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

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Kakaako condo Ae‘o ready for owners

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Ae‘o is officially welcoming its first owners! Congratulations to the owners who were able to move in this past Thursday, December 6, 2018. Owners will be moving into their units throughout the month.

Ae‘o is the first Ward Village condo development to completely sell out. However, I do have one unit for sale and a few units for rent. If you are interested, contact me now, as interest for the brand-new building is high!

Read more from the Honolulu Star Advertiser below:

Chris Laniauskas is an occasional Whole Foods Market shopper, but that likely will change soon when he takes up residence in a tower connected to the natural food retailer’s flagship Hawaii store in Kakaako.

The local insurance company executive was part of an initial group of about 150 new condominium owners in the Ae‘o high-rise at Ward Village who picked up their keys Thursday and will move into the 38-story tower over the next few weeks.

By late January all 466 owners in the sold-out building are scheduled to take possession of their new homes, which cost $1 million on average.

Ae‘o’s developer, Howard Hughes Corp., held a blessing ceremony Thursday morning before the first condo owners started arriving.

“This is the culmination of what we’ve all been able to provide: new homes and a new lifestyle for many here at Ward Village,” Todd Apo, senior vice president of community development in Hawaii for Texas-based Hughes Corp., said at the blessing attended by about 100 people who were involved in the tower’s development and management.

Ae‘o is the third tower to open in as many years at Ward Village, a 60-acre property master-planned for 16 towers with about 4,500 homes and 1 million square feet of retail space. The first two towers were Waiea, which opened in 2016, and Anaha, which opened last year.

New owners who arrived Thursday received a gift bag that included a homeowner’s manual, an umbrella and stemless clear silicone wine glasses. Among the group were a father and son who came from the airport with four suitcases after a flight from Japan to kick off a stay in their new vacation home.

Dickson Wong was another buyer who picked up keys Thursday. He and his wife made Kakaako their home seven years ago when they bought a new unit in the Pacifica Honolulu tower fronting Kapiolani Boulevard. Then, two years ago, they moved to The Collection when that tower was completed at the bottom of South Street.

“We like condo living,” Wong said. “It’s kind of like living in a hotel.”

Laniauskas said the growing Ward Village community was what attracted him and his wife, who is eight months pregnant, to move from a condo tower in the Ala Moana area.

“We’re buying into Ward Village as much as we’re buying into the building,” he said. “Being walkable is what’s attractive (about the community).”

Laniauskas added that Whole Foods being part of the tower was a definite draw. “It’s great to have something like that below,” he said.

Whole Foods opened in May. The store isn’t directly below the condos, but is part of the building, which includes separate parking structures for retail customers and residents. Ae‘o residents can get to the store by walking through a portal on the second level of their parking garage that leads to the retailer’s garage and a store entrance.

Annalee English, the store’s manager, said business is expected to increase with all the residents moving in. “We’re excited to be their pantry downstairs,” she said. “It’s a huge convenience factor, for sure.”

Like Laniauskas, Wong expects he and his wife will be more frequent shoppers at Whole Foods.

“I think now that we live here, we’ll visit more often,” Wong said.

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Industry News: Oahu condo price hits all-time high in January, Locations report says

Photo: view of Waiea from Ala Moana Beach Park. Property of Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

Photo: view of Waiea from Ala Moana Beach Park. Property of Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

2018 is starting off with a bang, with median price for a condo on Oahu already hitting an all-time high this past January. January's median price of $439,000 beats the previous record set in July 2017, which was $425,000. Pacific Business News reports on data from Locations Hawaii, below:

The median price of a condominium on Oahu reached an all-time high of $439,000 in January, beating the previous record set in July, while the median price of a single-family home rose by 7 percent, according to monthly sales statistics from Honolulu real estate firm Locations.

Sales of single-family homes on Oahu reached a 12-year high for January of 258 houses sold, from 255 sold in January 2017. The median price of a single-family home rose to $779,000, from $730,000, the Locations report said.

