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

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Ward Village News: Howard Hughes Corp.'s Hawaii projects take top honors at PCBC

 Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

The Howard Hughes Corporation took home four top awards and three awards of merit at the PCBC 2018, formerly known as Pacific Coast Builder Conference, for its Ward Village development in Kakaako, Honolulu. Top awards are in bold, below. For over 59 years, PCBC has been dedicated to advancing the art, science and business of housing. PCBC is the largest homebuilding tradeshow representing the west coast region. Read more from the Pacific Business News below, here: 

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village project in Honolulu recently took home four top awards, including masterplan community of the year, and three awards of merit at the largest homebuilding trade show on the West Coast, while two other Hawaii projects, Keauhou Place and Keauhou Lane, were recognized with awards of merit in two categories.

Ward Village received one of two grand awards for the masterplan community of the year from the Golden Nugget Awards at the annual PCBC conference, formerly known as the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, in San Francisco last week. Esencia in Rancho Mission Viejo, California, also received the grand award for masterplan community of the year.

Ward Village was also honored with a grand award for best indoor/outdoor lifestyle for a community – urban, while the The Howard Hughes Corps.’s (NYSE: HHC) first completed tower, Waiea, received the grand award for best multi-family housing community with 100 units per acre or more, and its fifth planned tower, Aalii, was honored with the grand award for best innovative housing design.

Receiving awards of merit were the developer’s South Shore Market at Ward Village for best commercial project - 20,000 square feet and over, the Ke Kilohana mixed-used tower for best on-the-boards multifamily community and the grand penthouse in Waiea for best indoor/outdoor lifestyle for a home.

“We are honored to be recognized among our industry peers and grateful for our passionate team at Ward Village, which is creating one of the most sought after communities in the country — with almost 96 percent of total units closed or under contract to date,” Simon Treacy, president of The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Hawaii operations, said in a statement. “As we continue to build on the legacy of Victoria Ward who envisioned this land to be a gathering place for everyone, we realize that we have this unique privilege to create a thoughtful neighborhood — one that is not only grounded in its past, but also has an eye to the future and is a place for all.”

Meanwhile, the Keauhou Place condominium project, which was developed by Stanford Carr Development and completed last fall, received an award of merit for best affordable housing community of 100 units or more, while Keauhou Lane, an affordable rental project next door developed by Gerding Edlen, received an award of merit for best multi-family community of the year.

This year’s Golden Nugget awards recognized more Hawaii projects than the past several years. Ward Village won the grand award for best on-the-boards mixed-use project at the 2017 conference, while Forest City Hawaii’s Kapolei Lofts won best affordable housing community with less than 30 units per acre in 2016.

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Ward Village Update: The Locavore Comes to Town

 Photo: Ward Village

Photo: Ward Village

The below post was originally posted on Ward Village's blog, and can be found online here:

Only a few decades ago, a local-first approach to dining was practically unheard of in the islands. Scant regard was given to sourcing locally-grown produce, fruits, and meats.

Historically, big ag organizations producing sugarcane and pineapple dominated the landscape in the islands and the vast majority of the food we consumed was shipped to the state from thousands of miles away. In an alarming fact, on average, most of the food consumed in America travels more than 1,500 miles before arriving at a local supermarket, but in Hawai'i 85 to 90 percent of our food is imported and has an average travel distance of 4,500 miles.

 Peter Merriman photographed by Anna Kim, courtesy of Ward Village

Peter Merriman photographed by Anna Kim, courtesy of Ward Village

Enter Peter Merriman, a young, ambitious chef who had the foresight to change the game. When Merriman opened his first restaurant in 1988 in Waimea in the Big Island, his vision for producing regional cuisine, forged from locally sourced ingredients, proved groundbreaking. In its early days, Merriman was so determined to work with local farmers, that he told them, "If you grow it or catch it...I'll buy it." The result, paired with Merriman's expert approach in the kitchen, laid the framework for a food revolution that garnered worldwide praise. As it turns out, our food tastes better when it's fresh. And when we support local farms, we do our part to strengthen our economy and wean ourselves off dependence from the mainland.

