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

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The Howard Hughes Corporation Announces Next Tower, Victoria Place

Photo: The Howard Hughes Corporation. This rending shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s Victoria Place project, a 350-unit condominium planned for a site along Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu, part of the developer's 60-acre Ward Village.

Photo: The Howard Hughes Corporation. This rending shows The Howard Hughes Corp.'s Victoria Place project, a 350-unit condominium planned for a site along Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu, part of the developer's 60-acre Ward Village.

We are excited to share that The Howard Hughes Corporation has announced its next project, Victoria Place! The new development will be located at 1100 Ala Moana Blvd., between Waiea and Victoria Ward Park, the same site as the formerly planned Gateway Towers. The project is planned to have 350 residential units, 15,590 square feet of open space at the ground level, and 64,105 square feet of recreational space. The unit mix would include 137 one-bedroom units, 146 two-bedroom units and 77 three-bedroom units. No retail space is planned. Instead, the tower would be designed to integrate with green open space below. HCDA has scheduled a presentation hearing on the project for Sept. 4, with a decision-making hearing scheduled for Oct. 2.

The Howard Hughes Corporation just broke ground on its sixth project, Kōʻula, earlier this month.

To stay updated with the latest development in Ward Village, please reach out!

Read the full article from Pacific Business News, below:

The Howard Hughes Corp. has released plans for its seventh Hawaii tower — a 400-foot luxury condominium building whose name pays homage to the original owner of the 60-acre master-planned community Ward Village.

Victoria Place will be located at 1100 Ala Moana Blvd., between Waiea and Victoria Ward Park, a portion of the site The Howard Hughes Corp. had previously planned as the site for one of the two Gateway Towers, according to an application filed with the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees development in Kakaako.

The application seeks to consolidate the footprint for the two previously approved Gateway Towers into one for Victoria Place, and expand the makai end of Victoria Ward Park to “provide enhancements for wellness, connectivity to the ocean and culturally inspired placemaking,” the developer said.

“The biggest part of this is being able to consolidate Gateway’s two towers into one,” Todd Apo, senior vice president of community relations at Howard Hughes, told Pacific Business News Tuesday. “We’re moving one of the tower footprints, with more homes and more reserved housing as well, opening up and expanding the park space.”

The site of Victoria Place, adjacent to Victoria Ward Park, is seen here with, from left, Aeo, Anaha and Waiea seen in the distance

The Gateway Towers project, which was to have 236 units, was shelved last year after Simon Treacy took over as president of the Hawaii region for Dallas-based Howard Hughes.

Photo: The Howard Hughes Corporation. This rending shows the additional open space along the ground level of the Victoria Place project, adjacent to Victoria Ward Park.

Photo: The Howard Hughes Corporation. This rending shows the additional open space along the ground level of the Victoria Place project, adjacent to Victoria Ward Park.

“As featured in our announcement last year, our plan for the former Ward Warehouse location now reflects greater public amenities, more open green space, and an increased connection to the waterfront,” Treacy said in a statement. “Victoria Ward’s legacy continues to serve as our biggest inspiration as we transform Ward Village into a world-class destination that showcases the beauty and culture of our island.”

Victoria Place will have 350 residential units, 15,590 square feet of open space at the ground level, and 64,105 square feet of recreational space. The unit mix would include 137 one-bedroom units, 146 two-bedroom units and 77 three-bedroom units, according to the sewer application filed with the City and County of Honolulu.

Unlike the first six towers completed or under construction — Waiea, Anaha, Aeo, Ke Kilohana, Aalii and Koula, which broke ground two weeks ago — there is no retail or commercial space planned for Victoria Place, Apo confirmed.

“The focus of the ground floor is going to be the integration of the park,” Apo said. “The makai section of park is a more tranquil, relaxing atmosphere. We think it will be a nice change and transition.”

The project is being designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, who also designed the Anaha and Aalii towers for Howard Hughes, as well as the ONE Ala Moana and Park Lane Ala Moana buildings around Ala Moana Center and Brookfield Properties' Lilia Waikiki project, which is expected to start construction this year.

HCDA has scheduled a presentation hearing on the project for Sept. 4, with a decision-making hearing scheduled for Oct. 2.

The project is named for Victoria Ward — who, with her husband, Curtis Ward — bought 100 acres stretching from Thomas Square to the ocean in 1870. The portion of the land mauka of Kapiolani Boulevard is occupied by the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, which is owned by the City and County of Honolulu.