The number of condos sold on Oahu last month declined by 4 percent to 382 units sold, from 399 units sold during the same month last year. The median price of $439,000 was a 12 percent increase from $393,000 in January 2018, and eclipsed the record of $425,000 set in July.

“The market is off to a healthy start in 2018,” Scott Higashi, President and CEO of Locations, said in a statement. “January single-family home sales were the highest we’ve seen in 13 years, and condo median prices reached an all-time high of $439,000.”

Homes sold more than 30 percent faster in January as well, with the number of days on market dropping to 21 for single-family homes and 20 for condos.

New listings for condos grew 13 percent last month to 763 units for sale, from 675 in January 2017, although new listings for single-family homes declined by 6 percent to 450, from 479 last year.

“With an increase in both new and active condo listings, we can expect to see more sales and increased prices throughout the spring,” Higashi said.  “Additionally, interest rates — while still historically low — are ticking up toward a three-year high.”

Locations compiles its figures by filtering data from the Multiple Listing Service daily. The Honolulu Board of Realtors will release its report this week, based on MLS statistics taken on the last day of the month of everything sold during that month.

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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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Pacific Business News Tours Ward Warehouse Demolition

If you have driven along Ala Moana Boulevard lately, the mauka side is starting to look a lot different.  Not only is Waiea now the dominant presence, with its sweeping architecture hard to ignore, but an old, familiar landmark is now gone: Ward Warehouse.  The Howard Hughes Corporation began their demolition of the Ward Warehouse earlier this July in order to make way for its Gateway Towers development.  The redevelopment of the parcel will feature a park in between two towers, creating an improved mauka to makai connection from Kewalo Harbor to Ward Village.

Read more updates from Pacific Business News' tour of the current state of the Ware Warehouse demolitions, below. And view more photos online on Pacific Business News' website, here.

It’s a matter of weeks now before Honolulu’s Ward Warehouse becomes just a memory, as The Howard Hughes Corp. clears the land to make way for a future mixed-use tower under its Ward Village master plan.

Re-use Hawaii spent this week salvaging old-growth Douglas fir beams, fixtures and other building materials from the site, as Layton Construction worked to demolish the areas where salvaging had already taken place.

Quinn Vittum, executive director of Re-use Hawaii, said the work to salvage material from the retail and restaurant center, which closed on July 31, is taking place in two phases. The first phase, which started in August, recovered such interior items as doors, cabinets, plumbing fixtures and lights from retail stores and the Old Spaghetti Factory, Kincaid’s and Stuart Anderson’s Cattle Co. restaurants. 

The second phase is to recover the large beams and other lumber from the structure.

Vittum said the lumber is clear vertical grain Douglas fir that was milled from trees harvested in northern California or the Pacific Northwest in the mid 1970s.

Vittum said Re-use Hawaii expects to be finished in early January. After that, it’s off to salvage items from Ward Plaza, and then the warehouses across Auahi Street before they are also demolished for future phases of Ward Village

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Construction Update: Aeo at Ward Village

Photo: Ward Village, Howard Hughes Corporation

Photo: Ward Village, Howard Hughes Corporation

Development at Ward Village is non-stop. With Anaha officially open as of November 2017, we now turn our eyes to the progress on the Howard Hughes Corporation's next condo project, Aeo. The streetscape at Kamakee has changed dramatically already. From new crosswalks added to the street to the state's flagship Whole Foods quickly rising up, Howard Hughes provides an update to the highly anticipated Aeo, which is slated to open in August 2018:

Since breaking ground last year, significant progress has been made to bring the building to life. When completed, Ae'o will raise the collective bar when it comes to residential amenities, giving homeowners an unparalleled opportunity to experience a new standard of living in urban Honolulu.


