Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.

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Howard Hughes breaks ground on Ward Village Central Plaza

 Source: Dennis Oda, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Source: Dennis Oda, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Last week, the Howard Hughes Corporation broke ground for its "Dynamic open green space", a central plaza on Auahi Street in Kakaako. The public park will support the entire Ward Village development, including Waiea, Anaha, and the upcoming Aeo, Gateway Towers, and Aaalii. The 1.5-acre site is slated to be complete by January 2019. It will surely be a welcome addition to the community, especially as more residents move into the area. Across the street, at Ala Moana Beach Park, the City and County of Honolulu has banned dogs, so we are grateful to hear that Howard Hughes will be providing an alternative space for Kakaako residents to enjoy the outdoors!

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

Hawaii real estate developers usually hold ground- blessing and groundbreaking ceremonies for buildings that will replace open spaces. On Tuesday in Kakaako the opposite happened.

Representatives of Howard Hughes Corp. gathered on a parcel of land, housing the razed remains of warehouse buildings, and announced the start of work to turn the roughly 1.5-acre site into a great public lawn, slated to be completed in January.

Representatives of the Ward Village developer used Hawaiian digging sticks, or oo, to disturb a pulverized pile of asphalt, a move symbolic of starting work on what it envisions will be the first half of a 3-acre central public plaza. The plaza is part of the developer’s 65-acre master-planned community, which also includes up to 4,300 homes — mainly in condominium towers — plus 1 million square feet of retail space.

“We’re really going to make this come to life,” said Todd Apo, vice president of community development for the Texas-based company. “It’s really going to be something amazing.”

More elaborate elements of the plaza, such as water features, shade pavilions and walking paths, won’t be put in place for at least the next few years. Initially the 1.5-acre portion of the plaza will be a grassy area with some trees and landscaping plants. Hughes Corp. plans to use it for events — such as outdoor movies and yoga classes — that are currently held in a courtyard in the nearby IBM Building headquarters, also on Ward Village land.

The board of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which regulates development in Kakaako, had ordered Howard Hughes Corp. to complete the initial 1.5-acre portion of the plaza by January 2019 as a condition of approving what the developer expects will be its fifth tower in the area, ‘A‘ali‘i.

Howard Hughes Corp. had objected to the condition last year, saying it would be impossible to complete its grand plaza as originally designed by the deadline.

“The (deadline) is impossible to accomplish under any realistic scenario and would allow only for the demolition of buildings and the clearing of the area for temporary open space, with no features or amenities that enhance the experience for the community,” the developer said in its objection filed by attorneys with local law firm Watanabe Ing LLP. “Surely, it could not have been the intent of HCDA to obtain a central plaza that is simply a grassed area.”

HCDA’s board voted for the condition in part because the company had indicated the plaza would be part of Ward Village’s first phase.

At the time, all permitted or completed projects at Ward Village represented 44 percent of building density allowed under Hughes Corp.’s master plan. To date, two towers have been completed, two are under construction and three are permitted but not yet under construction. Recently, Howard Hughes Corp. announced its plan for an eighth tower, Ko‘ula, which along with ‘A‘ali‘i would be on the Diamond Head side of the 1.5-acre lawn and future central plaza.

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Honolulu (Daniel K. Inouye) International Airport to undergo sign updates

State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation - Airports Division

The State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation - Airports Division announced plans for a new system will soon be implemented to identify gates and baggage claim areas at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport as part of the airport’s modernization plan. Read more from the Honolulu-Star Advertiser below to prepare for the changes, which start on June 1, 2018:

Beginning June 1, existing identification signs at all gates and baggage claim areas will be temporarily covered with placards with new gate and baggage claim identification numbers. Passengers will also notice new gate numbers printed on their boarding passes.

When the project is carried out, crews will replace the placards with new permanent signs. The $23 million sign replacement project involves replacing approximately 3,100 signs inside and outside of the airport, along the roadways and within the terminals and parking structures.

New digital signs will also be installed above roadways to direct people to airline lobbies and check-in counters.

Work will involve electrical work, installation of ground mounted roadway signs, ceiling patching and other related improvements.

The project is slated to be completed in the summer of 2019.

Signs are being replaced as crews prepare to start construction to the Mauka Concourse in June. Officials are also currently in the planning stages for the new Diamond Head Concourse.

Tim Sakahara, spokesman of the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said signs at the airport have not been updated for more than 25 years.

In a news release, Jade Butay, director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said, “The new numbering and identification coincides with our efforts to modernize HNL and make our signage more consistent with other airports. Ultimately it will make the entire facility more efficient and user friendly, while allowing for future expansion.”

