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

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kewalo basin

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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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Neighborhood News: Kewalo Harbor to undergo major transformation starting this month

Photo: Kewalo Harbor, Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation has begun its long-planned renovations to Kewalo Harbor and Kewalo Basin. The plans will bring additional security and long overdue renovation to the harbor infrastructure improvements, including water, fire and electrical upgrades, security cameras and gates, Wi-Fi, new docks and a marine fueling facility. Additional improvements include an improved City lifeguard response station, landscaping, signage, restroom facilities and marketing resources for businesses on the harbor. The project will be led by Honolulu-based Sea Engineering Inc.  

"This partnership will allow us to bring much-needed repairs and upgrades to the Kewalo facilities while also creating a stronger connection between Kewalo Harbor, Ala Moana Beach Park and the nearby areas," said Howard Hughes Corp. Vice President for Community Development, Todd Apo.

Watch the full news report on KITV News, here:

Kewalo Harbor will undergo a major transformation starting this month.

The Howard Hughes Corporation is set to break ground on a $20 million renovation project.

Dock renovations and facility upgrades include improvements to security and a city lifeguard response station.

Upgrades will take place in phases and are set to begin in mid-September.

"I think this community of Kewalo Harbor and Kewalo Basin is going to get so much better with what Kupu is doing here from a non-profit standpoint, friends of Kewalo taking care of Kewalo park and the City and County with their efforts at Ala Moana Beach Park. All of this will come together to create an amazing oceanfront for all of us," Todd Apo, vice president of community development with the Howard Hughes Corperation said.

"They all need renovation, definitely and this isn't the only harbor that needs renovations, so I'm happy about that part," Ari Safari, a Rosalie Claire boat owner said. 

Safari said she'd welcome more boat services in exchange for higher fees.

A lease agreement between HCDA and Howard Hughes plans for increased slip rates.

After the project is complete, rates could go up between $2 and $4 per foot.

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Howard Hughes presents plans on $20M upgrade of Kewalo Basin Harbor

The below article is by Duane Shimogawa for Pacific Business News, published on May 5, 2016:

The Howard Hughes Corp. presented plans to state regulators in Hawaii this week regarding its $20 million upgrade of Kewalo Basin Harbor, the aging small boat harbor directly across the street from the developer's 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu.

The two-phase renovation of the aging Kakaako small boat harbor includes water, fire and electrical upgrades, adding security cameras and Wi-Fi. The improvements also include repairing the concrete and epoxy coat, as well as adding security gates. The pile caps will be demolished and replaced with new docks, and a marine fueling facility will be installed.

The Howard Hughes Corp. presented plans to state regulators in Hawaii this week regarding its $20 million upgrade of Kewalo Basin Harbor, seen here, the aging small boat harbor directly across the street from the developer's 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community in Honolulu

Honolulu-based Sea Engineering Inc., along with other consultants, including Coffman Engineers Inc., are doing the work on the long-overdue project.

Last year, the Texas-based developer took over management duties of the harbor under a lease with the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Todd Apo, vice president of community development for The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), told PBN Thursday that the developer was required to do the improvements under its lease.

“The lease was set up that we were able to recover the development costs from the revenue from the harbor,” he said, noting that it comes out to a 16 to 18 year recovery of those costs. “Under the lease, right now, we are at base rent and then it goes up to percentage rent.”

Howard Hughes’ Kewalo Harbor Development Co. LLC is requesting a development permit from the HCDA, the state agency regulating development in the Honolulu neighborhood, to do the upgrades.

A decision-making hearing is scheduled for June 1 at 1 p.m. at the at the HCDA’s office on Queen Street in Honolulu.

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Howard Hughes gets OK for $3.5M upgrade of Fisherman’s Wharf dock

Photo credit: The Howard Hughes Corporation, Kewalo Basin Harbor

Photo credit: The Howard Hughes Corporation, Kewalo Basin Harbor

Last week, Pacific Business News broke the news that The Howard Hughes Corporation had received approval from the HDCA to carry out its planned improvements on the Fisherman's Wharf loading dock at Kewlao Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management duties in September 2015.  Currently, you can visit their website here to find more information on what activities you may enjoy Kewalo Basin Harbor before the upgrades begin.

While no firm start date is yet set, the HCDA says it will be sooner rather than later.  Read more details about the renovations in Duane Shimogawa's article, below: 

The Howard Hughes Corp. has received approval from state regulators to undergo a $3.5 million upgrade on the Fisherman’s Wharf loading dock at Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu, the vice-chairman of the state regulatory board for the area told PBN.

The improvements are part of a major $20 million renovation of the Kewalo Basin Harbor in the Kakaako neighborhood that includes increasing the slips at the harbor to about 170 slips when the four to five phase project is completed in about two years.

The Texas-based developer took over management duties of the harbor in September. The harbor is directly across from its 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community, which includes both residential and commercial projects.

Honolulu-based Sea Engineering Inc. has been chosen for the design-build project, with Coffman Engineers providing work on the project as well.

Kewalo Basin’s slips are in various states of disrepair and is in need of an overhaul, according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

The HCDA assumed control of the harbor in 2009.

