Zoning change sought for 'A'ala condos

A Mainland developer wants to build a 22-story condominium tower on North Beretania Street across from 'A'ala Park, but needs a zoning change to move forward with what would be the third new residential development in the area.

Developer 3D Investments LLC is asking the city to rezone two adjacent properties at 230 and 254 N. Beretania St. from B-2 community business district to BMX-3 community mixed use district. Consultant Keith Kurahashi, who will give a presentation on the project tonight at the Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board, said the change would allow for a mixed commercial and condo project.

The zone change is needed so they can put in a mixed use development, Kurahashi said. "Right now they would be allowed to build an office building or something like that and they want that residential component."

The property stretches from College Walk to 'A'ala Street along Beretania Street. A two-story commercial building called the Town Square is now on the property and would be torn down. The square is home to several small businesses, including the offices of the Hawai'i Lupus Foundation and the Honolulu Weekly newspaper. The former Kobayashi Hotel, now closed, is in a separate four-story building on the property. It would also come down.

The condo project would have businesses on the ground floor with 204 one- two- and three-bedroom fee-simple units on 21 floors, Kurahashi said.

The developer is required to go before the neighborhood board with the project before a zoning change application is filed, he said. The project also needs approvals from the city Planning Commission and the City Council.

Kurahashi said there is no timeline for construction or estimated cost yet.

Chad Hiyakumoto, who owns 'A'ala Park Boardshop on nearby College Walk, would be forced out of his moderately priced retail space. Being close to the park and his skateboarding customers is critical to his business.

I'd like to still be able to have a shop somewhere near there, Hiyakumoto said. "It would kind of suck if I just got kicked out and didn't have any place of business anymore."

Another residential condo project is being built by a group called Downtown Affordables on North King Street on the makai side of 'A'ala Park.

Vito Galati, a partner in Downtown Affordables, said the 23-story, 251-unit affordable condominium project called 215 N. King St. is sold out. He said the building will be topped off next month and tenants will move in by December.

Galati said the location near downtown and the tight real-estate market makes building residential condos a perfect fit for the 'A'ala area.

I think people are interested in being in town and having all of the amenities that town has and avoiding the long commutes and time in your car, Galati said. "For people who work in town, to be able to have a five-minute walk to work and back home is saving hours every day."

The third project is a $35 million, 13-story affordable housing residence for seniors near the historic O'ahu Railway & Land Terminal building financed through the state Housing and Community Development Corp. and being developed by Pacific Housing Assistance Corp.

For years 'A'ala was a dangerous, rundown area until the city completed a $2.3 million park renovation project in 2003. There are still homeless people that live in the park and drug dealers lurking in the area, but with new basketball courts, a skateboard rink, playground equipment and a general cleanup, the park is much more family friendly.

Galati said with hundreds of new units being built near the park and families moving in, the area will only get better.

With three projects and a couple thousand new residents that have pride of ownership and are committed to their community, it has to have a big impact, he said. "'A'ala has been a transition area for a long time, and I think we are going to see it stabilize into a nice residential community."

Here are some other future developments for the Honoulu area:

Downtown Block J units sell quickly
Capitol Place year 2007 @ 39 stories

Construction of Capitol Place on the downtown lot known as Block J is to begin by the end of the year and be completed late in 2007.

The attraction of living on the edge of downtown Honolulu drew hundreds of people to buy nearly all the units in the latest planned high-rise condominium to hit the Hawai'i market.

In just under a week, buyers snapped up about 350 of the 394 units at Capitol Place for an average price of nearly $660,000. The 39-story tower is planned for the site of a former municipal parking lot known as Block J, at Queen Emma and Beretania streets.

Capitol Place sales occurred in a flurry mostly May 7, when the on-site sales office opened to a crowd estimated at 400. Buyers this week continued to whittle away remaining inventory to about 40 units as of yesterday.

The response was a reminder of just how strong Hawai'i's real estate market continues to be, with demand from well-heeled investors as well as homeowners able to trade up because of accelerating home values and low interest rates.

It's amazing, said Jodee Farm, a Prudential Locations agent representing a buyer considering a Capitol Place unit yesterday. "The appeal is that it's brand new, the market is hot and everybody wants something."

Mark Mord bought a $1 million penthouse yesterday with the intent to move from his townhome at Ko Olina Resort & Marina when the high-rise is completed in about two years.

I wanted to get closer to town, he said. "The commute is just too much. Some days it turns into an hour and a half."

Mord, who is in the commercial real estate financing business and plans to sell a Mainland property he owns to help finance his Capitol Place unit, also said Honolulu's central business district has much more in the way of shopping, dining and entertainment compared with West O'ahu. "There's just not a lot going on out there right now," he said.

Dave Stoesser, a Mililani Mauka resident working for a distribution company, said he avoids messy Central O'ahu traffic but likes the appeal of having the amenities of a high-rise condo.