The Ward family owned the 60 acres makai of Kapiolani — including Ward Warehouse, Ward Centre and the Ward Entertainment Complex — until 2002, when Victoria Ward Ltd. was sold to Ala Moana Center owner General Growth Properties for $275 million.

The Howard Hughes Corp. took over the land in 2010 after General Growth emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Straub opens new clinic, welcomes patients in Ward Village

Source: Straub Medical Center. Pictured left to right are  Drs. Jimmy Chen, Akolea Ioane and Katsuya "Andy" Iizuka , family medicine physicians at the new Ward Village clinic;  Tracy Damitio , clinic manager;  Shy Hirai , RN, clinic supervisor; and  Travis Clegg , COO of Straub Medical Center.

Source: Straub Medical Center. Pictured left to right are Drs. Jimmy Chen, Akolea Ioane and Katsuya "Andy" Iizuka, family medicine physicians at the new Ward Village clinic; Tracy Damitio, clinic manager; Shy Hirai, RN, clinic supervisor; and Travis Clegg, COO of Straub Medical Center.

One of the most important features of a livable, walkable community is the placement of services in convenient, close proximity. That is why we are excited that the Straub Medical Center has opened its newest clinic on the ground floor of Ae`o to serve the Ward Village community! This 4,800-square foot location will provide primary care, urgent care, imaging, and lab services to our community. Three family medicine practitioners are accepting new patients, both children and adults, at this location. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call this location at 808-462-5200

Clinic Hours:

  • Primary Care: Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • Urgent Care: Daily 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Read more from Straub’s website below:

Straub Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new clinic in Kaka`ako as it opened the doors to patients Monday, July 15.

Straub Medical Center – Ward Village Clinic & Urgent Care is located in the Ae`o residential tower, providing primary care, urgent care, imaging and lab services in the heart of the growing Kakaako community.

Straub’s Ward Village Clinic & Urgent Care is the second new Straub clinic to open this month as its Kapolei clinic opened July 1.

“We’re very excited to be bringing convenient, high-quality, personalized health care to the people living and working in this vibrant community of Kaka`ako,” said Art Gladstone, CEO of Straub Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center. “Straub is a leader in primary care services and we are growing our presence in this area to create even greater access to care as we work toward our mission of creating a healthier Hawaii.”

“At Ward Village, we are curating a holistic community that promotes a lifestyle centered around wellness and convenience,” said Simon Treacy, president of the Howard Hughes Corporation Hawaii. “Straub’s Ward Village Clinic & Urgent Care furthers our mission to develop an all-inclusive neighborhood where residents and visitors have access to everyday essentials all within walking distance. Straub is a leader in delivering high-quality health care in Hawai`i and we are proud to welcome them to our community.”

Three family medicine physicians are based at the new 4,800-square-foot medical clinic and accepting new patients, both children and adults. The medical staff also includes one urgent care physician. More than 25 support staff were hired for the new clinic, including medical assistants, patient service representatives, nurses, radiology technologists and others.

Straub’s new Ward Village clinic is located at 1001 Queen Street, Suite 102. It is on the street level of the Ae`o tower between Whole Foods and Rinka Japanese Restaurant.

The clinic is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and offers urgent care services daily from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. To schedule an appointment at the Ward Village clinic, call 643-4DOC (4362).

The Ward Village clinic is the second of two new Straub clinics to open this month.

Straub Medical Center – Kapolei Clinic & Urgent Care is a 16,000-square-foot medical clinic located in The Grove at Ka Makana Ali`i. The convenient location for Central and West Oahu residents offers primary care, urgent care, pediatric sports medicine, OB-GYN and other pediatric and adult specialty services. The clinic also has on-site imaging and laboratory services.

For more information about Straub’s primary care services and clinic locations, visit HawaiiPacificHealth.org/PrimaryCare.

 

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Ward Village Kō‘ula architect listed on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

Photo: Time Magazine

Photo: Time Magazine

Jeanne Gang, the principal of Studio Gang Architects (and the team behind Kō‘ula) was recently named to TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2019! Kō‘ula is Studio Gang’s first major project on the Hawaiian Islands. The Ward Village development will embody indoor-outdoor living, with each unit designed to have ocean views. Please contact us to learn more about this exciting new project!