Gates will be identified by a letter followed by a number. For example, Gate 57 will be renamed A17.

Existing letters in the baggage claim areas will be replaced with numbers. Baggage claim area F, for example, will have two separate carousel identification numbers.

As the airport implements the new system, both airline and airport employees will help direct passengers to their respective gates and baggage claim areas to ensure a smooth transition, according to Blaine Miyasato, co-chair of the Airlines Committee of Hawaii.

Other changes at the airport include the following:

>> The Interisland Terminal will be identified as Terminal 1 (Hawaiian Airlines)

>> The Overseas Terminal will be identified as Terminal 2 (all other airlines)

>> Commuter Terminal will be identified as Terminal 3 (Mokulele Airlines )

Terminal 3 will relocate to the Diamond Head side of the airport with passengers to enter from Aolele Street between the United Cargo and Delta Cargo facilities on May 29.

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April 2018 condo sales see flat median sales price but increase in sales

April 2018 statistics from "Oahu Real Estate Report - April 2018" by Locations Hawaii, LLC

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu jumped 10 percent in April to $795,000, the largest percentage increase for any month in four years, according to a new report by Honolulu real estate firm Locations.

The last time there was a double-digit increase in median price for single-family homes was in February 2014, when the median price rose by 13.2 percent to $679,000, from $600,000 the year before. The last time there was a double-digit increase in April was in 2006, according to Locations.

Sales of single-family homes last month increased 2 percent to 300 homes sold, from 295 homes sold in April 2017.

The median price increased to $795,000, from $720,000 in April 2017, and the number of active listings increased 3 percent to 913, from 889 last year.

The median price of a condominium was flat at $420,500, compared to $419,500 last year, but sales jumped 14 percent to 560 units sold, from 492 units sold in April of last year.

The number of active listings for condos also increased by 14 percent to 1,526 in April, from 1,339 during the same month last year.

Days on market for condos increased to 20 days, from 15 days, while the metric increased to 19 days for single-family homes, from 17 days last year.

“We’re pleased to see more choices for prospective homeowners this spring, with increases to both single-family and condo housing stock,” Scott Higashi, president and CEO of Locations, said in a statement. “While median prices continue to rise, as more inventory comes online this summer it will be key for sellers to understand their particular neighborhood market and price their homes appropriately to attract future homeowners.”

The Honolulu Board of Realtors will release its April market report early next week.

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Whole Foods Queen in Ward Village Now Open

whole foods kakaako ward village jack tyrrell 10.jpg

Whole Foods Market Queen in Ward Village is now open for business! I was excited to check out the new market on its opening day. The market occupies the ground floor of soon-to-be-completed Aeo, and is conveniently located across the street from Anaha. Waiea is just one block down the street. The market is a great addition to the neighborhood, which did not have a supermarket before this. This will make it easier than ever for residents of Waiea, Anaha, Aeo, Hokua, and other Kakaako area condos to get the essentials done - and all within walking distance!

This will also be the biggest Whole Foods in the state, and will feature the following, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

  • Sugar-cane juice: Pressed fresh in the store and sold in bottles.
  • Two Tides Bar: 24 beers on tap, including exclusive Waikiki Brewing Co. brews.
  • A specialty liquor case: With lighting that makes the premium wines, Champagnes and whiskeys seem to glow.
  • La Tour Cafe and Lanikai Juice: Both local eateries have kiosks within Whole Foods. The store also features vegan menu items from Juicy Brew.
  • Also: Not exclusive to Kakaako, but worth mentioning are self-serve bins offering mochi ice cream and macarons, and a self-serve poke station.
  • And just because: Prominently displayed is a new line of products under the chain’s 365 Everyday Value brand — kochujang-flavored chips, ketchup, mustard and marinade.

The market is located at 388 Kamakee Street, and operates from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. To reach the market for services, such as ordering one of their delicious cakes, call (808) 379-1800.

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Howard Hughes' new Honolulu tower, Koula, to reserve all of ground floor for retail

 Photo: Pacific Business News

Photo: Pacific Business News

The Howard Hughes Corporation has announced plans for its next condominium project, Koula. The proposed mixed-use tower will feature commercial space on the bottom floor, and will will feature 570 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms units across 41 stories. Koula will be conveniently located across the street from the Ward Entertainment Center on Auahi Street, where Consolidated Theaters is located, and across from the new Whole Foods, which will open next week! 

Connect with me directly to learn more about Howard Hughes' latest plans! And, read more from Pacific Business News, below: 

The Howard Hughes Corp. is taking a slightly different approach with sixth mixed-use tower in Honolulu, called Koula, by reserving all of the ground floor of the 570-unit tower for commercial space and moving the lobby and other residential services to the second floor.