Condo living is different, he said while checking out Capitol Place offerings. "It's all-around convenient. It's almost like hotel living."

Capitol Place is designed with a dog park, media and music rooms, playground, pool, jacuzzi, gym, cabanas with barbecues and a yoga/Pilates studio. Monthly maintenance fees range from about $300 to $700.

The ground floor of the building is designated to be a Honda showroom for Pflueger Group, which bought the land from the city last year for $10.5 million and partnered with The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group LLC to develop the building.

There also will be 150 public parking stalls at municipal rates, which was part of Pflueger's agreement with the city.

If the project sells out at current prices, condo-unit proceeds would total about $260 million. A development cost estimate was not available.

Late last year, unit prices were estimated to start in the high-$200,000 range, but fast-rising home values led the developer to start sales at $345,000. The price for 1-bedroom units go as high as about $450,000. Two-bedroom units range from $430,000 to about $800,000. Three-bedroom units started at $675,000 and top out at about $1.1 million.

Because of the anticipated response, the developer placed all the units for sale at once as opposed to selling in phases, which other high-rise condo developers have done.

The way it was this (past) weekend, there are a lot of people ready and willing to move downtown, said Donald "Matt" Pakkala, a Capitol Place sales agent.

Remaining units are reserved for owner-occupant buyers who must affirm they plan to live in the unit for at least one year.

Construction is scheduled to start by the end of the year and be completed toward the end of 2007.

For More info visit: Capitol Place

Kapolei Parkway Shops

PF Changs Bistro @ street level of the U/C 418 ft Hokua Tower

Outrigger opts for luxury condos

Hawai'i's red-hot housing market has led Outrigger Enterprises to eliminate hotel rooms from a planned tower at its Lewers Street redevelopment project, instead dedicating the new Waikiki high-rise to luxury residences.

The estimated $200 million tower that Outrigger originally envisioned as an 890-room hotel probably will be built as 300 to 400 fee-simple condominiums with parking, according to the latest version of the company's Waikiki Beach Walk project.

Outrigger said it is negotiating with a shortlist of condo developers, most of them from the Mainland, to help build the tower, and expects to make a selection within 30 days.

Condo prices have yet to be set, but would likely be more than $1 million for the best units.

It is the second major change for the planned 350-foot tower on Saratoga Road fronting Fort DeRussy, and would reduce the number of hotel rooms in Wai-

kiki while creating luxury residences in an area typically populated with tourists. Outrigger will demolish two hotels with 210 rooms to make way for the tower.

Tourist district losing rooms

Outrigger's planned Beachwalk high-rise:

Original plan — 890 hotel rooms

Latest plan — 300 to 400 luxury condos

Estimated cost — $200 million

Projected construction start — first half of 2006

The tower is one component of Outrigger's $460 million redevelopment of several old hotels along Lewers Street, Saratoga Road and Kalia Road.

Construction recently began on some components of the project, which includes a retail and entertainment complex, conversion of two hotel towers to time-share use and upgrades of two hotels under the Embassy Suites brand.

The concept for the new high-rise was revised more than a year ago with the expectation that units would be a mix of mostly residential condos, condos for hotel use, some hotel units and possibly time-share.

But the dramatic run-up in home prices and demand for luxury condos over the last year or so made a completely residential tower easier and less risky to finance, said David Carey, Outrigger president and CEO.

Carey said the recent failure of a bill in the Legislature to extend and increase a hotel redevelopment tax credit expiring this year was a factor in planning the tower. However, even had the bill passed, building a hotel would not have been as financially attractive as a condo, he said.

I think the destination would be better served by a high-rise hotel, Carey said, adding that economic realities are dictating otherwise.

Outrigger is not identifying potential development partners. Construction could start in the first half of next year. If condos are to be built, sales could begin sooner.

Robertson Properties Group, the real estate arm of the Los Angeles multiplex theater company Pacific Theatres Corp., will begin construction on a new two-story retail complex at the site of the old Waikiki 3 Theatre this spring. The new 30,000 square-foot, $10 million complex, called The Center of Waikiki, will include a Whaler’s Market, Foot Locker, California Pizza Kitchen and a steak and seafood restaurant. According to Robertson Properties Group Vice President Greg Swedelson, the property “has an unparalleled customer base, with foot traffic on Kalakaua exceeding 25,000 people per day.”

The Center was designed by Architects Hawaii Ltd., which also designed The Shops at Wailea on Maui. The building will retain its illuminated Waikiki sign, to be refurbished during construction. The general contractor is Pankow Companies. Construction will begin soon, and the project is expected to be complete by spring 2006.

Trump plans to build in Waikiki

One of the biggest names in real estate and reality television, Donald J. Trump, plans to put his mark on Waikiki as a development partner for a luxury condominium tower of Outrigger Enterprises.

