Honolulu–Dozens of people reportedly camped out for as long as two days outside the sales office of the Pacifica Honolulu condominium project so that they would be among the first to snatch up a good deal. The 48-story project will be the largest new high-rise condo building on Oahu. According to a spokesperson for the developer, OliverMcMillan—a San Diego-based outifit specializing in urban mixed-use retail, entertainment and residential projects—firm contracts are in place for 244 of the 365 available market-rate residential units in the Pacifica, and a $50 million construction loan has closed with First Hawaiian Bank. A ground blessing was held on March 25 and construction on the $285 million project started on April 26 with Ledcor Construction.
“The fact that we had buyers camped out to purchase Pacifica Honolulu units, a once troubled property, is a huge success in this economy,” says Dene Oliver, CEO of OliverMcMillan.
OliverMcMillan acquired Pacifica Honolulu, formerly known as Moana Vista, in October 2009 from KC Rainbow II. The troubled property, located at 1009 Kapiolani Boulevard, had stopped construction in the fall of 2008 after the developer lost his construction loan and stopped funding the project with his own equity. The 27th floor of the concrete tower had been poured, and the exterior glass and interior finishes were partially underway.
OliverMcMillan has rebranded the project with additional amenities, a more sophisticated design approach and a wider selection of unit sizes from one- to three-bedrooms. Now, in addition to panoramic views of the ocean, mountain and downtown Honolulu, the property will also feature substantially upgraded interior finishes. To date, 221 of the sales contracts have become non-refundable with deposits of 10 percent of the sales price in escrow. In September 2010, 124 additional residences will be offered for public sale to qualified local residents meeting moderate income requirements set forth by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
The 430,200 square-foot Pacifica Honolulu project is expected to be completed in September 2011, and according to the developer, it will create more than 400 local construction jobs. “OliverMcMillan has put together a very solid team, which is essential on a job like this,” says Jeff Thompson, vice president and branch manager for Ledcor Construction Hawaii, LLC. In addition to Ledcor, the team includes: First Hawaiian Bank, Architects Hawaii, Jules Wilson and PhilPotts interior designers and the exclusive project broker, Heyer & Associates.
“Where others saw only impossible hurdles, OliverMcMillan saw opportunities,” notes Don Horner, chairman and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank. “The firm should be congratulated for transforming a half-built, stalled property into a successful and attractive affordable housing opportunity.”
“The Pacifica Honolulu project is a value play. Three key components contribute to the success of this sale: good value, a highly desirable location and the fact that this is the low point of development in the cycle,” adds Ricky Cassiday, an independent real estate market analyst in Honolulu. “Pacifica Honolulu is one of the few instances of high rises coming on the market. It provides a rare opportunity for affordable housing in the center of Honolulu.”