Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

urbanguy

Man made Peaks keep rising in city skyline

Recommended Posts

Man-Made Peaks keep rising in city skyline

kakaako15hu.jpg

Paula Harris remembers driving around Honolulu in the 1970s and admiring all the cranes in the sky.

They used to say that was the proud bird of the Pacific, she said.

Today the giant steel cranes are back and are quickly changing the city's skyline, transforming parking lots, weed-filled vacant parcels and dilapidated structures into shimmery, luxury condominium towers.

It hasn't happened since then, so people are really enjoying the moment, said Harris, president of The Harris Co., a Honolulu-based real-estate consulting firm.

At least a dozen condo projects within a three-mile stretch of Honolulu from downtown to Waikiki are under construction or in the early planning stages. When completed, the new high-rises will add roughly 4,000 new units to the market, not including the many hotels being converted into vacation "condotel" units in Waikiki.

Despite taking years to build, the new condos have created a flurry of buying, with thousands of people seeking their own piece of paradise. Most developers are now using a lottery system because of the high demand, eliminating the free-for-all and camping out that occurred when it was first-come, first-served.

Last week, the planned 42-story Keola La'i condominium opened its sales office next to the 2.7-acre parking lot it will eventually occupy, luring thousands of prospective buyers. About 500 applications are expected to be submitted for today's lottery drawing for the first phase, with release of 85 of the planned 352 units.

Everybody is in something that's 40 years old, so when there's anything new, there's a frenzy, said Tracy Yamamoto, sales manager for the project, which is targeting moderate-income buyers who want to live within walking distance of downtown.

Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2008.

Herb Conley, managing partner of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, said he doesn't see the demand weakening any time soon despite the addition of thousands of new units.

I've seen no signs of that adversely affecting what's happening with prices and demand, Conley said. "The demand seems to be strong enough that we've been able to intake all of these units."

And there's no blue-light special on condos.

Of the seven new condo projects tracked by The Harris Co. from April to June, the average price for the smallest units was $460,714. The average for the largest units was $2 million. The most palatial penthouse units were priced at about $4 million.

Besides the nonnegotiable sticker price, buyers will also have to pay hefty monthly maintenance fees that range from $400 to $1,200 a month.

The units are meeting the demands of the buyers, said Harvey Shapiro, research economist for the Honolulu Board of Realtors. "In other words, they are selling. If they were overpriced, they wouldn't sell."

The buyers are putting down the required big deposits without ever seeing the inside of their units for several years. They often are buying based on a vacant lot, the model of the building and a sample kitchen or bedroom layout in the condo's sales office.

But that hasn't discouraged buyers.

As of early July, 1,912 of the 2,076 units in the seven projects were in escrow.

Real-estate insiders say the high demand for high-rise housing is a result of the strong local economy, low interest rates and the severe shortage of housing in the urban Honolulu area.

Also, construction of high-rise condos in Hawai'i ground to a halt more than a decade ago, when several real-estate deals collapsed after the Japanese real-estate and stock-market bubble burst in the early 1990s.

So this recent surge is as a result of this pent-up demand, and now the developers can come back in and earn a reasonable profit, said Conley of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, the largest residential broker in Hawai'i.

All the projects have reserved at least half their units for owner-occupants, requiring them to live in them at least a year to weed out speculative buyers.

The condos are going up near restaurants, shops and movie theaters, near the beach and downtown offices. Aside from location, there's another key selling point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Man-Made Peaks keep rising in city skyline

kakaako15hu.jpg

Paula Harris remembers driving around Honolulu in the 1970s and admiring all the cranes in the sky.

They used to say that was the proud bird of the Pacific, she said.

Today the giant steel cranes are back and are quickly changing the city's skyline, transforming parking lots, weed-filled vacant parcels and dilapidated structures into shimmery, luxury condominium towers.

It hasn't happened since then, so people are really enjoying the moment, said Harris, president of The Harris Co., a Honolulu-based real-estate consulting firm.

At least a dozen condo projects within a three-mile stretch of Honolulu from downtown to Waikiki are under construction or in the early planning stages. When completed, the new high-rises will add roughly 4,000 new units to the market, not including the many hotels being converted into vacation "condotel" units in Waikiki.

Despite taking years to build, the new condos have created a flurry of buying, with thousands of people seeking their own piece of paradise. Most developers are now using a lottery system because of the high demand, eliminating the free-for-all and camping out that occurred when it was first-come, first-served.

Last week, the planned 42-story Keola La'i condominium opened its sales office next to the 2.7-acre parking lot it will eventually occupy, luring thousands of prospective buyers. About 500 applications are expected to be submitted for today's lottery drawing for the first phase, with release of 85 of the planned 352 units.

Everybody is in something that's 40 years old, so when there's anything new, there's a frenzy, said Tracy Yamamoto, sales manager for the project, which is targeting moderate-income buyers who want to live within walking distance of downtown.

Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2008.

Herb Conley, managing partner of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, said he doesn't see the demand weakening any time soon despite the addition of thousands of new units.

I've seen no signs of that adversely affecting what's happening with prices and demand, Conley said. "The demand seems to be strong enough that we've been able to intake all of these units."

And there's no blue-light special on condos.

Of the seven new condo projects tracked by The Harris Co. from April to June, the average price for the smallest units was $460,714. The average for the largest units was $2 million. The most palatial penthouse units were priced at about $4 million.

Besides the nonnegotiable sticker price, buyers will also have to pay hefty monthly maintenance fees that range from $400 to $1,200 a month.

The units are meeting the demands of the buyers, said Harvey Shapiro, research economist for the Honolulu Board of Realtors. "In other words, they are selling. If they were overpriced, they wouldn't sell."

The buyers are putting down the required big deposits without ever seeing the inside of their units for several years. They often are buying based on a vacant lot, the model of the building and a sample kitchen or bedroom layout in the condo's sales office.

But that hasn't discouraged buyers.

As of early July, 1,912 of the 2,076 units in the seven projects were in escrow.

Real-estate insiders say the high demand for high-rise housing is a result of the strong local economy, low interest rates and the severe shortage of housing in the urban Honolulu area.

Also, construction of high-rise condos in Hawai'i ground to a halt more than a decade ago, when several real-estate deals collapsed after the Japanese real-estate and stock-market bubble burst in the early 1990s.

So this recent surge is as a result of this pent-up demand, and now the developers can come back in and earn a reasonable profit, said Conley of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, the largest residential broker in Hawai'i.

All the projects have reserved at least half their units for owner-occupants, requiring them to live in them at least a year to weed out speculative buyers.

The condos are going up near restaurants, shops and movie theaters, near the beach and downtown offices. Aside from location, there's another key selling point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.