The billionaire businessman plans to erect a signature building that could define a new level of luxury for high-rise living in Hawai'i where home prices have soared to staggering levels over the past year.

The ever-innovative New York developer has arranged to buy land at the makai end of Saratoga Road from Outrigger and to build the proposed 350-foot tower with Beverly Hills, Calif.-based investment and development firm Irongate Capital Partners, according to people familiar with the deal.

The tower is expected to cost around $200 million, have 300 to 400 residential units and be branded with the Trump Tower name or something similar reflecting the cachet of the real estate mogul and star of NBC's hit show "The Apprentice."

Outrigger has yet to finalize a contract for the project, so the tentative deal could fall apart. If final terms can be reached, completion of the transaction is expected in July.

Mel Kaneshige, Outrigger senior vice president, declined to say if Trump is involved in the high-rise project.

Outrigger, which conceived the tower as part of its $460 million Waikiki Beach Walk redevelopment of several old hotels mainly along Lewers Street, said earlier this week that it was negotiating with a shortlist of developers and expected to make a decision in about 30 days.

Kaneshige would not say if a tentative selection had been made. "We narrowed the field," he said, adding that the company's policy is not to announce deals until they are firm.

Trump was not available for comment yesterday, but his assistant, Norma Foerderer, said she was not aware of such a deal with Outrigger.

A representative of Irongate could not be reached yesterday.

Two people familiar with Outrigger's effort to find a developer for its high-rise confirmed Trump's role, but asked not to be identified to preserve good business relationships with involved parties.

If Trump and Irongate complete their deal with Outrigger, it could bring a new level of luxury to high-rise living in Hawai'i.

Trump is known for pushing the limit on opulence, setting a record last year for New York condo sale prices at about $3,000 a square foot with a $13 million penthouse deal at Trump Park Avenue.

I think he will bring some flare and excitement to the market, said Mary Worrall, owner of the local upscale residential real-estate brokerage firm Mary Worrall Associates. "He has such a following. I think it's very exciting."

A Trump tower would be the first big real-estate project in Hawai'i for the New York deal maker who persuaded the state to host the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant. The state and businesses contributed more than $5.3 million in money and services to Trump and the pageant organizers in return for repeated mentions and photographs of Hawai'i in the telecast.

Trump has developed a handful of luxury residential projects from the 90-story Trump World Tower, billed as the tallest residential tower in the world, to the $5 billion commercial-residential Trump Place under development with an initial planned phase of 5,700 residential units.

In January, Trump announced plans for a $220 million "ultra-luxury" condo in Tampa, Fla.

We are developing a signature landmark property so spectacular that it will redefine both Tampa's skyline and the market's expectations of luxurious condominium living, he said in a statement.

Unit prices at Trump Tower Tampa with hotel-like services, spa and fine art range from $700,000 to more than $5.5 million.

Hawai'i's housing boom over the past couple of years has demonstrated strong demand for such residences as Hokua, the nearly sold-out high-rise overlooking Ala Moana Beach Park where prices initially ranged from $550,000 to $5.5 million.

Outrigger cited the run-up in home prices and sales volume in helping to convince the company to develop its new tower as a residential condo instead of the originally envisioned hotel.

Worrall said Hokua, which is still under construction, reset the bar for luxury high-rise condos in the market, and that a Trump tower could build on that.

He's got his name on so many buildings in New York, and they all seem to be so successful, she said.

Trump in recent years has increasingly expanded outside New York.

Trump partner Irongate entered the Hawai'i market a year ago with a purchase of three acres in Waikiki's Hobron Lane area from Outrigger. Irongate sought approvals to build an upscale condo high-rise expected to break ground in June.

Outrigger has said construction of the envisioned Beach Walk tower — which will replace the Ohana Royal Islander hotel, Ohana Reef Lanai hotel and Hale Pua Nui apartments — could start in the first half of next year.
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Old Posted May 28, 2005, 6:34 PM
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wow, I didn't know Honolulu had so much going on! looks pretty good! Trump's an ass though. lol

yay for Honolulu!!
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Old Posted May 28, 2005, 6:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanguy
Here's some other stuff i found....

Unity Office Tower Complex - status unkown

i love this tower.....kinda reminds me of the GasLight building in L.A. for some reason...i love towers that have curves with glass façades

any new news on this tower?
Newnan 2006 - 27,097
Coweta County 2006 - 115,291
Atlanta Metro 2006 - 5,138,223
Georgia 2006 - 9,363,941
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Old Posted May 28, 2005, 8:16 PM
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Nice projects...but they should really get rid of this stupid height limit. A skyline looks boring if almost all building have the same height. Honolulu definitely needs a couple of buildings in the 600-800ft range.
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2005, 6:39 PM
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Condo proposal gets green light

A rendering of the Keola La‘i, expected to be completed in early 2008. In return for building above the area’s 45-foot height limit, developer A&B Properties will sell 63 units at below-market prices.