If you've driven down Kamake'e street recently, you may have noticed that Ae'o's signature wind patterns have quickly taken shape. The sweeping metallic design paints a picture of modernity and sophistication, all the while paying homage to the natural wonders that have shaped these treasured islands. But its signature trade-wind pattern is hardly the building's sole nod to nature. In fact, its very namesake is derived by looking toward the past.


For hundreds of years, the Ae'o, or Hawaiian stilt bird, once inhabited this swath of Honolulu. An area once rich with salt ponds taro fields, the land that constitutes present-day Ward Village was once known as the 'ili of KukuluAe'o. In an effort to integrate the deep-seeded stories and forces that gave life this special land, the famed architectural and design team from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) worked with Hawaiian culture experts and historians to create a building that melds its history with a 21st-century residential living experience second to none.


"Like the prevailing trade winds that frequent the islands and gave the Ae'o flight, the design of this building is meant to honor the wind," said Race Randle, VP of Development at Ward Village. "The shape and design of the building is a reflection of that lightness and flow. Given the bird's history to this land, it felt like a way for us to pay tribute."


Since first ground was broken last year, the team of frame workers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and masons, have recorded enormous progress. As you might imagine, it takes a mind-numbing amount of concrete, sweat, rebar, and thought to sculpt this type of residence in the heart of Honolulu.


"To date, we've poured 32 floors of concrete, completed the shell for Whole Foods, and have created four levels of parking. We've also glazed (added glass to the building's exterior) up to the 26th floor. It's really coming together nicely," said Rob Centra, Ward Village's Senior Vice President, Design & Construction Management. "Each of the towers we've worked on feels very distinct, but I think that's especially true of Ae'o. It's really gratifying seeing the building take shape. Currently, we have about 400 people working on the job, but that should expand up to 600 after the holidays as we gear up for opening in August of 2018."


When Ae'o is completed, the tower will feature 466 stunningly designed residences and more than 60,000-square feet of retail space, in addition to some of the most impressive amenities you'll find anywhere in Honolulu. (Be prepared: you're going to see a lot of pool and sunset terrace photos on your feed as residents move in.) To boot, a flagship Whole Foods Market will also be housed in the building's ground floor and will serves a hub for the surrounding community.


"We're so excited to bring the community the best that Whole Foods Market has to offer with our newest Hawai'i store," says Whole Foods Market's Roger Fawcett. "The market will not only create new local jobs, but it will introduce more customers to the amazing local products we source from nearly 300 suppliers from the Hawai'i an Islands."


It can't be denied that Ward Village is truly a community on the rise. Much like the Ae'o of the past used the prevailing trade winds to take flight, Ward Village is using its reverence for the history to propel it toward future. "We believe that it's our responsibility to preserve the stories behind the land. It should be a requirement to honor the past at every opportunity," adds Ward Village's Race Randle. "And we're thrilled with the way Ae'o has accomplished that."

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Industry News: Condo prices climb higher than forecasters predicted

Photo Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company: Anaha, October 2017

Photo Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company: Anaha, October 2017

As we have been preparing for Anaha's opening, news on the condominium market on Oahu continues to look strong. With the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) predicting a 6.7 increase in the median price of a condo on Oahu in 2018, now is the time to buy.  Read more trends reported by Pacific Business News, below:

The median price of a condominium on Oahu tied for an all-time record last month, and is on pace to finish the year higher than forecasted by University of Hawaii economists, while single-family homes are on pace to see flat or slightly lower price appreciation than the year before.

Already, the year-to-date median price for a condo — $407,000 for the first nine months of the year according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors — is higher than the price for all of 2017 predicted by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) in its recent construction forecast, which was $405,600.

The year-to-date median price is 5.4 percent higher than it was at the same point a year ago, which was $386,000. The median price of a condo for all of 2016 was $390,000, which was an increase of 8.3 percent from all of 2015.

For single-family homes on Oahu, the median price from January through the end of September was $757,000, an increase of 3.4 percent from $732,000 at the same point last year, according the Honolulu Board of Realtors data.