However, Merriman's approach to creating a more positive and sustainable restaurant didn't end with his relationships to local farmers. With a simple but beautiful mantra to "Do the Right Thing" for the land, the community and guests, Merriman has become one of the most successful restaurateurs in the state. Fast-forward to today and Peter Merriman is proud to be known as the pioneer of the Hawai'i Regional Cuisine Movement and in the not-too-distant future, he's opened a new location right here at Ward Village.

His latest concept (located on the ground floor of the Anaha residential tower) is a reflection of all the values that have made his restaurants so successful. Led by executive chef Jon Matsubara, the new restaurant includes a 6,000 square foot space with an expansive 1,800 square foot lanai, perfect for soaking in the sunset while enjoying your dinner. Under the watchful eye of Chef Matsubara, guests will find a plethora of delicious concoctions on the menu, including their famous lobster pot pie and cast-iron chicken.

Step into their expansive new space and you'll see the end result of Merriman's original vision played out in a beautiful, urban setting. Nearly three decades later, the farm-to-table movement has become a central element in forming Hawaii's modern culinary identity and we're thrilled to welcome Merriman's into the Ward Village ohana. The locavore has set down new roots.

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Merriman’s in Honolulu set for Saturday opening

The long-anticipated Merriman's on the ground floor of Anaha will be ready for business this Saturday, June 23! Merriman's marks Ward Village's latest fine dining offering, joining the popular Nobu Honolulu on the ground floor of Waiea. Merriman's features Hawaii and French bistro-style food. The new location focuses on farm-to-table ingredients and features new dishes not found on the Maui, Kauai, or Big Island locations, including Tako & Country Bread, served escargot-style covered in garlic butter; Kualoa Ranch “Smokin’ Oysters,” infused with smoke under a dome to be released with hazy aplomb at the table; and roasted cauliflower served with walnuts, romaine and aged sherry. This will be the first restaurant owned by Chef Peter Merriman on Oahu (his more casual Monkeypod Kitchen is a joint venture). 

Watch the Honolulu Star Advertiser's sneak peak video above, and read their first impression, below:

Chef Peter Merriman’s Honolulu restaurant opens Saturday in the Anaha complex in Ward Villages.

Preview sessions at Merriman’s began Monday, introducing the menu to Anaha residents, employees of other restaurants in the Merriman’s family, vendors, suppliers and the media.

Merriman said the restaurant will reflect the farm-to-table roots of all his restaurants, but with a recognition of its location in modern Kakaako. “One of our themes is farm to high-rise,” he said.

Specialties developed for the Merriman’s Ward location include Tako & Country Bread, served escargot-style covered in garlic butter; Kualoa Ranch “Smokin’ Oysters,” infused with smoke under a dome to be released with hazy aplomb at the table; and roasted cauliflower served with walnuts, romaine and aged sherry.

Classic Merriman’s dishes from either the original Waimea restaurant on the Big Island or in Kapalua, Maui, include steamed clams in garlic butter and a lobster pot pie, both made with seafood from Keahole.

Merriman, one of the original Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs, has seven restaurants on four islands. This new restaurant will be his eighth and the first in Honolulu directly owned by him (his more casual Monkeypod Kitchen and Moku Kitchen are partnerships with Handcrafted Restaurants).

The executive chef at Ward is Jon Matsubara, who has opened three previous high-end Honolulu restaurants — Stage at the Honolulu Design Center, Azure at the Royal Hawaiian and Forty Carrots at Bloomingdale’s.

Reservations for opening night and beyond are being taking at merrimanshawaii.com. Hours at the Ward location will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily; with happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.

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Oahu home prices up in May but sales fall

Graphic by Honolulu Board of REALTORS

May 2018 data from the Honolulu Board of REALTORS show a 5.8% increase in the median price for a condo to $430,000 as compared to May 2017. While prices were up, closed sales were down 8.3% from last year.

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

Oahu housing prices moved up slightly in May but sales continued to lag during the prime spring homebuying season.