Local developer A&B Properties yesterday received approval to move ahead with building a planned 42-story residential condominium on a 2.7-acre site in Kaka'ako between Emily and South streets.

The state Hawai'i Community Development Authority board approved terms for A&B to develop the 352-unit project, including the sale of several units at below-market prices and contributing $1.3 million to help pay for public facilities.

A&B said it plans to begin sales through Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties later this month, and start construction early next year. The tower, named Keola La'i, is projected to be completed in early 2008.

If started as expected, Keola La'i will become the sixth residential high-rise under construction in Kaka'ako, the present hotbed of condo construction on O'ahu. At least two more towers are also planned in the area.

Stanley Kuriyama, A&B Properties chief executive officer, said the company is excited to participate in the development of "Honolulu's new urban village."

Keola La'i prices are expected to start at about $340,000 for one-bedroom units, $445,000 for two-bedroom units and $695,000 for three-bedroom units — on up to the mid-$800,000s for the most expensive three-bedroom unit.

The tower, to be clad in an exterior of bronze glass and metal panels, is designed atop a four-story podium with 687 parking spaces, recreational amenities and 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial street-front space.

Under rules of the state agency that governs redevelopment in Kaka'ako, A&B sought to build above the area's normal 45-foot height limit in return for providing below-market units or cash for the state to build more affordable housing in the area.

A&B also will pay about $1.3 million to the agency to pay for public facilities such as parks and public parking in the area. That sum is derived from an agency formula based on the size of A&B's project.

The below-market housing rule requires A&B to provide 20 percent of units at below-market prices, or an equivalent in cash.

A&B agreed to sell 49 two-bedroom units for an average of $358,317 and 14 one-bedroom units for an average of $290,643, representing a 19 percent discount from comparable units at market prices.

In lieu of providing another seven below-market units, A&B will pay $1.2 million to the agency, which uses impact fee assessments to develop affordable housing projects.

The below-market condos will be available to qualified buyers who have not owned a home in the past three years and earn less than 140 percent of the Honolulu median annual income for a family of four, or $94,850.

Qualified buyers also cannot sell the unit for two years, and must share proceeds from a sale anytime thereafter with the agency under another formula.

The below-market housing provision is part of the agency's stated aim to provide housing for a "gap" group of people who make too much to qualify for government assistance but not enough to qualify for a loan for an at-market home.

A&B initially proposed offering 70 mostly one-bedroom units at below-market prices, over which agency staff negotiated a settlement for more two-bedroom units and at lower prices.

Agency board member Stanley Shiraki, deputy director of the state Budget & Finance Department, withheld his approval of Keola La'i's development permit because he wanted more information on how below-market housing terms were negotiated.

There also was some concern raised by member Paul Kimura of City Fender and Body Service over loss of private parking spaces currently leased on the otherwise undeveloped lot, but agency staff said it is working to add public parking throughout Kaka'ako.

Kimura also withheld his support, and Keola La'i was approved by a 7-2 vote.

A&B Properties, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., acquired the site bordered by South, Queen, Kawaiaha'o and Emily streets last August for $14 million from a subsidiary of Japan-based Motoi Kosan, according to property records.

A&B announced its general idea to build a condo on the site at the time, more than a decade after Motoi Kosan's plan to build a high-rise condo on the site fell through.

Motoi Kosan bought the block in 1989 near the height of the Japanese investment bubble, but during foundation construction in 1992, the speculative real estate bubble popped and the project was abandoned.

A&B said it will build its tower on 1,300 concrete piles already in the ground.

Keola La'i will be A&B's third condo tower in Honolulu in the past few years. The company has sold out its 100-unit Lanikea project under construction in Waikiki, and is also a partner in the Hokua luxury tower in Kaka'ako that is nearly sold out.

New Kapi'olani high-rise planned

The developer of the twin-tower Moana Pacific condominium on Kapi'olani Boulevard is proposing to build another residential high-rise about a block away, adding to the condo building rush that's helping feed Hawai'i's hot housing market.

KC Rainbow Development seeks to build the high-rise at the vacant Kapi'olani site that once was home to the Flamingo Chuckwagon restaurant and more recently envisioned for a $25 million home furnishing and design center.

The plan is part of a proposed three-way agreement with the Chuckwagon site owner and the state in which the home furnishing and design center would relocate to Moana Pacific's high-rise while the state gets parking for the public and small businesses that are losing valuable street parking at the diamondhead end of Queen Street.

The proposal is scheduled to be reviewed today by the board of the Hawai'i Community Development Authority, the state agency guiding redevelopment in Kaka'ako.

The development agency's staff is recommending the board approve the plan.

