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

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aalii development

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Honolulu city and business leaders gather for ‘A‘ali‘i groundbreaking

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser today reported on the groundbreaking of Howard Hughes’ fifth Ward Village tower, ‘A‘ali‘i. The tower will be the first of its kind in Honolulu by pioneering the “smart living” movement, where some studios come with “smart” furniture already built in to maximize use of space. Located at 987 Queen Street, the development is in close proximity to Whole Foods, Ala Moana Beach Park, and more. Amenities will include a penthouse level lanai for all residents to enjoy, fitness and yoga studio, pool, cabanas, and event spaces, among others. Howard Hughes estimates needing 2.5 years for construction. As of October 2018, 500 of 751 units are in contract.

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

Construction is set to start on a condominium tower in Kakaako that will begin to fill in the middle of the Ward Village community planned largely on old retail and warehouse property.

Developer Howard Hughes Corp. held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the tower, called ‘A‘ali‘i.

The tower will be the fifth to rise out of what Hughes Corp. envisions will be 16 towers and 1 million square feet of retail space on 60 acres in the area formerly known as Ward Centers.

Todd Apo, senior vice president of community development for the company, said starting ‘A‘ali‘i is extra exciting because it will be the first tower adjacent to a 3-acre public plaza in the middle of the developing community where two towers are open and two are nearing completion.

“This is really going to be that place where everyone comes together and grows the community stronger,” he said to a gathering that included members of the development team and condo buyers.

A preliminary version of half the central plaza already has grass firmly planted along with two clusters of coconut palms and a line of hala trees. A January opening of the plaza is expected, and planned upgrades call for water features, shade pavilions, walking paths and other additions as adjacent towers are built and open.

Hughes Corp. expects it will take 2-1/2 years to finish ‘A‘ali‘i.

George Zhang, a Kakaako resident who rents in the Royal Capital Plaza tower, said he chose ‘A‘ali‘i to be his first owned home because of the neighborhood being created. He said he likes the tower’s proximity to the park space, modern design, simple living spaces and communal amenity spaces on the penthouse level.

Richard Schofield, another buyer, has lived in the Ko‘olani tower just outside one developed edge of Ward Village for about two years and hasn’t decided whether he will rent that out or rent out his ‘A‘ali‘i unit when it’s done.

“I just think it’s going to be a great area,” he said.

Junji Miki lives farther away in Kakaako in a tower called The Collection and plans to turn either his Collection condo or new ‘A‘ali‘i unit into an investment rental property.

Local real estate agent Maria Kawananakoa said she isn’t sure what she will do with the ‘A‘ali‘i unit she bought as an investment property, but was glad to be at Monday’s ceremony where Hughes Corp. took group photos of buyers fronting the grassy plaza area.

Hughes Corp. has been selling ‘A‘ali‘i units since the beginning of this year, and reported signing sales contracts for 500 of 751 units as of July.

Living spaces in the tower are as small as 277-square-foot studios with prices starting in the $500,000s. One-bedroom units as small as 430 square feet start in the $700,000s, and two-bedroom units with about 830 square feet start at about $1 million.

Hughes Corp. has described ‘A‘ali‘i as being designed to make more efficient use out of smaller spaces for “smarter living.” Features include 24-inch-wide refrigerators in studios, wall beds that pull down over small couches and floor-to-ceiling cabinetry extending up to 9 feet. The developer also offers units with furnishings and household goods — about 60 different items from cookware to linens — for “turnkey” living that makes moving into or renting out a unit easier.

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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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Ward Village Update: Aalii $500K-plus micro condo units to hit Kakaako market

Photo: Cindy Ellen Russell, Honolulu Star Advertiser

Howard Hughes Corporation was gearing up for the public sales of its Aalii Development!  In addition to 741 premium units, "smarter living" units will be incorporated into the project. The units will be a new concept for Honolulu: no furniture needed- just move in! Included in these "smarter living" studios are a fold out bed and fold out desk and chair, at an extra cost. Aalii will promote a smaller living space, but a shared common area, encouraging interaction with the community around you. And with tons of new dining, shopping and outdoor experiences surrounding Ward Village, that will be easy to come by! Read more from  Andrew Gomes at the Honolulu Star Advertiser, below.

Photo: Cindy Ellen Russell, Honolulu Star Advertiser

Kakaako developer Howard Hughes Corp. will soon begin selling homes in its next condominium tower at Ward Village and wants to sell can openers, wine glasses, furniture, pillows and bath towels with them.

The company gave a media preview of a by-appointment-only sales gallery that opens today for the tower called ‘A‘ali‘i.

Residences in the 42-story building will be dramatically different from the first six towers approved for Ward Village, in that the size of many of the 741 “premium” condos will be exceptionally small. About 200 studios range from 277 square feet to 373 square feet, with the smallest of those starting between $500,000 and $600,000.

Hughes Corp. is touting this newest tower as being efficiently designed for “smarter living.”

An example of this includes cabinets that serve as miniature closet spaces in studios where a wall bed can be pulled down over a small couch. In studio kitchens, refrigerators are just 24 inches wide and are concealed by paneling. Another feature is floor-to-ceiling cabinetry extending up to 9 feet.

The developer also is offering to sell furnishings and household goods in a package — about 60 items from cookware to linens — for “turn key” living.

“You can basically live in your new home from day one,” said Todd Apo, vice president of community development in Hawaii for Texas-­based Hughes Corp.

The turn-key package, which for studios includes the interior wall containing the bed along with closet space and a fold-out desk, is available at an extra cost that was not available Wednesday.

Apo said part of what Hughes Corp. is trying to convey to prospective buyers is that the concept of smarter living includes residents making good use of common areas in the tower, such as a penthouse-level fitness center and communal dining rooms at ‘A‘ali‘i, as well as nearby shops, restaurants and a Whole Foods grocery in a neighboring tower slated to open near the end of this year.

“Clearly it’s a different concept and idea than what we may be living today,” he said. “Your home is no longer just about your four walls. It’s about the community around you. It’s about the amenities in the building.”

Hughes Corp. has a master plan to remake 60 acres of largely retail and industrial buildings into an urban neighborhood with 16 residential towers and 1 million square feet of retail space.

The first tower was Waiea, which opened in 2016 with units which sold for $3.6 million on average. A second tower called Anaha with average unit prices at $1.2 million opened last year.

Two other towers are under construction. One is Ae‘o where prices in 2015 averaged $1 million and ranged from $405,016 for the smallest studio with 409 square feet to $2 million for a three-bedroom unit with 1,331 square feet of living space. The other is Ke Kilohana, which is mostly reserved for moderate-income residents and is of a more modest design. Ke Kilohana prices ranged from $323,475 for one-bedroom units with 461 square feet of living space to $560,774 for three-bedroom units.

Two towers called Gateway are ultra-luxury projects, of which one has had units available for sale for about two years and recently had units priced between $1.5 million and $23 million.

At ‘A‘ali‘i, one-bedroom units as small as 430 square feet start in the $700,000s and two-bedroom units with about 830 square feet of living space start at about $1 million.

Commencing construction on ‘A‘ali‘i is dependent on the response from buyers but is expected to begin this year. Half the units in the tower are reserved for Hawaii residents who will own and occupy the residences. These units are expected to go on sale soon after a public notice.

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