The median price for single-family homes rose 4.4 percent to $778,000 from $745,000 in the year-earlier period while condo prices increased 5.8 percent to $430,000 from $406,500, according to data released today by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The data covers previously owned homes and condos but not new properties.

Sales fell 8.3 percent in both categories. Single-family home sales declined to 332 from 362 while condo sales dropped to 495 from 540.

“The Oahu market experienced a very deep trough with sales in January and February and we continue to slowly trend upwards,” Darryl Macha, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said in a statement. “Pending sales are also experiencing a slow climb and we’re anticipating sales to peak in late summer.

Pending sales of single-family homes rose in May for the third straight month to 502 while the 751 pending sales for condos was down from April after three straight months of increases. Pending sales are signed purchase contracts that have not closed escrow.

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Jack Tyrrell recognized as Distinguished Agent by Hawaii Business magazine

Mahalo to Hawaii Business Magazine for recognizing me as a Distinguished Agent as a part of their annual Top 100 Realtors! The Top 100 Realtors were recognized last week at a gala held at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The event featured the state’s top real estate agents based on sales in 2017 and honored Eddie Flores Jr. with the Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award.

I am grateful to again be recognized on Hawaii Business Magazine's list. I could not do it without my fantastic and intelligent wife and teammate, May, and our incredible team that supports us. It is an honor to serve my clients and friends, and I am humbled by the trust they place in me. 

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Marc Benioff pays $7M to return rare Hawaiian war god relic to the islands

Photo: Jessica Ward Stephen, San Francisco Chronicle

Mahalo to Mr. Marc and Lynne Benioff for their generous display of aloha in donating a 200-year-old Hawaiian kii to the Bishop Museum. The Benioffs purchased the relic from Christie's in Paris for $7 million, with the intention of bringing the relic home to Hawaii for the public to enjoy and for education purposes. The carving was likely a relic of a temple on the Big Island, where King Kamehameha I prayed to Ku to unify the Hawaiian islands, Benioff said. The carving was likely a part of a wider collection of other sacred Hawaiian relics sent to Europe by missionaries. Benioff has also pledged to donate 100 percent of Red Cross emergency relief efforts related to the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. The people of Hawaii are very grateful to the Benioffs for the commitment they have shown to our island state.

Read more about the precious relic from the San Francisco Chronicle, below:

A 200-year-old carving of the war god Ku has returned home to Hawaii after spending untold years abroad and in the hands of private collectors.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, purchased the rare piece at a November auction at Christie’s in Paris, paying more than $7 million for the figure, which is less than 2 feet tall.

The San Francisco couple then donated the piece to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, which announced the acquisition this week.

“We felt strongly that this kii (Hawaiian for image) belonged in Hawaii for the education and benefit of its people,” Marc Benioff said.

The carving, made sometime between 1780 and 1819, had been in the collection of Claude Vérité, a Paris art dealer, who apparently acquired it in 1940. It’s unclear where the carving was before that.

Similar pieces are found only in museums, said Susan Kloman, head of African and Oceanic Art at Christie’s, in a description of the piece prior to the auction. She described the carving as “an incredible discovery.”

“When I first saw this figure I was astonished — really speechless,” she said. “We couldn’t imagine that such a work could still exist in a private collection.”

Benioff said he learned of the piece only a day before the auction, when Danny Akaka Jr., Hawaiian cultural practitioner and Bishop Museum board member, called to ask for the billionaire’s help.

The carving was probably part of a temple on the Big Island, where King Kamehameha I prayed to Ku to unify the Hawaiian islands, Benioff said. Missionaries presumably boxed it up along with other sacred Hawaiian relics and sent it to Europe.

It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to return something like this to its home, Benioff added.

“It was either going to go back into someone’s living room for another 200 years,” he said, “or it was going to go back to Hawaii and be on display for the Hawaiian people.”

Benioff, who owns an estate in Hawaii, said he had to beat out a “significant bidder,” to get the item.