Daniel Dinell, agency executive director, called the proposal a "win-win" solution that helps fulfill a previous request from board members to include more pedestrian-friendly businesses in ground-level commercial space at Moana Pacific.

The agency board previously encouraged Moana Pacific developer KC Rainbow to include commercial tenants more attractive to passers-by, but agency development rules prohibited retail uses. Only light-industrial use was permitted and could have resulted in tenants such as food catering and copy shops.

KC Rainbow previously said its twin-tower condo, which is under construction, might include an 80,000-square-foot light-industrial component as an optional future phase, though it was uncertain whether appropriate tenants could be found that fit well with the condo.

In May the agency changed its rules to allow Kaka'ako property owners to transfer allowed uses between unconnected sites.

To take advantage of the rule change, KC Rainbow proposes to purchase the Chuckwagon site from the owner of INspiration Furniture, Thomas Sorensen, who planned to develop the design center anchored by an INspiration store.

KC Rainbow would be allowed to transfer the retail use of the Chuckwagon site to its Moana Pacific project. It would provide public parking, a qualified industrial use, on the Chuckwagon site.

Under terms of the agreement, Sorensen would develop the commercial component of the Moana Pacific project. He could not be reached for comment to say whether the plan for the design center would significantly change.

As initially envisioned, the design center was to feature a flagship INspiration store along with other retailers selling home and office products. Project backers tried to interest Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma, but no tenant announcements were made.

Foundation construction began in 2002, but was halted, and the project previously expected to be finished in 2003 was suspended.

Allen Leong, operations director for KC Rainbow, said a design center addition to Moana Pacific would create more interaction between the public and the project. "It'll make our block more attractive," he said.

Leong said details are still being worked out for the proposed residential tower. "We're still closely watching the market to see where the buyers still are," he said, indicating that pricing units under $500,000 is attractive but will depend on construction costs.

Obviously, it's a good location, but we really don't know how it's going to shape up yet, Leong said.

KC Rainbow proposes to turn a portion of the Sorensen property into a 100-stall parking lot by Sept. 1, and lease 80 stalls to the state so it can provide public parking in part to replace stalls being lost by improving the diamondhead end of Queen Street.

If KC Rainbow develops the residential condo as envisioned, the state would have an option to purchase or lease 100 stalls in the project's parking structure for long-term use.

Condos planned for site of Wave Waikiki

Architect Paul Thoryk has bought a 2.2-acre parcel where he plans to build 280 luxury residential units

After 25 years at its Waikiki home, the popular Wave Waikiki nightclub faces the prospect of closing to make way for a condominium development in Waikiki.

A San Diego architect has bought one of Waikiki's last large land parcels and plans to build a 28-story condominium and retail tower on the site, which includes the popular Wave Waikiki nightclub.

The 2.2-acre triangular lot fronting Kalakaua Avenue, which contains a parking lot, two empty low-rise buildings and the Wave, has been the site of much speculation since it was listed last summer for $17.5 million.

It seems like everyone that has a project going in Hawaii has contacted me about this property, said Joel LaPinta, the Hilo-based commercial Realtor who marketed the site for Los Angeles-based owner Oaktree Capital Management LLC. "I'm still getting calls."

Redevelopment and renovation projects in Waikiki combined with intense demand for condos in Honolulu and prevailing low interest rates to make the site ideal for a residential developer.

It's a good location and the site is large enough to do a project with enough size to be economically feasible, LaPinta said.

The property was under contract last fall to be sold to another developer, but plans fell through because the site, which is zoned for residential use, didn't fit the business model, he said.

The buyer, Paul Thoryk has sent tentative plans to the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and is slated to present his concept to the board on July 12. Thoryk could not be reached for comment.

According to Thoryk's prospectus, plans include a 280-unit luxury condominium tower, called the Puaena, which will sit atop a base containing six levels of covered parking, a street-level lobby and an amenities floor, which will include a health spa, day lounge, multimedia theater, cocktail lounge, game room and business/conference center.

Also on the site will be 10,000 square feet of retail space, an 8,000-square-foot restaurant, a tiki village containing small shops and carts, and a tropical zen garden, with waterfalls, koi ponds and pools.

Robert Finley, chairman of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, said he'll be sad to see the Wave, a Waikiki mainstay, go. However, Finley said he welcomes revitalization of the tourist corridor.

As you drive into Waikiki, one of the first things that you see are abandoned buildings. Replacing them with a beautifully landscaped property would an improvement, Finley said.

In the past, the board has gotten complaints about vagrants and drug users sneaking into the empty buildings on the site, he said.

The project, which is in the development and financing stages, is projected to open in fall 2007.

It's not yet clear when the Wave nightclub will close.

Jack Law, a part-owner of the Wave, said the club, which has spent 25 years on the site, has been on a month-to-month lease for about a year and a half.

We're one of the last remaining late-night, free-standing nightclubs in Waikiki, Law said.

