Jun 14, 2013, 11:40am HST
Duane Shimogawa | Reporter- Pacific Business News
Sales of Symphony Honolulu, a 388-unit mixed-use condominium in Kakaako across from the Neal Blaisdell Center, start Saturday with prices ranging from the low $500,000s for a one-bedroom residence to the high $800,000s for a three-bedroom unit.
When completed, the 400-foot tower at the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard being developed by OliverMcMillan Pacific Rim will have 288 market-priced residences and 100 reserved housing units.
“We believe there is a strong demand for a range of market-priced and reserved housing in the urban core of Honolulu,” OliverMcMillan Pacific Rim President Dan Nishikawa said in a statement.
Reserved units, for buyers who meet income and asset requirements set by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, will be available for sale at a later date, the developer said.
The Symphony Honolulu residences will have large rooms with open floor plans and floor-to-ceiling glass, said Nishikawa, who also noted that there will be a Garden Terrace on the seventh floor with cookout stations and cabanas.
OliverMcMillan is working with landowner JN Automotive Group Inc., which plans to open an automobile showroom on the ground floor of the project featuring its JN Exotics line of Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Audi and Lotus vehicles.
Construction is expected to begin at the end of this year and is expected to take 25 months.
The development will create 400 construction jobs and the auto showroom is expected to add 100 positions.
Heyer & Associates is the exclusive broker of the project.
The sales office is located at the Honolulu Design Center at 1250 Kapiolani Blvd., on the third floor. It will be open daily, starting Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Next Phase Begins in “forWARD” Vision for Ward Village.
HONOLULU (February 4, 2013) – The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC) today announced plans to renovate the IBM building, a well-known office building located along Ala Moana Boulevard in the heart of Kaka‘ako. As the next step in realizing its vision transforming Ward Centers into Ward Village, a vibrant urban master planned community, The Howard Hughes Corporation is making a substantial investment in the renovation of the building.
“We look forward to the IBM building becoming an integral part of the vision for Ward Village,” said Nick Vanderboom, Senior Vice President of Development for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “It is rewarding to bring new purpose to this iconic structure.”
Originally designed by famed architect Vladimir Ossipoff, the IBM building recently marked its 50th anniversary. Through the redevelopment, the majority of the space will continue to serve as an office building while a portion will serve as the future information and sales center for Ward Village. Planned for completion in the fall of 2013, the update will create dynamic open space on the ground floor by opening up the walls surrounding the ground level. A section of the floor will be dedicated to telling the story of the land, while another will showcase the vision for the project. The front of the building will also be enhanced with landscaping, water features and other design elements in keeping with the future character of Ward Village.
Reflecting the Ward Village commitment to honoring the history of the land, the concrete honeycomb exterior grille – the brise-soleil that makes the IBM building a distinct architectural structure - will be retained as part of the rehabilitation.
“As best I can recall, Val Ossipoff is quoted as saying ‘the grille is a punched screen and as such recalls the punch cards universally used in computing.’ This seemed an appropriate reason for relating IBM, a computer company, to its Honolulu home. Here is a unique grille, very permanent being made of uncoated concrete which provides shade and yet allows views out to the ocean and mountains and allows for a naturally lit interior,” said Sid Snyder, a longtime friend and business partner of Val Ossipoff.
“The building’s classic grille is being preserved and the unique character is respected. I appreciate that and understand there is a new purpose for this building being preserved,” added Snyder.
The Howard Hughes Corporation will invest more than $20 million in the IBM building renovation. The renovation is being directed by the internationally acclaimed design firm Woods Bagot along with the local firm of Ferraro Choi & Associates as the architect of record. The Howard Hughes Corporation is also hiring local general contractors, Jay Kadowaki, Inc. and Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., respectively known for quality interiors and expertise in large-scale projects. Nate Smith, a local project manager who has a history of managing residential, commercial and institutional projects, including the renovation of Ossipoff’s Thurston Chapel at Punahou School, has also been retained as a consultant to assist with the coordination of the project.”
