Last week, Pacific Business News broke the story that Howard Hughes Corporation had officially notified its tenants that the 42-year-old retail complex will close and be demolished in August 2017. Gateway Towers is planned for the site. Read more here:
Ward Warehouse, the 42-year-old landmark Honolulu retail and restaurant complex, will shut down in August and being demolished, an executive with The Howard Hughes Corp., the owner of the complex, confirmed to Pacific Business News Thursday.
This week, dozens of Ward Warehouse tenants received notice of the closure.
The entrance to the parking garage at Ward Warehouse in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako. The Howard Hughes Corp. has notified tenants that the retail complex will close and be demolished in August to make way for the Gateway Towers project.
The demolition of the Kakaako complex is the initial step toward the redevelopment of the space as part of the Texas developer’s 60-acre Ward Village master plan. Ward Warehouse is expected to eventually be replaced by the Gateway Towers, which includes two luxury condominium towers designed by famed architect Richard Meier.
Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said in its third-quarter earnings report that construction of these two towers will be subject to getting an acceptable level of presales and financing for the project.
“The demolition of Ward Warehouse is a bittersweet point in the development of our Ward Village community,” Todd Apo, vice president of community development for Howard Hughes, told PBN in an emailed statement. “As we look forward to the future of this area, we give a heartfelt mahalo to all the merchants who have made Ward Warehouse a special place over the last four decades. They set the stage for the one-of-a-kind retail and dining experiences that remain a hallmark of Ward Village.”
The 115,000-square-foot Ward Warehouse was built in 1975 as a temporary structure originally intended to last about 15 years. Now, more than 40 years later, the structure has surpassed its useful life, exemplified by the pedestrian overpass that was required to be demolished last year because it was beyond repair, according to Howard Hughes.
Several Ward Warehouse stores have chosen to close their doors for good, including the Liquor Collection, Happy Haleiwa, Executive Chef and Kaypee Soh. Others have moved or are in the process of moving to other spaces, including Brue Bar, Island Slipper, The Wedding Cafe and The Old Spaghetti Factory.
“We will continue our efforts to assist with the transition and, where it makes sense, help to relocate merchants, as we did with Merle Norman, Town & County Surf, Hakubundo, TAJ, In Specs, Paina Cafe, Downtown Giftthings, Eden in Love, MORI by Art + Flea, Flotsam & Co., and Big Bad Wolf in their moves to other retail properties within Ward Village,” Apo said.
Architect Steve Au, owner of Steve Au and Associates and a former partner at Au Haworth and Smith, which designed Ward Warehouse, previously told PBN that when his firm designed the retail complex, it went with something that could be distinctive and easily built without using heavy materials.
“Besides the parking structure, everything else there is built with wood,” he said.