I think the Wave is responsible for many babies being born, who are adults now.

The Wave also serves as a haven for artists, who decorate the interior walls every six weeks, he said. Law is nostalgic about the club's long run at its Kalakaua Avenue home, but said he'll attempt to relocate in Waikiki, a prospect that has proven difficult for many other nightclub owners, as leasing costs have risen along with the value of the land.

About seven years ago, Law had to find another location for Hula's Bar & Lei Stand after a developer evicted the establishment from its spot on Kuhio Avenue after 23 years.

I was holding my butt with both hands when searching for a place for Hula's, but business there now is better than ever, Law said. "If nightclubs can open in Manhattan, we can open one more in Waikiki."

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Old Posted Jul 7, 2005, 6:48 PM
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Here's a little update of some of the projects going on in H O N O L U L U that i know of so far!


Under Construction:

1-Hokua Tower: 40 stories @ 418 ft. (2005)
2-Ko'olani: 47 stories (2006)
3-Moana Pacific East Tower: 46 stories @ 400 ft. (2006)
4-Lanikea at Waikiki: 30 stories @ 300 ft. (2005)
5-215 North King Street: 23 stories

*more to come!


1-Moana Pacific West Tower: 46 stories @ 400 ft.
2-Waikikian Tower: 38 stories (2005)
3-Nine O Nine Kapi'olani: 35 stories @ 332 ft. (2007)
4-Ewa Tower Ward Village: 17 stories
5-Kulana Hale Apartments II: 15 stories
6-Keola La‘I 42 stories (352-units) by (2008)


1-World Trade Center Hawaii: 31 stories @ 400 ft.
2-Capitol Place: 39 stories @ 400 ft? (2007)
3-Watermark Waikiki: 37 stories @ 350 ft. (2007)
4-Outrigger Beach Walk Tower: 350 ft.
5-2121 Kuhio Avenue: 28 stories @ 300 ft.
6-Kapi'olani Akahi C.C. Retirement Community: 26 stories @ 294 ft. (2005)
7-800 Nu'uanu Condominiums: 21 stories @ 220 ft. (2006)
8-Royal Kahili Tower: 16 stories @ 208 ft. (2006)
9-The Pinnacle Honolulu: 35 stories @ 350 ft - 400 ft?
10-Iwilei Elderly Housing: 13 stories
11-Donald Trumps Luxury Condo
12-Possible Old Honolulu Advertiser site Tower
13-3D Investments Condo Tower: 22 stories
14-Paul Thoryk 28 stories (280-units) Waikiki condo
15-KC Rainbow's Kapiolani condo project

*More to come!!


1-25 stories Kaka'ako Project - the land owner sold the property, not sure what's going to happened to it now?
2-Pacific Quay Office Tower - The Pacific Quay project looks like it will turn into waterfront lofts instead of two towers.
3-Pacific Quay Hotel Tower

**OOps sorry does not include suburbs i think there are at least 2 U/C in the suburbs currently
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2005, 5:42 PM
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Urbanguy Urbanguy is offline
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The Watermark Waikiki Tower

Late takeover of Waikiki high-rise to delay sales

A San Diego company has taken over a planned upscale residential high-rise in Waikiki, pushing back sales and disrupting plans by a group of preferred prospective buyers who expected to make reservations yesterday at what was to be the newest condominium to hit the market.

Real estate development firm Intracorp San Diego is buying the land and development plans for The Watermark Waikiki, a 212-unit tower permitted for a 3-acre site bordered by Ala Wai Boulevard, Hobron Lane and Lipe'epe'e Street.

The 38-story project is one of several condos planned or under construction in Waikiki, including plans for a Donald Trump-branded tower on Saratoga Road and a project on land under and around the Wave Waikiki nightclub. Nearly complete is Lanikea on Kuhio Avenue, and nearby the low-rise Loft @ Waikiki expects to start coming out of the ground soon.

The Watermark sale, for an undisclosed price, is expected to close by the end of the month.

The seller is Irongate Capital Partners, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based investment and development firm that bought the property last year for $15.5 million and planned the Watermark.

Sales were scheduled to begin next weekend, with a group of about 30 VIP clients of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties given the first opportunity to make $50,000 deposits yesterday.

Many of the preferred prospective buyers, like Napa Valley, Calif., librarian Michele Woggon, flew into town for a reception expecting to make reservations.

Woggon said her broker called on Wednesday to say the early opportunity to buy was canceled, though the reception party would go on.

Rug pulled out of our feet is how Woggon described the situation. "This was supposed to be some exclusive thing with 30 VIPs," she said. "What are they planning now for people who came all the way here?"

It's out of Irongate's hands now, said Michael Pepper, an Irongate partner who said the VIP reception wasn't postponed because the deal with Intracorp could have fallen through. Pepper said project brokers were alerted as soon as the deal was assured late Tuesday.