For all of 2016, the median price of a single-family home was $735,000, and that was a 5 percent increase from 2015.

The rate of appreciation in Hawaii is actually slower than the national and regional figures.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Price Index report for July, the most recent data available, home prices in the U.S. — the report does not distinguish between single-family and condo — rose 6.3 percent from July 2016 to July of this year, although for the Pacific region, which includes Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, the median price increase over the one-year period was 8.2 percent.

Despite the slowed price appreciation, homes are still selling at a brisk pace. Sales of single-family homes during the first nine months of the year totaled 2,860, a 5 percent increase from 2,723 sales during the same period in 2016, and more than the number of homes sold in all of 2008 and 2009, during the Great Recession, as well as in all of 2011. The number of days those homes are on the market has gone down by one day over the past year to an average of 16 days.

Condos are selling even faster than they were a year ago. The average number of days on market for the first three quarters of 2017 was also 16 days, but that was three fewer days than at the same point last year, when it was 19 days.

Sales of condos totaled 4,373 units through the end of September, which was 5.8 percent more than the 4,133 that sold during the first nine months of 2016. The number of condos sold so far this year is also more than during each year from 2008 through 2012.

“Really, it’s affordability,” said Sue Ann Lee, a Realtor with Forward Realty and president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “When you think about there being so little inventory on the single-family side, what do you have left?”

But while condos may be affordable now for some buyers priced out of single-family homes, prices for those condos are forecast to rise at perhaps a faster clip over the next few years.

According to the UHERO forecast, the median condo price is expected to increase by 6.7 percent to $432,700 in 2018, 5.3 percent to $455,500 in 2019, and 3.5 percent to $471,500 in 2020.

For single-family homes, the forecast for the median price is $757,200 at the end of this year followed by an increase of 4.5 percent to $791,200 in 2018 and an increase of 3.8 percent to $829,900 in 2019.

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The No. 1 reason home inventory is so low, according to Trulia

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

In industry report by Trulia has found that the number one reason  home inventory on Oahu is low is due to the lack of inventory. This fact highlights why becomes increasingly important to find a Realtor working to ensure they utilize all of their resources to find you exactly what you need and make the deal quickly work in your favor.

Read the full report from Pacific Business News, below:

The low number of single-family homes and condominiums for sale has helped keep Oahu’s housing market hot this summer, but a new report by Trulia found the main influence on housing inventory may not be what most real estate experts think.

Trulia reports there are five theories as to why there are so few homes on the market — investors are holding homes as rentals, high prices have made buying unaffordable, owners are reluctant to sell if they can’t buy another home, baby-boomer homeowners can’t or don’t want to move and owners looking to trade up can’t find a home they can afford.

But the No. 1 impact on inventory: Homebuilding, and not enough of it.

Trulia says that every one percentage point increase in housing stock in a market between 2010 and 2016 correlated to a 13 percent increase in inventory.

Trulia also found that investor ownership correlates with lower inventory, with every one percentage point of housing stock owned by investors driving inventory down by 2.8 percent.

According to Trulia’s data, 46 percent of homes in Honolulu are owned by investors, the eighth-highest percentage among the cities in the study. That figure was higher than 53 percent in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Here on Oahu, the latest report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors found there was 2.7 months of remaining inventory for single-family homes and 2.8 months of remaining inventory for condos, meaning that if no more listings came on the market, the homes would sell out in that amount of time. Those numbers have been less than three months for nearly a year.

Economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics has been saying for years that developers are not building enough new homes to keep up with demand.

He told Pacific Business News earlier this month that the supply of housing “is as constrained as ever” but also questioned whether the demand was as strong as commonly thought, since prices have not risen as high as they should in such a tight market.

Other common reasons often given for constrained inventory don’t correlate as much to actual low inventory, Trulia found.

For example, the share of homeowners in a market who are age 55 or older has some effect on inventory, but not nearly as much as adding new homes to the existing housing stock. For every one percentage point increase in the share of homeowners 55 and over, inventory increases 3.4 percent.