“It’s a spiritual item,” he said. “It’s not really something that should be held to help the power of one person.”

The carving was returned to the islands about a month ago — the land-eater idol arriving about a week before the eruption of the Kilauea volcano — the timing of which was not lost on Benioff.

The Salesforce founder has long had a connection to Hawaii. While an executive at Oracle, he decided to take a sabbatical and rented a beach hut on the Big Island of Hawaii.

He swam with dolphins and “embraced the spirit of Aloha,” according to Saleforce’s online information.

The billionaire signs his emails, “Aloha, Marc,” and likes wearing Hawaiian shirts. His company incorporates the aloha spirit — a belief in treating others with love and respect that translates into a corporate mission that includes spending 1 percent of its profit on philanthropic endeavors.

 SF’s big new Salesforce Tower has a down-to-earth opening ceremony Marc Benioff to dedicate Salesforce Tower with speech on civic ‘priorities’ Marc Benioff gives big to SF campaign to raise taxes for teacher pay
Corporate conference rooms have names like Maka Launa or Hala Kahiki, and the top floors of buildings, including the one on San Francisco’s new Salesforce Tower, are called the Ohana, or family, floor.

In addition to the donation of art, Benioff has committed to funding 100 percent of Red Cross emergency relief efforts related to the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

But the billionaire businessman does not typically buy art. This was a departure from his philanthropic endeavors.

But it was “a big deal,” he said. “This is a very, very big deal.”

The kii is 20 inches tall and stands in a warrior pose. It is in the Kona style, made by carvers in that area of the largest of the Hawaiian islands during the reign of Kamehameha I, according to the Bishop Museum.

“Over the years, many of Hawaii’s cultural treasures have resided outside of Hawaii. Some have returned home, others not yet,” Akaka said in a statement this week. “Today we can celebrate the arrival of this kii to Hawaii and to the Bishop Museum where it will serve as a symbol of great cultural pride as well as a reflection of Hawaii’s spiritual past.”

The museum plans to make the carving a centerpiece in an exhibition opening in February.

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Howard Hughes Corporation announces indefinite hold on Gateway Towers

 Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation announced big changes to its Ward Village Master Plan earlier this week. The long-anticipated, ultra-luxury Gateway Towers, designed by famed architect Richard Meier, has been indefinitely placed on hold. Buyers will be refunded deposits and offered other opportunities for homes at Ward Village. Howard Hughes President Simon Treacy also announced plans for elevated walkways that would connect Ward Village to Ala Moana Beach Park and Kewalo Basin over Ala Moana Boulevard, Auahi Street, and Ward Avenue.  The propose walkways would make connections to several Ward Village condo towers, perhaps at second-story levels where retail stores would be, as well as ground connections at points including a central public plaza within Ward Village.

Read more from Hawaii Public Radio, below:

The Howard Hughes Corporation is playing a big role in changing the look of Honolulu’s urban landscape. Simon Treacy joined the company as president in January, and this week he announced the first major changes to the master plan of Ward Village. Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more.


One of the signature projects of the Ward Village masterplan has been the Gateway Towers, two luxury high rises that would flank the greenspace of the Ward Village Central Plaza, which broke ground last week. Combined, the Gateway Towers would have comprised 236 units and were designed by Richard Meier of Richard Meier & Partners.

Yesterday, Howard Hughes Corp. informed buyers of the Gateway Towers that the buildings have been put on hold indefinitely.

It’s the first major change to the master plan, but not the last according to president Simon Treacy. He also announced this week plans for greener, more park-like experience as Ward Village evolves. The signature piece of this new approach is a proposed, landscaped elevated walkway that would connect Ward Village to Kewalo Basin by going over Ala Moana Boulevard. Imagine something like New York’s High Line as an example of what this could be.

Treacy, with a background in investments and private equity, has lived around the world and tells PBN he views Singapore as a model for urban development.  “Over 63 percent of Singapore is green and we want to have that same level of green around,” he tells PBN.

Other aspects of this move for Ward Village include wider sidewalks with more landscaping and more parks.

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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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