Koula, The Howard Hughes Corp's next mixed-use condominium project, is planned for a site on Auahi Street, next to the Ward Entertainment Center, site of the former warehouse buildings, which were recently demolished, as seen here.

Photo: Pacific Business News

The 41-story building is planned for a site next to the Ward Entertainment Center on Auahi Street, where a group of warehouse buildings were recently demolished. The tower will have a mauka-makai orientation, with the long side facing the Ward Village central plaza, a public park that will stretch from Queen Street to Ala Moana Boulevard.

Koula, The Howard Hughes Corp's next mixed-use condominium project, is planned for a site on Auahi Street, next to the Ward Entertainment Center, site of the former warehouse buildings, which were recently demolished, as seen here.
Work on that park space is getting ready to start, and the first phase, which will include grass and landscaping, is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Sales of the 570 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet at Koula are expected to start late this year or early 2019, assuming the developer completes the entitlement process; prices are not available yet. Construction could start in late 2019.

The name Koula — Hawaiian for red sugar cane — was chosen by Hilo-based Sig Zane Designs. The building is being designed by Studio Gang, which is led by architect Jeanne Gang and has offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, and the interiors are being designed by the international design firm Yabu Pushelberg, which has offices in New York and Toronto.

This rendering shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s planned Koula mixed-use condominium in Honolulu. The 41-story building will have 570 units.

Photo: Pacific Business News

“Koula is a transformative next step for Ward Village” Simon Treacy, president of Hawaii at The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC). “It’s connection to the Central Plaza will activate the streetscape in a vibrant outdoor setting that is intended to foster social connection and public recreation in the heart of Honolulu.”

While the building conforms to the developer’s Ward Village master plan, the Howard Hughes Corp. is asking the Hawaii Community Development Corp., which oversees development in Kakaako, for a modification to allow the podium to be built 75 feet high, instead of the allowed 45 feet, said Todd Apo, vice president of community development. The HCDA has scheduled public hearings on the project for June 6 and June 13, with decision making scheduled for Aug. 1.


The developer did the same for its first five buildings — the completed Waiea and Anaha towers, the Aeo and Ke Kilohana towers under construction and the Aalii tower, which will start construction later this year behind the Koula site.

Photo: Pacific Business News


“It allows you to push the parking in and wrap the building with retail,” Apo said. “From a community standpoint, it makes a lot of sense.”

The entire first floor will be leased to retail and restaurants, as well as part of the second floor. The building is also being designed with a public porte cochere that opens to a courtyard and entrance to the central plaza, where people visiting the park, shops or restaurants may get dropped off. “More of a drop-off experience than a parking experience,” Apo said.

Race Randle, senior vice president of development at Howard Hughes, said the initial phase of the central plaza will involve planting grass “that can handle a lot of use” and other landscaping.


“It really starts to activate the heart of the neighborhood,” he said. Eventually, the developer will wrap buildings around all sides of the public park area.

The Ward Village master plan calls for 1 million square feet at buildout. Randle noted that when Aeo and Ke Kilohana, which will include a 23,000-square-foot Longs Drugs store, are completed, Ward Village will have a total of 400,000 square feet of retail, which includes 200,000 square feet at the Ward Entertainment Center.


The new building will have no public parking, but it is adjacent to the Whole Foods Market-anchored Aeo, where public parking spaces are already open.

Meanwhile, the Whole Foods Market is preparing to open its 72,00-square-foot flagship store at Aeo next week, on May 9.

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Industry News: Multimillion-dollar sales push Honolulu condo prices to new high

 Photo property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors has released its monthly sales reports, finding that median sales price for a condo reached $435,000 in March 2018, a 8.8 percent gain from $400,000 in March 2017. The median price for condos reached a new record of $435,000, which was previously set in January 2018 at $430,000.

Resales of luxury units in the newly completed Anaha at Ward Village and Park Lane Ala Moana contributed to the higher median sales price for a condo last month.

Read the full report from Pacific Business News, below:

The median price of a condominium reached a new high in March, compared to last year, driven by the sales of nearly two dozen multimillion-dollar units, while sales declined slightly, according to statistics released by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

The median price of a condominium last month was $435,000, an increase of 8.8 percent from $400,000 in March 2017. That was based on sales of 485 units, which was 2 percent fewer than the 495 units that sold in March 2017.

The number of single-family homes sold declined 1.3 percent to 305 homes sold, from 309 homes sold in March 2017. The median price of single-family homes in March was $760,000, an increase of 1.1 percent from $752,000 in March 2017.