Read Time Magazine’s profile of Ms. Gang, below:

Jeanne Gang has the WOW factor. Her stunning Aqua, in Chicago, is the tallest building ever built by a woman. Now she’s building an even taller one. Yet, for Jeanne, architecture is not just a wondrous object. It’s a catalyst for change. Her sleek, woody boathouses are helping to revive the polluted Chicago River by filtering runoff organically. Her Polis Station concept aims to improve the way civilians interact with law enforcement by fusing police stations with civic recreational centers. She recently tested the idea in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, adding a basketball court to the 10th District police station in North Lawndale.
The results were so popular, she’s now expanding the facility.

Referring to the growing socioeconomic divides in our cities, Jeanne has warned her profession against “sorting ourselves into architects of the rich and architects of the poor,” and focuses instead on discovering “new possibilities for the discipline and beyond.” And it all started with playing in the dirt and making ice castles. Wow.

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Ward Village Serves as Arts Hub, Winter - Spring 2019

Photo: Pow! Wow! Hawaii

Photo: Pow! Wow! Hawaii

As Ward Village continues to develop into a first-class master planned community, Howard Hughes has also fostered the creation of a thriving community. Part of this effort includes welcoming Honolulu’s artistic community into the neighborhood. There are a slew of upcoming art events happening in Ward Village this Winter and Spring! Read more below:

  • Ukulele Picnic, February 10, 2019: Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii was founded by the renowned Japanese musician & Ukulele music scene pioneer in Japan, Kazuyuki Sekiguchi from the band Southern All Stars. From the inaugural picnic in 2009, it has attracted more than 5000 people, and has become a fun music event for whole family! For the first time, the picnic was held in the brand-new Victoria Ward Park.

  • Pow! Wow! Hawaii, February 8 - February 22, 2019: Beginning in 2011 in Honolulu, Pow! Wow! Hawaii centers around murals and art. The festival has grown into a global network of artists and organizes art exhibitions, lecture series, schools for art and music, creative community spaces, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. Over the span of about three weeks, the festival brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art. As a home grown and independent art festival, POW! WOW! is now recognized as one of the most premier and well-curated art festivals in the world. POW! WOW! currently has festivals in over 15 cities that includes Honolulu, Austin, Washington D.C., Long Beach, Lancaster, Worcester, Israel, San Jose, Tokyo, Kobe, Taipei, Guam, Rotterdam, Kathmandu, Okayama, Tokyo, and Seoul.

  • Honolulu Biennial 2019, March 8 - May 5, 2019: The inaugural Honolulu Biennial occurred in 2017, and was a hit. This year’s festival is called “To Make Wrong / Right / Now,” and will bring together 19 artists and artist groups from Hawaii and 29 artists and artist groups from the Pacific, Asia. They’ll exhibit work at over a dozen locations across O’ahu, such as the Ali’iolani Hale, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Foster Botanical Garden, and Honolulu Museum of Art, with the hub located at Ward Village.  Co-curated by Scott Lawrimore and Nina Tonga. Follow their Facebook for updates as the date gets closer.

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Honolulu construction costs 4th highest in the world, RLB report shows

Photo Credit: Jack Tyrrell and Company. Pictured above is Honolulu’s flagship Whole Foods Market and Aeʻo, which were both completed in 2018.

Honolulu construction costs continue to be some of the highest in the world. According to Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), Honolulu’s construction costs in 2018 were the 4th highest in the world. Despite the high costs, market trends do not show a slow down in construction. In Ward Village alone, two residential towers are planned for completion in 2019.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

Honolulu’s construction cost increases over the last year were the lowest in the nation, but the costs to build make Hawaii’s largest city the fourth-highest in the world, according to recent reports by Rider Levett Bucknall.

Oslo, Norway, topped RLB’s global construction cost relativity index in its construction cost report for the fourth quarter, and was followed by San Francisco, New York, Honolulu, then Paris.

RLB bases its index on the local costs of standard building models or basket of goods, using the same quantities and specifications in local currencies.

In its fourth quarter report for North America, RLB noted that construction-put-in-place in the United States in October was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.3 billion, which was 4.9 percent higher than the October 2017 estimate of $1.247 billion.

Honolulu had the lowest rate of change among 12 U.S. cities at 1.92 percent for RLB’s comparative construction costs, which track the true cost of construction, including labor, materials, contractor overhead costs and sales and use taxes.

Chicago had the largest increase at 7.22 percent, followed by Phoenix at 6.63 percent and Portland, Oregon, at 6.62 percent. Those two cities had the third- and fourth-lowest costs in the nation; Las Vegas had the lowest costs, followed by Denver.