Keith Fernandez, president and chief executive officer of Intracorp San Diego, said he only found out earlier this week about the reservation party, and will try to work with the group.

Obviously we want them as buyers, he said. "Certainly we're going to want to put them on a very special list because they made the effort to come here. But we will not be taking reservations."

Fernandez said his firm does not plan to make major changes to the project. "Our plan for the most part is to stay with what (Irongate) has done," he said.

Sales will probably be delayed until between mid-August to mid-September, with construction anticipated to start between October and November.

Prices are likely to be from around $700,000 to well over $1 million. "We're just getting into pricing," Fernandez said.

Intracorp San Diego is an urban residential development firm spun off from Canadian resort developer Intrawest Corp., and has sister companies in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Canada.

In late 2003, Intracorp San Diego explored buying a downtown Honolulu block overlooking Honolulu Harbor with the idea to develop a mid- to upper-market condo, but the plan turned out not to be economically feasible.

Fernandez, who joined the firm in 1997, was born in Hawai'i and is a Punahou School graduate who has worked for Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Moloka'i Ranch and his own real estate development firm.

Irongate is a private firm with a low profile. The Watermark, previously dubbed The Ala Wai Gateway, was the company's first Hawai'i project.

Earlier this year, Irongate reached a tentative deal to develop a luxury condo with Trump as part of the Waikiki Beach Walk redevelopment by Outrigger Enterprises. That deal is still being finalized.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2005, 6:24 PM
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i wish honolulu had more height.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2005, 12:18 AM
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urgh..nothin over 418' u/c...wow.

Hawaii needs to build UP!!!
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2005, 6:38 AM
JiminyCricket II JiminyCricket II is offline
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urb, wur da flock you been? We had a discussion about you over in the nw forum wondering where you were. transition back to portland?
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2005, 5:59 PM
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New condo project planned at Ko Olina

Resort homebuilder Centex Destination Properties said it plans to build a luxury beachfront mid-rise condominium at Ko Olina Resort & Marina with average unit prices at a little more than $2 million.

The 247-unit project fronting Lagoon No. 2 midway between the resort's hotel and time-share complex would be the most expensive home offering at the growing West O'ahu resort, and probably the priciest overall condo project developed on the Island.

"That's a huge price," said Ricky Cassiday, a local housing market analyst who said the project's more than $1,300-per-square-foot typical unit price is probably a record on O'ahu for a new condo project, though several have sold for more at Neighbor Island resorts. The units range from 1,200 square feet to 1,600 square feet.

"It's an ambitious price for — I want to say an ambitious project, but it's not, because it's been realized," Cassiday said.

The development, called Beach Villas at Ko Olina, stands to rack up sales of roughly $500 million, reflecting the strength of Hawai'i's red-hot housing market and the emerging position of the still largely undeveloped resort.

Bruce Sloan, Hawai'i division president for Dallas-based Centex, said the company is selling a home in a resort atmosphere fronting ocean lagoons and nearby golf not far from the cosmopolitan offerings of Honolulu. "You really can't find any place else like that in Honolulu," he said.

Other amenities promoted for the Beach Villas include an exclusive beachfront bar for residents, a fitness center and kitchens designed by world-famous local chef Roy Yamaguchi.

The condo is split between two buildings, a mauka tower rising 15 stories and a makai tower of about eight stories, each with underground parking and a pool.

Sloan said he expects sales for an initial 75 units in the mauka building will begin Oct. 17, with construction to start in December. The first units are scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Centex expects that buyers will mostly be from the Mainland. Because of the property's resort zoning, buyers will be able to rent out their units as vacation rentals, though Sloan said he expects the large majority of buyers will keep their units for personal use.

Beach Villas is Centex's third residential project at Ko Olina, and could be followed by more, Sloan said. "There's a lot of opportunity out there, and we're working with (Ko Olina master developer Jeff Stone) to bring that opportunity to reality," he said.

Centex first acquired land at Ko Olina in late 2003 and last year began selling the first of 324 townhomes and single-family homes for roughly $600,000 to $1.1 million. The company earlier this year began developing another 174 townhomes at the resort for somewhat lower prices.

Centex plans to build Beach Villas on a 7-acre site, half of which was purchased Sept. 1 for an undisclosed price from firms affiliated with Stone and other major Ko Olina landowner HRT Ltd., an affiliate of The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The other half of the property sale is expected to be completed later.

The site was previously envisioned for a Ritz-Carlton hotel and then the planned world-class aquarium financed by up to $75 million in state tax credits. The proposed aquarium was recently relocated to a site nearer the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa.

Three or four undeveloped hotel sites remain at the resort, which has been growing in recent years primarily with residential development and a 750-unit time-share complex by Marriott.

Ko Olina was originally envisioned in the mid-1970s by developer Herbert Horita as a $2 billion resort with 10 hotels, a golf course, marina and 3,000 homes.