“The March condominium figures were impacted by the resales of 20 luxury and multimillion-dollar units. Consumers should remember that half of sales were below the median price,” Darryl Macha, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said in a statement.

“The increase in median prices, even modest ones like we saw in March, reflects the continued limited inventory available. However, it’s encouraging to see the 11 percent increase in active listings for condominiums, giving potential buyers more options in the market.”

OAHU HOME SALES

The number of homes sold in March with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year.

HOMES
March | Sales | Median price
2018 | 305 | $760,000
2017 | 309 | $752,000
Change | -1.3% | 1.1%

CONDOS
March | Sales | Median price
2018 | 485 | $435,000
2017 | 495 | $400,000
Change | -2.0% | 8.8%

Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors

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Jon Matsubara to lead new Merriman’s at Anaha

 Photo:  Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Photo: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Merriman's at Anaha has named Jon Matsubara its Executive Chef. With his years of experience and success in starting high-end restaurants in Honolulu, we look forward to seeing what Chef Matsubara brings to Merriman's. The restaurant at Anaha is slated to open June 2018.

Read more from the Star-Advertiser, below:

Jon Matsubara has opened three high-end Honolulu restaurants — Stage at the Honolulu Design Center, Azure at the Royal Hawaiian and Forty Carrots at Bloomingdale’s. He’s adding a fourth: Merriman’s Honolulu, set to open in June in the new Anaha complex in Ward Villages.

“I enjoy the energy,” Matsubara said. “It’s always a different concept. When I open a restaurant I always say, ‘I’m going to reinvent myself.’”

The restaurant will be the first on Oahu directly owned by Peter Merriman, an original Hawaii Regional Cuisine chef. Merriman’s more casual Monkeypod Kitchen and Moku Kitchen are partnerships with Handcrafted Restaurants.

“Many people in Honolulu have admired Jon’s cooking for years, myself included,” Merriman said. “Jon shares our vision of minimalist cooking that showcases Hawaii’s great products.”

Matsubara left Blooming­dale’s in January to be Merriman’s executive chef.

The challenges of a restaurant opening teach lasting lessons, he said, comparing those challenges to mishaps in the kitchen. “I always believe the best cooks make the most mistakes. Then you know how to fix everything.”

Matsubara described the new restaurant as a bistro, casual but with a modern elegance. The menu is still in the works, he said. “I see it as presenting local ingredients and turning it into magic.”

The dish he hopes will find a home on the menu is his bouillabaisse, which has taken many forms as he has brought it from dinner at Stage to lunch at Forty Carrots. “I can see that working.”

Matsubara, 45, was on his way to a law degree in 1995, when he decided he had no passion for that and turned instead to cooking. He took a job as a dishwasher at both Roy Yamaguchi’s and Alan Wong’s restaurants, coming in early for his shifts to learn the cooking basics.

After three years he entered the French Culinary Institute in New York and then went to work for some of the biggest names in the business: Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Floyd Cardoz. He returned to Hawaii as chef de cuisine at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Big Island.

Matsubara views his current gig as about the most exciting he could ask for.

“Kakaako is going to be the future,” he said. “The energy is incredible. It’s not something I’ve seen anywhere before in Honolulu.”

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Anaha Glass-Bottom Pool Featured in National Publication, Travel + Leisure

Anaha's iconic glass-bottom pool has been featured in national Travel + Leisure Magazine. 15 feet of the pool overhangs from the building approximately 80 feet from the ground, creating a "floating in air" effect.

We have a handful of listings for sale and for rent available now, so that you can experience the famous pool for yourself! Contact me for details or visit my website.

Read the full feature by Andrea Romano, below (originally published March 7, 2018), and watch a video above or on Travel + Leisure's website here:

 Photo: Travel + Leisure Magazine

Photo: Travel + Leisure Magazine

Are you brave enough to swim in a pool suspended 80 feet in the air?

Anaha, a new 40-story residential building in Honolulu, on Oahu, features artfully designed public spaces, shops, restaurants, and entertainment — but there's one feature that stands out from the rest: a glass-bottom pool 80 feet in the air.

The pool, designed and planned by Surface Design, juts out 15 feet from the side of the building, giving swimmers a beautiful view and a feeling of floating in air. (It’s probably not the best for people with a fear of heights.)

Meaning “reflection of light,” Anaha is designed with curved floor plates and a curtain-wall façade that give the entire building the appearance of a wave of water, glistening in the sun.

The building was designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz, in partnership with Benjamin Woo Architects, and features an 80-feet by 15-feet “living wall” with 8,000 tropical plants that greets anyone who comes through the front doors.

Next to the pool is the building’s amenity deck, where residents can sit in the sun on relaxing chairs and loungers.

