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Affordable Housing Projects in Honolulu, Mililani Mauka Receive $4M in Tax Credits

28 Jul 2014, 4:15 am

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. (HHFDC) has awarded a total of $4 million in federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the construction of two affordable apartment complexes in Honolulu and Mililani Mauka.

Located at 1025 Waimanu St. in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood, the 84-unit Ola Ka Ilima Artspace Lofts project has received $2.1 million, of which $1.4 million was granted as federal tax credits and $712,500 as state tax credits.

Reserved for artists earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income, the new complex is being developed by Artspace, a Minnesota-based nonprofit real estate developer, in partnership with the Ford Foundation. The companies are also collaborating with the PAI Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations.

“A first of its kind in Hawaii, the Ola Ka Ilima Artspace Lofts project serves our goals to generate more affordable housing opportunities through public-private partnerships,” Gov. Abercrombie said in a news release. “At the same time, we are able to support culture and the arts, which has a lasting benefit to the people of Hawaii. We are especially pleased to be working with the PA‘I Foundation and Executive Director Vicky Holt Takamine and President Kawika McKeague in support of Native Hawaiian cultural resources and Hawaii’s arts communities.”

According to the Pacific Business News, the $38 million project is being built on an empty parking lot owned by the HCDA. Upon completion in 2017, the residential complex will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units in two eight-story buildings. Artspace is also planning to develop a two-story commercial component at the site, which will include 6,000 square feet of leasable space and 96 parking spaces.

HHFDC has also announced the allocation of an approximately $1.8 million grant for the construction of Meheula Vista 1, a 75-unit affordable senior rental complex in Mililani Mauka.

Developed by the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corp., the project received $1.2 million in federal credits and $597,845 in state credits.

The building, which is slated to rise on state land, will be the followed by three additional senior rental developments totaling another 225 units.

“With Hawaii’s population continuing to live longer, we owe it to our older residents to ensure there are opportunities for them to age in place, remain active and enjoy quality lives as engaged members of their communities to the benefit of us all,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “I commend our state HHFDC team and the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corp. for working together to provide our kupuna additional affordable rent options close to family and friends.”

Photo credits: Artspace



Developers Celebrate Groundbreaking of Ultra-Luxury Condominiums in Honolulu; New Senior Living Community Rising in Kapolei

19 Jul 2014, 2:59 am

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Construction on Park Lane Ala Moana, a $300 million ultra-luxury condominium complex fronting Ala Moana Boulevard in downtown Honolulu, is scheduled to begin within the next two months.

According to the Pacific Business News, the development team, which includes The MacNaughton Group, Kobayashi Group, BlackSand Capital and landowner General Growth Properties, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on July 9.

Plans call for seven low-rise buildings of about 100 feet, which will offer a total of 215 units, along with amenity spaces and residential and commercial parking.

The upcoming complex at 1488 Ala Moana Blvd. is being built on a former parking lot of Ala Moana Center, right next to the Bloomingdale’s department store currently under construction at Hawaii’s largest shopping mall.

The new residences, which will range in size from 850 to 6,000 square feet, should be ready for occupancy by late 2016.

In other news, the Pacific Business News reports that California-based Kisco Senior Living and general contractor Kiewit have celebrated the groundbreaking of the $30 million Ilima at Leihano senior living community in the heart of the pedestrian-friendly city of Kapolei.

Plans call for a three-story facility offering a total of 84 spacious assisted-living and memory-care units, large common areas and extensive outdoor gardens. There will be no entrance fees, and monthly rents will include a variety of services, such as dining plans, transportation services, utilities, housekeeping, emergency response, as well as wellness activities and programs.

Designed by Group 70 International, the complex will cover about half of the 40-acre mixed-use project that Kisco is developing in phases.

“Ilima at Leihano will offer our kupuna an alternative housing option that encourages independence, active lifestyles and an environment that facilitates daily interaction between seniors and other generations,” Sharon Thom, vice president of Kiewit Senior, said in a prepared statement.

Photo credit: The MacNaughton Group/Kobayashi Group/BlackSand Capital



Hawaii Pacific University Officially Begins Redevelopment of Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu

29 Jun 2014, 3:53 am

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A groundbreaking ceremony and traditional Hawaiian blessing marked the official construction start for the revitalization of the Aloha Tower Marketplace in downtown Honolulu.

According to the Pacific Business News, Hawaii Pacific University is investing approximately $50 million in the redevelopment project, which would bring new life to the city’s landmark waterfront property.

On the first floor, the new mixed-use residential and commercial complex will feature an improved marketplace, restaurant spaces and other HPU academic and support spaces, including a theater/lecture hall for as many as 250 people, while the second floor will be converted into 83 student and faculty residences, with the capacity to accommodate about 300 individuals.

Upon completion in the fall of 2015, the revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace will offer a total of 84,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor public space, along with another 15,000 square feet of space that HPU will share with the public. The venue is also expected to enrich Honolulu’s intellectual and cultural scene by enabling the organization of various events, from public seminars to think-tank sessions.

Four of the property’s existing tenants — including The Cab, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, the Star of Honolulu and Hooters — will remain open throughout the renovation.