May 21, 2013, 12:05pm HST Updated: May 21, 2013, 2:21pm HST
Duane Shimogawa | Reporter- Pacific Business News
The James Campbell Co. is looking to sell 516 acres of mostly undeveloped land in West Oahu known as Kapolei West, a potential mixed-use residential and commercial master-planned community that would connect the City of Kapolei with Ko Olina Resort.
East-West Financial Services Ltd. is marketing the property, which could fetch tens of millions of dollars.
The Washington D.C.-based private investment banking firm declined comment on the possible sale.
Kapolei Property Development, a real estate subsidiary of the James Campbell Co., won zoning approval in 2008 from the Honolulu City Council for the 516 acres in Kapolei West, which were rezoned from agriculture to multifamily A-1 and A-2 and apartment mixed-use for some 2,400 townhouses and apartments, as well as preservation land for a planned golf course.
The land is key to the residential component of the Kapolei Area Long Range Master Plan, which aims to infuse a variety of housing options to expand the base residents in the area.
Kapolei West was projected to create 2,575 construction jobs and about 3,600 permanent jobs.
It is one of three future projects for James Campbell Co. that cover a total of more than 2,600 acres in West Oahu, including the 1,781-acre Makaiwa Hills residential mixed-use community on the mauka side of Farrington Highway and the 345-acre Kapolei Harborside industrial land located between Kalaeloa Harbor and Kalaeloa Boulevard.
Richard Dahl, CEO of James Campbell Co., could not be immediately reached for comment.
However, industry observers are quick to point out that there are many similarities with last week’s news, first reported by PBN, regarding the possible sale of Kaneohe Ranch Co. LLC and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation’s entire commercial real estate portfolio, which includes the town center of Kailua in Windward Oahu.
Observers say stakeholders in these two legacy families in Hawaii are most likely pushing the need for income.
“There’s a general theme feeding the base of the [James Campbell Co.] family, [being that] there [are] now stakeholders [that are] no longer descendents, [so] there’s a need to produce income,” a source told PBN. “So there is a strong motivation to move assets.”
Add that to a generally “hot” real estate market in Hawaii and that has caused sellers to look to make some money off of their assets.
Kapolei-based James Campbell Co., the master developer of the City of Kapolei, is a private real estate company with assets including ground leases, office, retail, and industrial properties in Washington D.C., and 16 states across the country.
The Howard Hughes Corporation announced its “forWARD” vision for Ward Village in October 2012, revealing plans to create a vibrant neighborhood offering unique retail experiences, exceptional residences and affordable housing set among dynamic public open spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets. Ward Village will incorporate principles of sustainability and cultural respect that honor the rich history of the land. The project is planned to be built out over the next decade. When complete, Ward Village will double its retail, dining and entertainment space, providing a compelling mix of local neighborhood shops, restaurants and national retailers to serve locals and visitors alike. In preparation for the renovation, The Howard Hughes Corporation has been working to provide assistance to tenants affected by the project who are moving to other locations within Ward Centers.
ABOUT THE HOWARD HUGHES CORPORATION
The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 18 states from New York to Hawai‘i. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC and is headquartered in Dallas, TX.
For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements accompanied by words such as “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “enables,” “realize,” “plan,” “intend,” “transform” and other words of similar expression, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections as of the date of this release and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth as risk factors in The Howard Hughes Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly and Annual Reports. The Howard Hughes Corporation cautions you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. The Howard Hughes Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.
Apr 24, 2013, 12:25pm HST
Dean & DeLuca will enter Hawaii market at Ritz-Carlton Waikiki project
Janis L. Magin | Managing Editor- Pacific Business News
New York-based gourmet market Dean & DeLuca plans to open its first store in Hawaii in The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, hotel condominium that’s being developed next to the Luxury Row at 2100 Kalakaua Ave.
Dean & DeLuca said Wednesday that it also plans to open “multiple locations” in Hawaii that will include markets, cafes and new formats in the future with developer Avancer Group.