Honolulu’s share of baby boomer owners — 57.4 percent.

The price spread between a homeowner’s current home and the trade-up home has a negligible effect on inventory. For every one percentage point increase in the price spread, there is only a 0.2 percent increase in inventory.

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Development to Watch: Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) centers on Ala Moana

Photo: Prospac Holdings Group, Inc.

Photo: Prospac Holdings Group, Inc.

With development in Kakaako in full swing, Ala Moana is the next development area to watch.  The City and County of Honolulu's Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Plans set forth land use and policy guidelines for the desired development in neighborhoods affected by the future Honolulu Rail project.  The Interim Planned Development Permit (IPDT) provides developers the opportunities for creative, catalytic redevelopment projects within the rail corridor before each station area is brought into the TOD special districts. Five IPDT permits have been submitted in the Ala Moana thus far, with the latest coming from ProsPac Holdings, Inc. regarding their project on Keeaumoku Street, perpendicular to Kapiolani Boulevard.

Kapiolani Boulevard is one of the busiest roads in Honolulu, and there are many development opportunities there to be had. With its convenient location near the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, and many amenities nearby, it will be a development area to watch closely in the next few years.

This article is authored by Janis Magin and originally appeared in Pacific Business News.

A 400-unit mixed-use condominium project planned for a site across from the Walmart store on Keeaumoku Street has filed an application to build the project under the City and County of Honolulu’s transit-oriented-development zoning regulations.

ProsPac Holdings Inc. is the fifth developer to submit an application for an interim planned development-transit permit in the area around Ala Moana Center, one of eight transit-oriented development zones established along the Honolulu rail project’s 20-mile route, each covering two or three of the 21 stations.

ProsPac Holdings plans to use TOD zoning for its mixed-use project on Keeaumoku Street.

One of the goals of TOD is to make communities more pedestrian friendly while adding more housing and encouraging the use of public transportation.

While three of the eight plans — Waipahu, Aiea-Pearl City and Kalihi — have been adopted by the Honolulu City Council, the Ala Moana area has seen the most activity and the only applications for zoning, even though the council is still considering the plan.

Since the plan has not been adopted, developers such as ProsPac Holdings are using the interim planned development-transit permit as a vehicle to propose transit-oriented development, or TOD, plans for lots of 20,000 square feet or more, said Harrison Rue, community building and transit-oriented development administrator with the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting.

“That allows them to negotiate with council for flexible zoning very similar to what’s in the draft zoning that hasn’t been adopted yet,” Rue told Pacific Business News.

What TOD gives those developers is additional height, up to 400 feet, and additional density under TOD zoning, he said.

The four other projects that have submitted applications are all mixed-use towers — Salem Partners’ Manaolana Place and 1500 Kapiolani hotel-condominium projects, Hawaii City Plaza on Sheridan Street and the Hawaii Ocean Plaza hotel-condo, planned for three parcels next to the Kenrock Building on Kapiolani Boulevard.

While most see TOD as an outgrowth of the rail transit project, Rue notes that the plans have been in the works for some 10 years. TOD is a long-term effort that requires community involvement and multiple public meetings over several years.

Planning began in Waipahu in 2007, but the area has yet to see any applications from developers, who are waiting to see what the City Council does on two affordable bills, Rue said.

Gail Jennings, the project lead for the transit-oriented development group at Colliers International Hawaii, said Waipahu is ideal for TOD because there is a lot of activity on the streets — and creating an active streetscape with retail, office, medical or wellness uses at the street level is at the heart of TOD zoning.

“There’s a reason that Kapiolani is attractive and the Ala Moana area is attractive. The scale of the development you can do will pencil out,” Jennings said. “In a place like Waipahu, it isn’t appropriate to have 200-foot buildings there.”