Horita completed one hotel, four lagoons, a golf course and 280 townhomes before development stalled in the early 1990s. Stone acquired the resort with partners in 1999 and revised the master plan toward lower density development.

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Kaka'ako waterfront housing wins approval

Prime state waterfront land along Kewalo Basin likely will sprout homes after developers vying to remake 36 acres of what was mostly industrial real estate received approval to build and sell residential housing in the area.

The state agency guiding redevelopment of the area known as Kaka'ako Makai amended its rules yesterday to allow homes in the area after considering public testimony that ranged from support in developing an urban village to concerns over restrictions to public ocean and park access.

"We've got to find a balance," said Curtis Crabbe, a contractor who lives on Moloka'i and has bodysurfed the Point Panic surf break next to the Kewalo Harbor channel since 1965. "Keep Kewalo where I can bodysurf till the day I die."

It would be the first housing development makai of Ala Moana in modern times outside of Waikiki. Most of the area's urban waterfront has been reserved for parks and maritime use.

The state Hawaii Community Development Authority views residential development in Kaka'ako Makai as critical to improving its key asset, especially in light of previous failures to push ahead with redevelopment there.

In January, the agency solicited private development proposals. It expects to make a selection among four plans later this month. Details are being kept confidential until after the selection.


Some community members at yesterday's hearing suggested that agency directors had already decided on the residential change because the agency's request for proposals suggested developers provide about 300 residential units in their plans. They also recommended roughly 250,000 square feet of entertainment and retail space and 500,000 square feet of public and commercial space.

"It looks like bad faith," said Nancy Hedlund, an Ala Moana resident who opposes residential use makai of Ala Moana and envisions 20-story condominiums walling off the existing Kaka'ako Waterfront Park.

Michael Kliks, an avid paipo boarder and bodysurfer from Honolulu, also opposed the rule change, which increased maximum building heights from 45 feet to 65 feet along the 'ewa edge of Kewalo Basin.

"It's going to be like Waikiki," he said. "You can't see the ocean anymore."

Kliks predicted that allowing residential development makai of Ala Moana would make the ocean and park accessible to only those who can afford home prices that are close to $1 million for several nearby condominiums under construction in Kaka'ako.

"This is just shibai ... about living and working in the area," he said. "How many of you can afford a one-bedroom studio that costs a million dollars?"

The state agency's staff said development proposals will expand public access for decades to the Kewalo waterfront largely occupied by industrial businesses. The agency added that replacing some commercial use with residential will reduce local traffic and create a critical mass of people who will take advantage of whatever else is built there.

The rule change fits with the agency's goal mandated by the Legislature to create a mixed-use community with businesses and residents in Kaka'ako, a combination originally included in the agency's makai area plan in 1983.

Housing was excluded in a plan revision in 1987, then intended to be included in 1994 but never adopted.

Agency staff and developers suggested yesterday that not allowing residential housing with commercial uses wouldn't work as part of a redevelopment project.

"Without the residential component, I can't see this being successful," said local developer Stanford Carr, one of four finalists for the redevelopment opportunity.

The other finalists are A&B Properties Inc., Victoria Ward Ltd. and Kewalo Nui Partners LLC. The winning developer would still have to negotiate a detailed development agreement with the state. Construction could begin as early as fall 2006.

Teney Takahashi, agency director of planning and development, said the sale of state land for housing will help pay for maintaining and expanding public facilities such as parks in Kaka'ako.

"We are trying to balance the expenses of public facilities," he said.


About 30 people testified at yesterday's hearing. Among them, opinions were closely divided between those with real estate or development interests who favored residential use, and park users or residents who opposed the change.

The balance slightly leaned toward those supportive of mixing homes with new commercial development in the area, including Eric Crispin, surfer and former director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting, and Lowell Chun, the department's community planning chief.

Karl Rhoads, a Chinatown resident, said he looks forward to another urban village in Honolulu where residents such as he and his wife walk to work and the grocery store.

"We live our lives pretty much in a small geographic area," he said. "Traffic is basically irrelevant to us 95 percent of the time."

Developers and planners said integrating residential and commercial uses to revive urban areas has been successful in many Mainland cities, and can help curb urban sprawl, suburban expansion and traffic congestion.

"Honolulu will continue to grow," said Mike Wright, a senior vice president with A&B Properties. "Concentrating residential development ... is in the interest of smart planning and smart urban growth."

Under agency rules, a developer building higher than 45 feet is required to either make 20 percent of residential units affordable for moderate-income families or give the agency an equivalent in cash to build below-market housing in Kaka'ako.

A few opponents of housing in Kaka'ako Makai said they would support dormitories for researchers and students at the new University of Hawai'i medical school in the area, but not high-end condos.

Source: Honolulu Advertiser
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