“We’re looking forward to being in the heart of this world-renowned community with its rich culture and food scene, and becoming a go-to destination for visitors and neighborhood shoppers,” Geoffrey Upham, managing director international for Dean & DeLuca, said in a statement.
The Dean & DeLuca store is set to open in late 2015 or early 2016, when the 38-story Ritz-Carlton project at 2121 Kuhio Ave. is scheduled to be completed.
Developer Pacrep LLC opened a two-story sales office for the project Wednesday at Luxury Row, whose retail tenants include Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Coach.
Prices for the 309 units start in the $500,000s for a one-bedroom unit and go up to more than $15 million for the penthouse units.
Dean & DeLuca has stores in New York City, Washington, D.C., Napa Valley, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., and Kansas City, Mo. in the United States, as well as stores in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The Kakaako district, where a phalanx of residential towers popped up over the past 20 years, is now slated to go solidly vertical with the addition of as many as 30 more high-rises. Gigantism threatens Waikiki, too, clotting its spindly 1970s core with Kyo-ya’s controversial plan for two new towers. In March, the City’s Department of Planning and Permitting rubber-stamped a 37-story slab of luxury, the Ritz-Carlton Residences at 2121 Kuhio, which will occupy the corner where the old Hula’s banyan tree once stood.
Then there’s the transit-oriented-development (TOD) planning underway, which anticipates private, high-density development in close proximity to each of HART’s 21 elevated rail transit stations–a string of mini-cities out to Kapolei.
All this will mean lots of new high-rise apartment buildings. But what kind of high-rise living do we want? Do we want to give up the tradewinds and live in hermetically sealed, air-conditioned glassy monoliths, as if we’re twice-a-year “residents” from Singapore or Palo Alto?
Or do we want something more organic, innovative and radically sustainable–something like so many of Honolulu’s older, air-cooled high-rises–you know, the ones built mainly in the late 1950s through the 1970s, with the corridors open to the elements so the breeze can blow right through, so no need AC?
Tall and breezy
“Honolulu has an extraordinary climate like no other city in the world. It’s so stable and so delightful. Amazing!” says noted international architect César Pelli, who had a hand in the design of two of Honolulu’s breezy best: the Ala Wai Plaza (1970) and the Banyan Tree Plaza (1976). The two share many qualities, notably their “single-loaded” corridors–exposed exterior lanai-ways serving units on only one side of the building.
In a phone interview from his office in New Haven, Connecticut, Pelli, now 87, recalls how he came up with his designs. “Honolulu, I must admit, was secondary to its climate, and the buildings I designed there were designed to take full advantage of it, to depend on natural air and to have lanai spaces, which are a very Hawaiian development.”
As a design architect at the Los Angeles firm of Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall (DMJM), Pelli drew from scratch the Ala Wai Plaza, a two-tower apartment complex at the foot of University Avenue overlooking the Ala Wai Canal. Rigorously schematic, the crisp, white concrete grids on the outward facades frame recessed window-walls and lanai spaces, neatly expressing the two-story living units within. On the mauka side of the buildings, an innovative, two-story system for each “floor” of apartments allows for recessed exterior corridors on one level and a full-width second-floor interior above it, with makai and mauka windows–and views. Dramatic glass elevator towers stand free of the buildings, tethered by sky bridges.
Born in Argentina, Pelli says Le Corbusier was a big influence. He cites the great modernist’s humane innovations in corridor placement and flooring plans that efficiently captured natural cross-ventilation and multiple views.
The Ala Wai complex was intended to attract University of Hawaii faculty, Pelli says, “so it had to be economical for young people. That’s another thing that guided my design.”
Asked about the street noise, dirt, mold, and safety and fire codes repeatedly used to justify air-conditioned housing, Pelli says, “That’s terrible and stupid. You must be able to open the window! Natural ventilation is very important and so easy to achieve in Hawaii.”