Group 70 International is the project’s local architectural firm, while Swinerton Builders is in charge of construction.

“This revitalization project at Aloha Tower Marketplace is an investment in the future, both economically and for the people of Hawai‘i,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “I commend Hawai‘i Pacific University and its partners for moving forward with a vision for a vital and lively Downtown Honolulu, while increasing access to higher education in today’s global economy.”

“The Aloha Tower has long served as a beacon, guiding ships from around the world toward our Honolulu Port,” added Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.  “Hawai‘i Pacific University’s new use of the iconic Aloha Tower Marketplace will continue its historic role of welcoming visitors, and now students, to the heart of Honolulu in a modern, vibrant mixed-use space.”

HPU, the state’s largest private university, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015. The not-for-profit institution is one of the nation’s most culturally diverse learning communities, with graduates from all 50 U.S. states and about 80 different countries.

Photo credit: Hawaii Pacific University

From left, HPU Board of Trustees Chairman-elect Joachim Cox, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, HPU President Geoffrey Bannister, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, HPU Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Chun, HPU Executive Vice President Janet Kloenhamer, HPU alumna/former Student Body President Miina Huotari and Kahu Kordell Kekoa.



Sunstone Hotel Investors Plans to Acquire Maui’s 544-Key Wailea Beach Marriott Resort for $326M

20 Jun 2014, 11:45 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In an off-market transaction, California real estate investment trust Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has agreed to purchase one of Maui’s largest and most popular leisure destinations: the 544-key Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

An affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners IV is selling the property for $325.7 million, or $598,600 per room.

Scheduled to close in the third quarter, the transaction marks Sunstone’s first lodging investment in Hawaii. The company plans to fund the acquisition with proceeds from the issuance of common stock, $60 million of which is expected to be issued directly to the seller at a price of $14.87 per share.

Sunstone also plans to invest approximately $65 million in the renovation of the resort in 2015 and 2016.

Located on 22 acres of fee-simple, oceanfront land in the heart of Wailea, the property features some of the largest standard guestrooms on Maui, with an average size of nearly 450 square feet.

Amenities include an infinity-edge swimming pool, world-class golf, tennis courts, water sports, a fitness center, on-site dining options, as well as 45,000 square feet of flexible meeting facilities featuring three ballrooms and 21 meeting rooms. Guests also have access to significant outdoor oceanfront space that may be entitled for future development.

“We are pleased to announce our planned acquisition of the 544-room Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, our first acquisition in the strong Hawaiian market.  This acquisition fits squarely within our strategy of increasing our portfolio quality and scale while improving our financial flexibility,” Sunstone’s CEO, Ken Cruse, said in a news release.

Regarded as one of the most desirable and high-barrier-to-entry leisure and group destinations in the world, the Maui lodging market is the strongest in Hawaii, consistently maintaining the highest average daily rate of all the Hawaiian Islands. Year-to-date through April 2014, revenue per available room growth across the island’s lodging market climbed 7.6 percent over the same period in 2013.

Furthermore, in 2014, for the 20th consecutive year, Maui was named “Best Island in the World” in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Poll.

Photo credit: www.marriott.com



Construction Begins on Howard Hughes Corp.’s First Residential High-Rise at Ward Village in Honolulu

16 Jun 2014, 5:08 am







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By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Joined by community leaders, future residents, partners and stakeholders, The Howard Hughes Corp. celebrated the groundbreaking of the first residential tower of Ward Village, a beachfront master-planned community rising in the heart of downtown Honolulu.

Called Waiea, which means “water of life,” the new high-rise will feature 171 residences — including one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury condominiums, 10 penthouses and 10 townhomes — along Ala Moana Boulevard. Residents will have access to a 24-hour concierge service, deluxe fitness center and spa, indoor golf simulator and infinity-edge swimming pool with ocean view and cabanas.

Designed by internationally renowned Ingrao Inc., Waiea aims to achieve LEED Gold certification. Upon completion, the project will increase the site’s annual tax revenue from $171,000 to more than $2 million, The Howard Hughes Corp. announced.

“Beginning construction on Waiea is a milestone event for The Howard Hughes Corp. as we continue our journey in creating an unmatched experience for our future residents, visitors and the community at large,” said David Weinreb, CEO of the company. “As a company, we are committed to making Ward Village the place to be, with exceptional public spaces and a special place of purpose here in Honolulu.”

As part of the first phase of the Ward Village master plan in Kakaako, the Dallas-based developer is planning the construction of three residential towers totaling more than 900 condominiums. Two of the towers will feature market-rate units, while the third will offer mostly affordable residences.

Construction on Anaha, the second high-rise, is expected to begin in the next few months.

Planned for 60 acres between the city’s downtown and Waikiki, the massive Ward Village mixed-use community is one of the largest LEED-ND Platinum-certified projects in the U.S. and the only one of its kind in Hawaii.

At full build-out over the next decade, the project could bring more than 4,000 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of retail and commercial space.

“The Howard Hughes Corp. is building a community that respects and honors the past, lives in the present and creates the ultimate 21st century community,” Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said during Waiea’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Photo credit: The Howard Hughes Corp.







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