Anaha offers 244 studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom tower residences as well as 73 low-rise flats and townhomes. Residents can enjoy views from the beachfront to Diamond Head, and from Kewalo Harbor to the gorgeous sunset.

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Industry News: Oahu condo sales, prices post gains in February, Locations report says

 Photo: property of Jack Tyrrell and Company

Photo: property of Jack Tyrrell and Company

The condominium market remains busy, as sales on Oahu rose 50 percent in February 2018 as compared to February 2017. 395 units were sold last month, compared to 377 units sold in February last year. The median price of a condo rose 5 percent to $411,000 in February 2018, from $390,000 during the same month last year.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below: 

Sales of condominiums on Oahu rose 5 percent in February, as prices rose by the same percentage point, while single-family home sales recorded a slight decline in sales and a slight increase in prices, according to a report from Hawaii real estate firm Locations.

The median price of a single-family home on Oahu last month was $770,000, a 1 percent increase from $760,000 in February 2017, based on Locations’ summary of Multiple Listing Service data. Sales of single-family homes in February dipped 1 percent to 225 homes sold, from 230 homes sold last year.

Sales of condominiums, however increased by 5 percent to 395 units last month, from 377 units sold in February last year. The median price of a condo rose 5 percent to $411,000 in February, from $390,000 during the same month last year.

“February was another solid month for Oahu’s housing market,” Scott Higashi, president and CEO of Locations, said in a statement. “Rising mortgage rates have not yet reached the point of impacting affordability; however, we do expect rates to move up this year.”

Single-family homes spent the same amount of time on the market in February, 23 days, as last year, but condos sold faster — days on market were 18 compared to 24 days in February last year.

“The increase in condo sales, coupled with low days on market, indicates that climbing interest rates have not yet lessened demand; rather, they may have heightened urgency among future homeowners,” Higashi said. “Those in the market for a new home would be wise to get prequalified and be ready to act when the right home comes on the market.”

The Honolulu Board of Realtors will release its February market report next week.

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Ward Village condo sales aid developer’s profit, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

 Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell & Company

Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell & Company

Howard Hughes Corporation has reported that it has sold 93%, or 1,286 of 1,381 condo units, across its Waiea, Anaha, Aeo, and Ke Kilohana condominium projects in Ward Village. The update was a part of the company's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 results, released on Monday, February 26, 2018. Investors and the public can read the financial report on their website here.

With 93% of condos already sold, inventory is tight. However, we currently have three beautiful units at Waiea and eight in Anaha. Plus, there are still great available units in Aeo and Ke Kilohana. Please contact me to learn more!

Read the full Star Advertiser report, below:

The Texas-based developer of Ward Village signed 55 more sale contracts for condominiums in its Ae‘o tower in the fourth quarter, bringing total sales to 91 percent of the project scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Howard Hughes Corp. gave the sales update Monday as part of announcing its financial results for the last three months of 2017.

The company also said that in the recent quarter it sold two condos in its recently finished Anaha tower, two units at its Ke Kilohana tower that is on pace for completion next year, and no units at its Waiea tower that opened at the end of 2016.

Total revenue recognized from Ward Village condo sales in the fourth quarter was $122 million, which compared with $123 million in the same quarter the year before.

Hughes Corp. “recognizes” revenue from condo sales for accounting purposes even though buyers have not completed their purchases, as allowed under federal tax regulations that permit developers to count a certain percentage of revenue in reflection of how much construction of a tower is completed.

For all of last year, Hughes Corp. recognized $464 million in revenue from Ward Village condo sales, compared with $486 million the year before.

At Waiea, 165 of 174 condos have been sold, or 95 percent of the “ultra-luxury” tower where the average unit price is $3.6 million.

At Anaha, 309 of 317 condos have been sold, or 98 percent of the luxury building where unit prices average $1.2 million.

Ke Kilohana is 92 percent sold, with 390 of 424 units under contract in the “workforce housing” tower where most units are priced between roughly $300,000 and $600,000.

The 55 additional sales at Ae‘o bring pending sales in the upscale tower to 422 out of 466 units priced at $1 million on average.

Overall, Hughes Corp. has sold 1,286 of 1,381 condo units in the four towers, or 93 percent of the total.

Besides Ward Village, Hughes Corp. is developing several master-planned communities and large commercial real estate projects on the mainland. The company said it earned $147 million in the fourth quarter on $301 million of revenue, up from a $44 million profit on $279 million of revenue in the same quarter the prior year. Profit for all of last year was $167 million on $1.1 billion of revenue, down from $202 million on $1 billion of revenue in 2016.

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