Six years after Ala Wai Plaza (AWP), DMJM finished the imposing 36-story Banyan Tree Plaza (BTP) at the corner of Punahou and Beretania streets. By most standards, it’s a luxury building, with units ranging from studios up to four bedrooms, a pool deck, meeting rooms, parking and a gym. But its low monthly maintenance fees reflect the fact that 36 floors’ worth of common areas are naturally lit half the time and naturally cooled all the time, so there’s low lighting cost and no expensive central AC. 80 percent of BTP’s 240 units do not have AC units, according to building manager Ron Grimes.
With its own expressive white-concrete geometry, its vestigial version of the same glass elevator towers, and its single-loaded design, BTP looks like a cousin of AWP, though Pelli said he had no memory of it–as it turns out, his protege Tony Lumsden designed BTP for DMJM after Pelli left the firm. Recently, when shown a picture of BTP, Pelli acknowledged the similarity and said he was “delighted to see that Tony designed a very handsome building.”
Single-loaded, high-rise apartment buildings are ubiquitous in Honolulu. Notable examples include the Sans Souci, Colony Surf, Waipuna, Wailana and Diamond Head Vista, and 1717 and 2121 Ala Wai Blvd., all in Waikiki. Then there are 1001 and 1010 Wilder Avenue, Uraku Tower, the Fairway House, Kahala Towers and Kuhio Park Terrace. The Punahou Circle condominium, where President Barack Obama grew up, is single-loaded. Two of the simplest and purest buildings of the type are two nearly identical slim slabs hard by the Ala Wai Canal: the 16-story Atkinson Tower at 419A Atkinson Drive, circa 1959, and the 12-story Ala Wai Manor, circa 1965, at 620 McCully Street.
According to the Hawaii Modernism Context Study (Historic Hawaii Foundation, 2011), Honolulu’s first such apartment house was the 12-story Oahuan Tower at 1710 Makiki Street, built in 1957, which “facilely adapted the typical walk-up design with its lanai-corridors to a high-rise situation by simply adding more floors.” These are the lanai-stacks we’ve all come to know, the vernacular buildings of high-rise Honolulu.
Kazi Ashraf is a Bangladeshi architect and professor of architecture at UH Manoa. He lives in the Contessa apartment tower on King Street, which is “double-loaded,” with enclosed corridors serving units on both sides. He describes himself as “a student of the city.”
Ashraf waxes critical about Honolulu and its tattered matrix: “You walk down the street and you have a building, and then you have a patch of grass, then the sidewalk disappears. That’s an insult.” He continues, “Most of the tall buildings come down to the ground as garages. It’s a kind of an arrogant attitude.”
Still, Ashraf believes Honolulu is blessed by its situation between the Koolaus and the sea, and its gorgeous vantage points. He says he is in favor of tall buildings and what he calls the “phenomenology” of them: “I live on the 11th floor of this very unremarkable building on this very unremarkable street, but as I go up, I’m kind of lifted away from it all, and I can see the mountains, I can see distant Waikiki. There’s an experience about being in a tall building that is definitely something to consider and to value.”
The professor is not an admirer of Honolulu’s single-loaded lanai-stacks. “It’s very disturbing to me, that model,” he says. He objects to the lack of privacy in them and their stacked repetition.
“The scheme does not come from the concept of a tall building, it comes from the concept of a building on the ground with a corridor, so you go up two stories and it’s a walk-up, but then you keep stacking it up.” Ashraf has some radical solutions to the problems of privacy in single-loaded buildings, including pulling the corridors away from the apartments, that he sketches quickly on a page of my notebook.
He agrees with Pelli that natural cooling and ventilation should be a central concern for developers and architects working in Honolulu, but “it’s not,” he says. “There should be discussions, public forums, exhibitions, so we can begin to answer the question: ‘What kind of city does Honolulu want to be?’”
Up in the airless
The busy Honolulu firm Benjamin Woo Architects takes credit for the million-square-foot, blue-glass Capitol Place condominium downtown and is listed as architect of record for the 782,000-square-foot Trump Tower in Waikiki and the million-square-foot Hokua condominium on Ala Moana Boulevard. (The actual designs for the Trump and Hokua towers were done by mainland firms; Woo does the working drawings and makes sure codes are followed.) The firm is at work on several other planned towers, including the 43-story Waihonua condo now under construction, the state-sponsored Pohukaina project in Kakaako, and 23-story One Ala Moana going up next to Nordstrom at Ala Moana Center. The latter has reportedly already sold out, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg having bought multiple units, and Howard Hughes Development Corporation has said it expects a profit of $66 million.
