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

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Real Estate News: Oahu Single-Family Homes Sales Price Sets New Record in August

 Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

The Honolulu Board of REALTORS released August 2018 sales statistics for the island of Oahu. Read more on the findings, below:

The median price for single-family homes on Oahu reached an all-time high in August, according to resales figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. The analysis conducted by the Board, using data collected from its computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system, offer the following statistics:

Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS

In August, the median price for single-family homes increased by 3.0 percent to reach a new record of $810,000, which was previously set in June 2017 at $795,000. The median price for condominiums rose by 1.9 percent to $427,000. Sales for single-family homes dipped by 2.2 percent and condominium sales also decreased by 9.4 percent from the same month last year. According to the Days on Market indicator, the median days for single-family homes was 15 and 18 days for condominiums.

“While the median price for single-family homes has been pushed to a new high, homebuyers are also finding properties at or below the $600,000 price range,” said Darryl Macha, president of the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “Though overall inventory is tight, we are seeing pockets of the island where inventory is increasing, including the Ewa Plain and to some extent, Central Oahu. With the decline in pending sales for both single-family homes and condominiums, buyers may be experiencing a bit of ‘fatigue’ in a market where multiple offers have been common and are taking a pause in their home search. It’s something that other markets are also seeing.”

The information contained in this report is provided to the National Association of REALTORS® and the Hawaii State Department of Economic Development, Business and Tourism for its official reports. This report reflects information about resales of existing properties only and does not include new home sales. All of the MLS information is compiled from sales reported during the cited months; this data is known only after closing of escrow.

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HCDA board approves Howard Hughes' next project, Koula

 Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation artist rendering

Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation artist rendering

The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) has approved Howard Hughes Corporation's plan for its next condo, Koula. All development within the Kakaako area must first get the approval of HCDA. Howard Hughes sought and was awarded approval to increase the podium height from 45-foot (allowed) to 75 feet.

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 condo will feature 570 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet. Howard Hughes is looking to start sales in early 2019.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to start sales by early 2019 for its sixth Honolulu mixed-used tower after receiving approval from the Hawaii Community Development Corp. for the 570-unit Koula at Ward Village.

The board gave its unanimous approval for the project Thursday, with conditions, including a requirement that the developer deliver at least 64 moderately priced units either in Koula, or elsewhere.

The approval also allows The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) to build a 75-foot podium for the building, which will accommodate parking and retail that will face the developer’s central plaza, currently under construction on the site of the former warehouses that were demolished earlier this year.

Construction on the 41-story tower, which will have studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet, could start in late 2019, the company said.

"We want to say mahalo to the HCDA board and staff for the effort they undertook to consider our application and approve Koula," Todd Apo, senior vice president of community development at The Howard Hughes Corp, said. "Koula is exciting because of its connection to the Central Plaza. It will activate and enhance the plaza to serve as a dynamic, public gathering place for the local community."

Koula is being designed by the architecture firm Studio Gang, which has offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, with interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, which has offices in New York and Toronto.

Hilo designer Sig Zane chose the name for the building, Koula, which is the Hawaiian word for red sugar cane.

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Two thirds of Aalii at Ward Village is sold, says Howard Hughes Corporation

 Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

The Honolulu Star Advertiser has reported that Howard Hughes' next project, Aalii, is approximately two thirds sold. The project features 751 units over 41 floors, and will be the first of its kind to offer studio units designed for "smarter living". Howard Hughes is aiming to start construction by the end of 2018, according to the report.

Read more from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

The next condominium tower expected to rise out of the ground at Ward Village in Kakaako is two-thirds sold. Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Ward Village, disclosed in a financial report released Monday that buyers have signed sales contracts for 500 of the 751 units in its planned ‘A‘ali‘i tower since selling began in January.

The company previously had not publicly disclosed sales for the tower, which represents a new product at Ward Village. Many units at ‘A‘ali‘i feature small living spaces, with studios as small as 277 square feet priced around $500,000.

By comparison, the first three Ward Village towers — Waiea, Anaha and Ae‘o — featured bigger living spaces and average prices ranging from about $1 million to $3.6 million. A fourth tower, Ke Kilohana, is more moderately priced because of a state requirement to produce affordable housing. Of the four towers, Waiea and Anaha are finished, and the other two are in upper stages of construction. All four are nearly sold out.