Jennings noted that the Waipahu Depot area is “an ideal walkable neighborhood” that has redevelopment potential. The TOD plan will add mixed-use zoning to areas that are currently zoned for industrial or apartments, which can add housing and retail to the mix.

Rue said there has been a “surprising amount of interest but no real deals from some smaller developers.”

“It takes time to get all the parties together and working cooperatively to create a cohesive neighborhood,” Jennings said. “You need a holistic approach.”

In the Aiea-Pearl City zone, multi-family investors have been buying property near the area where the Pearlridge station will be built, Jennings said.

“Our biggest hope is that the city’s commitment to doing public-private partnerships is carried through to the station there,” she said. A developer on a long-term ground lease could add retail, office or affordable housing near or on top of the station “and it could generate good revenue for the city.”

Closer to downtown, the Iwilei-Kapalama plan, which includes the redevelopment of the Mayor Wright Homes public housing project, envisions adding 3,670 units of housing in the first 10 years, with another 4,050 units in the five years after that.

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2 HCDA board members to serve extended terms

Photo:  Honolulu Star-Advertiser   Gov. David Ige has not chosen new members to fill the seats of Steve Scott, left, and Jason Okuhama, two of the nine board members of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Photo: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Gov. David Ige has not chosen new members to fill the seats of Steve Scott, left, and Jason Okuhama, two of the nine board members of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

Two board members of the state agency regulating development in Kakaako will serve beyond their two-year terms, which ended Friday.

Gov. David Ige has not chosen new members to fill the seats of Steve Scott and Jason Okuhama, two of the nine board members of the Hawaii Community Development Authority. The agency is responsible for approving developers’ master plans in the 450-acre area within the boundaries of Ala Moana Boulevard and King, Piikoi and Punchbowl streets, from how much parking is available to what space could be designated for commercial use.

Ige’s office said he is still reviewing a list of nominees for the two seats.

“The governor has started to interview individuals recommended by the City Council,” said Jodi Leong, deputy communications director for the governor’s office. “His office is in the process of scheduling interviews with the remaining candidates.”

Without Ige’s appointment of new board members, Scott and Okuhama will be carried over. Scott is the owner of slipper maker Scott Hawaii in Kakaako, and Okuhama is a self-employed mortgage broker.

Garett Kamemoto, spokesman for HCDA, said the two are expected to fill their same spots for a board meeting on Wednesday.

Ige failing to appoint successors comes after controversy over the list of nominations sent over by the City Council to fill the two members’ seats, especially Scott’s.

The City Council is responsible for providing the governor with choices for three of HCDA’s nine board seats. A 2014 amendment to state law authorized this as a way to reduce the governor’s control over shaping the board. By law, one of the open seats must be filled by the owner of a small business in Kakaako, and one filled by a Kakaako resident.

Those selected for the small-business-owner seat were Phillip Hasha, Jay Kado­waki and Nani Medeiros.

Hasha lives in Kakaako and owns the Kakaako-based real estate development firm The Redmont Group.

Kadowaki is a general contractor.

Medeiros is executive director of HomeAid Hawaii, a nonprofit that helps with building or renovating facilities to help the homeless. HomeAid Hawaii is overseen by a board of directors that includes representatives from Kakaako developers Howard Hughes Corp., Stanford Carr, Castle &Cooke and Alexander &Baldwin.

The nominations for the resident seat were Diane Georgene Fujio, Jonathan L.W. Ching and Okuhama.

Fujio is founder of the Master Sha Tao Healing Center based in Kakaako. Ching is a government relations specialist with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, chairwoman of the Zoning and Housing Committee, was in charge of taking nominations for the two empty seats.

Her suggestions were met with criticism, as some citizens said the list of nominees unfairly excluded Scott. The slipper company owner had challenged developers on issues presented to the board, and all three choices submitted by the Council to fill his spot have ties to developers.

In March, Ige received a letter from more than 100 citizens and several community organizations asking him to reject the list because they felt Scott was unfairly excluded despite being nominated by Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who represents Kakaako.

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