Steven Scott, vice-chairman of the HCDA board and owner of the popular slipper company, Scott Hawaii, told PBN that the initial work involves a lot of underwater preparations and re-supporting of the dock.

“The dock is crumbling,” he said, noting that while there is no firm start date on this part of the project, it will be sooner rather than later.

Howard Hughes also is developing two of the surrounding lots of the harbor.

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Pacific Business News: Vida Cancellation Does Not Mean End of Current Boom

Photo credit: KHON2 News

Photo credit: KHON2 News

With the cancellation of Vida at 888 Ala Moana luxury condo project, does that mean the development boom in Kakaako is slowing down? No, an industry expert told Pacific Business News. Find out why in the article below

The two three-acre sites in Honolulu’s growing Kakaako neighborhood owned by Kamehameha Schools where a developer had planned to build at least one luxury condominium tower likely won't be developed in this cycle’s real estate boom, but at least one expert tells Pacific Business News that the cancellation of plans to develop the parcels doesn’t mean the current boom cycle is coming to an end.

On Friday, Hawaii development firms Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group confirmed to PBN that they were canceling plans to build the Vida 888 Ala Moana luxury high-rise condominium project and develop a neighboring parcel. The developers, citing slow sales in recent months for the cancellation of Vida, canceled a contract with landowner Kamehameha Schools to purchase the two lots encompassing about six acres in Kakaako.

BJ Kobayashi, co-founder and partner of Kobayashi Group, previously told PBN that plans to develop the block near Vida were also being shelved.
The two firms have developed a number of successful high-end projects in recent years, including the Hokua, built during the last cycle, ONE Ala Moana, and Park Lane Ala Moana, which is currently under construction.

“Vida was an awesome project and typical of the thoughtful kind of development that I have enjoyed from [The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group], Trevor Benn, president of Honolulu-based Benn Pacific Group Inc., told PBN. “However, I think that its price points had too much similar inventory and options for a somewhat narrow buyer profile.”

Price points for Vida ranged from nearly $1 million to $20 million. Competition has been tough in the luxury market in Honolulu, especially with Texas-based developer The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) building two luxury towers in the Kakaako area, with two more planned to replace the Ward Warehouse retail center.


San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan’s Symphony Honolulu luxury condo tower near the Neal S. Blaisdell Center also added to the competition for these types of units.
Sales for luxury units moved swiftly just a few years ago, but those days seem to be gone, or at least moving in the direction where demand is no longer that high.

But Benn pointed out that there are other options on the table, especially when developers build for lower price points, or at least a mix of price points.

“I don’t think this cycle is coming to an end so much as I think the developers need to consider a wider product mix to try and source units at lower price points,” Benn said.

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Revitalization coming to historic Kewalo Basin Harbor at Ward Village

Earlier this December 2015, the Hawaii Community Development Authority selected Ward Village to revitalize two lots surrounding the Kewalo Basin Harbor. Currently, there are over 70 small businesses located at the Harbor, from commercial fishing boats to companies providing ocean recreation activities for tourists and locals alike. The Howard Hughes Corp.'s plan for the area is to support these small businesses, and to revive the area as a community gathering place. For those that have decided to make Waiea, Anaha, Gateway, Aeo, or Ke Kilohana their home, the revitalized Harbor and public space will make living in Ward Village even more desirable, fun, and convenient.

Find out a little more about Howard Hughes' plans from a blog entry posted on their website, below:

The expansive waterfront that forms the Kewalo Harbor is set to take on new life in the coming years. Earlier this month, the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) granted Ward Village the rights to refurbish and reinvigorate two parcels of land that skirt the harbor, creating an environment that maintains the integrity and rich history of the area, while simultaneously uplifting the space.

Photo courtesy of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village.

While the harbor has served local fishermen and businesses for generations, it’s in dire need of upgrades and repairs. With a plan in place, the proposed facelift for the harbor will create an environment that both lends itself to public use while continuing to maintain the harbor’s relaxed, low-key atmosphere.

“This partnership will allow us to bring much-needed repairs and upgrades to the Kewalo facilities while also creating a stronger connection between Kewalo Harbor, Ala Moana Beach Park, and the nearby areas,” said Todd Apo, Vice President of Community Development for Ward Village.

Photo courtesy of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village.

For Kewalo Harbormaster John Eveleth, the improvements imagined for the harbor will help usher the area into a brighter future. “Ward Village’s plans for Kewalo will bring to life the two areas around the harbor that for decades have been inactive and unattractive to the boaters and visitors to this area.”

According to Ron Iwami of the Friends of Kewalo association, the new developments won’t take away from the harbor’s rich history. “It will keep the charm of Kewalo basin’s low-key atmosphere where you can come and relax and not be part of a shopping center.” As a means to showcase their commitment to the community the team from Ward spent countless hours gathering feedback, holding community workshops and even a dedicated website, kewalois.com, that serves as an information and update hub for interested parties.

Photo courtesy of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village.

Photo courtesy of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village.

“As we move forward, the public can expect to see a cleaner, greener revitalized waterfront at Kewalo,” said Race Randle, VP of Development at Howard Hughes. “We’re very excited about the future of the harbor. Our plans are really going to connect the community and enhance the neighborhood.”

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