David Weinreb, CEO of Texas-based Hughes Corp., called the pace of sales at ‘A‘ali‘i “incredible” in a statement. “These results validate the strong demand for innovative residential product in Honolulu,” he said.

Hughes Corp. has described ‘A‘ali‘i as being efficiently designed for “smarter living” — meaning making better use of a smaller home. Features in the planned tower include floor-to-ceiling cabinetry extending up to 9 feet, and a wall bed that pulls down to cover a small couch. Refrigerators in studio kitchens are just 24 inches wide. To make moving in easier, Hughes Corp. offers to sell furnishings and household goods as a package — about 60 items from cookware to linens — for “turn key” living.

The developer wants to start construction on ‘A‘ali‘i this year, and hopes to get an approval later this week to build another, similar tower.

A state agency regulating development in Kakaako, the Hawaii Community Development Authority, is considering a development permit for a 570-unit tower called Ko‘ula that Hughes Corp. previously said would be similar to ‘A‘ali‘i.

During the three months endedJune 30, Hughes Corp. reported taking in $20.1 million in revenue from condos sold and delivered to buyers at Ward Village. That revenue reflected about five units at Waiea and Anaha. A year earlier the company claimed $148 million in revenue from Ward Village condo sales, but that was under a different accounting method that allowed Hughes Corp. to claim revenue on pending sales in towers still under construction. That accounting practice was prohibited at the end of last year.

Total revenue in the second quarter was $181 million, down from $309 million a year earlier, for Hughes Corp., which has a variety of real estate endeavors in about 15 states that include operating retail centers, redeveloping a waterfront in New York City and selling land in master-planned communities.

Hughes Corp. earnings in the second quarter swung to a $5.9 million loss from a $3.1 million profit a year earlier largely because of the accounting practice change, the company said.

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HECO Planned Power Outages in Ala Moana and Kakaako areas begin today 7/16

*Please contact your property manager to find out specific dates of the power outages in your building. Condos to be potentially affected include Waiea, Anaha, Hokua, Koolani, Waihonua, Nauru, Hawaiki Tower, Pacifica, Symphony, and ONE Ala Moana. 

HONOLULU, July 10, 2018 – Hawaiian Electric reminds customers in the Iwilei, Kakaako and Ala Moana areas to prepare for overnight outages that begin Monday as crews upgrade underground cabling.

The 400 businesses and 2,500 residential customers affected by the scheduled outages have been notified by letter, phone calls, property managers, and, in some cases, personal visits from Hawaiian Electric employees. The outages are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays for three weeks starting July 16.

Motorists are asked to exercise caution while driving in the Iwilei, Kakaako and Ala Moana areas while crews are working in manholes. Lane closures and parking restrictions will be in place in different areas during the three-week project. Traffic impacts will be shared through the company's Twitter account: @HwnElectric.

The work is being done to replace coupling devices, known as splices, which connect high voltage cables to the circuits that supply power to homes and businesses. Other utilities have reported similar problems with these types of connectors.

Left as they are, the splices present a reliability risk to customers and a safety risk to crews that work in manholes. By replacing the splices before they fail, Hawaiian Electric hopes to resolve the problem with the least inconvenience to customers.

The work will begin Monday in the Iwilei area and proceed to Kakaako and Ala Moana areas. To safely make repairs and minimize disruption, the crews will need to shut down equipment in the manholes, resulting in outages on scheduled dates. Customers should note that outages affecting their business or residence might not affect neighboring customers who may be on a different circuit.

Customers who have questions about the upcoming work can call 548-7311 or visit www.hawaiianelectric.com/UndergroundUpgrades.

To prepare for the extended outage, customers can refer to Hawaiian Electric's Handbook for Emergency Preparedness for food safety tips: www.hawaiianelectric.com/prepare

Here are some basic tips for food handling:

  • Freeze ice packs and large blocks of ice (in rinsed milk cartons or similar containers) before the power goes out.
  • Dry ice can help keep perishable items cold during a power outage, but be sure to read instructions on safely handling dry ice. Remember to remove dry ice from the freezer once the power is restored.
  • Consider transferring food to a freezer that is still powered (such as a friend's or family member's freezer, or at another business).

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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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