Meanwhile, Ride Levett Bucknall’s crane index report for January found the number of construction cranes in Honolulu has dropped by nearly one half since last spring, ranking the city 10th among 11 U.S. cities.

Honolulu had six tower cranes in operation as of November, compared to 11 in May when the city also ranked at No. 10, on the biannual index released last week. Phoenix once again had the fewest cranes at five, which Seattle came in at No. 1 with 59, which was a decrease from 65 cranes last summer.

RLB attributed the drop to the number of projects marking completion during the second half of 2018, which included The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Aeo, Sam Koo’s Kapiolani Residence and The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach.

The report also noted that because of changes at the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting, “hotel owners and developers and pushing their planned projects forward to accommodate the longer processing time, which may lead to an increase in the crane count towards the end of 2019.”

Honolulu’s crane count has steadily declined from a high of 22 on the July 2015 index, according to RLB. However, several high-rise projects getting set to start vertical construction this year, including Brookfield Properties’ Lilia Waikiki and ProsPac Holdings’ Azure Ala Moana, could boost the count by next summer.

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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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Relocation of Kakaako farmers market to bring new life to demolished Ward Warehouse space

Photo: Kakaako Farmer’s Market Facebook page

Photo: Kakaako Farmer’s Market Facebook page

Kakaako Farmer’s Market has found a new home! As of November 17, the market will be moved from its current location adjacent to Ross’ to a more spacious venue - the former Ward Warehouse space, on Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward. Visit the market at its new location every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and support local!

Read more on Pacific Business News, here:

The Kakaako Farmers Market has found a new, and hopefully long-term, home in part of the recently demolished Ward Warehouse space.

Ward Warehouse was previously supposed to be the new home to Howard Hughes’ mixed-use Gateway Towers, but that plan was put on hold. The space is now expected to be a central plaza called Victoria Ward Park.

This will be the fourth location for the Kakaako iteration of FarmLovers Market, which has three other markets on Oahu in Waimea Valley, Pearlridge and Kailua. FarmLovers first opened in Haleiwa in 2009 and is owned by Pamela Boyar, who bought out her business partner, Annie Suite, earlier this year when she moved to the Mainland.

The first Kakaako location was at Ala Moana Center before it moved to Ward Village. It currently operates next to Ross at the Ward Gateway Center.

“We did really well at Ward Warehouse and it was a challenge when we moved to our current space because of the lack of parking,” Boyar said. “We are now going to be right on Ala Moana and Ward, which is a great space because it is very visible, and is located right next to a parking lot with 360 spaces that empties right into the market.”

Boyar signed a one-year lease with the Texas-based landlord, and hopes to extend the lease for at least another four years. It is unclear how the development of the 1.5-acre parcel will affect the longevity of the market.

The market, located at 1050 Ala Moana, will open Saturday Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Next year, Boyar hopes to also open on Wednesday evenings, with plans for ways to engage the local community, like live music and beer tastings in addition to the 50 local vendors.

“The idea is to make this the community food hub in Kakaako for residents, visitors and farmers. We want to open it up for this new movement of sustainable farmers that is happening right now,” Boyar said, adding that she is very particular as to which vendors she lets in. “They must be true local growers, and if they are making food or value-added products it must be healthy without artificial colors or flavors.”  

The vendors are comprised of about 40 percent farmers, 30 percent made-to-order meals, 20 percent value-added products and 10 percent artisan island retailers, selling things like jewelry and cutting boards. A new vendor is Hooah Farms, which will sell fish and vegetables as well as prepared meals at the market.  

Boyar estimates it costs about $10,000 to relocate to the new space, including labor costs, advertising, modifying the facilities, and purchasing new products like large banners she plans to display on Ala Moana Boulevard. She has launched an online Go Fund Me campaign for the first time, and has raised about $1,600 of her $4,800 goal.

“There was a recent survey done in California that said for every dollar spent in a farmers market, $3 is spent in outlying areas,” Boyar said. “When people shop at farmers markets, everything is put right back into the local community. It’s great for economic development.” 