In their fifth-floor conference room in the landmark IBM office building, I met with Ben Woo and senior project manager Masato Tochika to talk about high-rise apartment buildings and what might be done to make them greener and less hermetic. Given our amazing climate, the new technologies out there, and the imperative for sustainability, I asked, is it possible that we’ll see some sort of innovative, radical new designs in Honolulu? Maybe some wild, cage-like structures that let the wind blow right through?
“I’m not sure if Hawaii’s ready for that,” Woo says. Tochika says he lives in a high-rise building in Nuuanu, where he rarely uses the AC and keeps his windows open all the time, “But that’s in Nuuanu, up 20 floors. It’s different in McCully or Kakaako, where you have heavy traffic from early morning to late at night, and you keep the windows closed to shut out the noise.” Tochika points out that Japanese customers believe they “must have air conditioning, even if they only use it five times a year.” Woo adds that, by law, high-rise windows can only open four inches for safety reasons.
We get deep into the weeds on the energy savings that can accrue in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems. Along with water heating and lighting, HVAC is where new technology and retrofits can reduce electrical costs dramatically. For example, among buildings with central AC, most don’t have individual unit metering, a situation that discourages conservation and encourages waste. Woo says that they’re putting meters into One Ala Moana.
Explaining the difficulty of managing a building’s electrical and mechanical loads, Woo says that the occupancy rate in a luxury building like Hokua varies from around 50 percent “ a majority of the time” to 80 or 90 percent during the Christmas holidays. Nevertheless, a two-bedroom in Hokua is currently for sale for $2.8 million.
The conversation turns to natural ventilation and how 50 percent of Oahu homes are now artificially cooled, versus 5 percent in 1970. “I guess that’s because minds change,” Woo says, “and people now equate air conditioning with luxury. When we were growing up, nobody had AC.”
“In several of our buildings, we’re looking at using natural ventilation in the corridors, which has the potential to drastically reduce energy use,” says Nick Vanderboom, the 30-ish, Honolulu-based, senior vice president of development for the Howard Hughes Development Company. The former USC football star has a kuleana that includes the planned development of 9.3 million square feet of real estate, including 4,000 residential units covering 60 acres in Kakaako. He confirms that the master plan for “Ward Village” includes 22 towers, though that number is flexible, he says.
“We’re conscious that electricity in Hawaii is about three times the national average in terms of cost,” Vanderboom continues. Not only is natural ventilation “an environmentally responsible thing to do,” he says, “but from a marketing standpoint, it could be a very attractive thing if we’re able to lower energy costs for our homeowners.”
I ask if Hughes’s architects and planners are thinking about serious natural cooling; that is, single-loaded residential buildings. “That depends on the site,” Vanderboom answers. “A single-loaded building is less efficient in terms of the ratio of livable space, so you end up using more material per unit. But I do think there’s an opportunity for hybrid, somewhat double-loaded buildings that could still bring the ventilation in. There are also opportunities for cross-ventilation that we’ve been looking at,” he offers.
I bring up the example of architect Warner Boone’s towers from the 1970s–the Diamond Head Vista and the twin-towered Royal Iolani, with its mauka elevator towers and compact corridors, open to the elements, from which the units fan out makai in two different directions.
He’s aware of them.
I repeat the question I put to Woo and Tochika about innovative, new, high-tech design: “How wild are you willing to go?” Vanderboom’s answer is smooth, if promising: “We are very interested in exploring innovative design and exploring things that haven’t been done in high-rises here recently, or ever. We have tremendous incentive.”
Let’s hope that developers, engineers and architects can all find similar incentive, financial and otherwise, to invent some new Hawaiian houses in the sky, letting the trade winds blow right through.