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Ward Village tower developer can post first ‘sold out’ sign

Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

Photo: Howard Hughes Corporation

Ae‘o is officially Howard Hughes Corporation’s first sold-out tower! The developer confirmed that as of late September, contracts for all 464 units had been signed. Waiea and Anaha are also very close to being sold-out, with 167 of 174 units of Waiea sold and 314 of 317 units of Anaha as of September 30. These impressive statistics show that the demand for a diversity of units in Ward Village is consistently strong. Ward Village offers a unique mix of urban living on an island due to its close proximity to the ocean and shops and dining. It seems that this type of mixed-use development is what Honolulu’s residents are craving, and the sales at Ward Village prove this.

For more information on Ae`o units for sale, visit my website.

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

The developer of Ward Village in Kakaako took the tiniest of steps recently to reach a major milestone: declaring its first “sold out” condominium tower.

Texas-based Howard Hughes Corp. noted the last sales contract being signed for its nearly finished Ae‘o high-rise in a quarterly financial report Tuesday.

Hughes Corp. said it had signed contracts for all 465 units in the tower as of Sept. 30. The project contains a recently opened Whole Foods and is on schedule to finish residential area construction by the end of the year so buyers can complete their purchases and move in.

Up through June 30, there had been 464 Ae‘o sales. The one additional sale during the July-September period made Ae‘o the first tower at Ward Village to sell out.

However, three other towers — Anaha, Waiea and Ke Kilohana — are very close.

At Anaha, 314 of 317 units had been sold as of Sept. 30, Hughes Corp. reported. And at Waiea, 167 of 174 units had been sold as of the same date, the company said.

Waiea was finished about two years ago and Anaha opened a year ago.

At Ke Kilohana, which is under construction and projected to open next year, Hughes Corp. reported having signed sales contracts for 395 of 423 units through Sept. 30. The company also said it made 18 more sales in October to make the tower 98 percent sold.

Hughes Corp. started construction on a fifth tower, ‘A‘ali‘i, last month after offering units for sale in January. In Tuesday’s report, the company said it had sold 77 percent of the ‘A‘ali‘i units, or 579 of 771, through the end of October. That was up from 67 percent, or 500 units, through July.

The company described continued Ward Village condo sales as a “robust” response from buyers wanting to live in the growing neighborhood of residential towers, retail stores and restaurants mauka of Kewalo Harbor.

“In Honolulu, the extraordinary pace of sales in Ward Village continued in the third quarter,” Hughes Corp. CEO David Weinreb said in a statement.

The developer plans to follow ‘A‘ali‘i with a sixth tower called Ko‘ula, for which it received state approval in August. Sales have yet to start.

Since the company began Waiea, it said it has sold 1,905 residential units in five towers with units available for sale, or 89 percent of all units.

Most Ward Village condos are million-dollar residences, though Hughes Corp. is required by a state agency regulating development in Kakaako to make 20 percent of residential units affordable and available to residents earning moderate incomes.

At the high end, the average original price at Waiea was $3.6 million. At the low end, the average price at Ke Kilohana was $510,776.

Hughes Corp. has a state-approved master plan to develop up to around 4,500 residential units planned in 16 towers, along with 1 million square feet of retail businesses.

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Neighborhood News: Howard Hughes Corp. plans community outreach on Ward Village walkway

howard-hughesward-village-view10001_750xx5085-2866-0-434.jpg

Ward Village’s developer is seeking public input on the design of elevated walkways that would connect a central plaza, named Victoria Ward Park, in the neighborhood to a planned rail station, Ala Moana Beach Park and future condominium towers. Howard Hughes Corporation expects to start community outreach next month.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

The Howard Hughes Corp. is naming its central plaza at Ward Village after Victoria Ward and plans to start community outreach next month on a plan to build an elevated walkway that would stretch from the development to the ocean.

Howard Hughes (NYSE: HHC) is naming the park Victoria Ward Park to acknowledge the history and culture of the 60-acre master-planned community, which was once part of an estate belonging to Victoria and Curtis Ward, Simon Treacy, president of The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Hawaii operations, told Pacific Business News.

Treacy first revealed his plan for the elevated walkway in an interview with PBN in May, during which he said plans for the previously announced Gateway Towers, planned for the site of the former Ward Warehouse, would be placed on hold.

Treacy envisions the walkway to emulate the High Line in New York, a half-mile-long elevated park that would meander from a future transit station along Halekauwila Street, through Ward Village and over Ala Moana Boulevard, ending at Kewalo Basin, which the developer manages.

Treacy said Howard Hughes was still “listening and learning and understanding everyone’s perspective” on the proposed plans.

“The feedback we’re getting from the public and private sector is very strong,” he said.

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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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