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Other Projects/Developments in Honolulu

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Plans unveiled for new dorms at UH-Manoa


Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A project to increase dormitory space by 814 new beds on the University of Hawai'i-Manoa campus could cost as much as $43.5 million, the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents was told yesterday.

That is in line with previous estimates but surprised some regents who said the new dorm designs were too "luxurious" for a student residence hall.

The new dorms will replace Frear Hall with two 12-story towers configured in the shape of a Z by a connecting bridge. The initial conceptual design includes plans for a fitness center, an outdoor gathering place, a computer center, an open-air lobby and athletic courts.

Representatives from American Campus Communities, a private Texas-based student housing developer, gave regents their first glimpse at conceptual drawings and plans for the first new dorms on the Manoa campus since 1978. The firm was selected by regents in July to develop and manage new dormitories on the Manoa campus.

The new dorm concept is dramatically different from the existing "dungeon-like dorms," said Jason Wills, senior vice president of American Campus Communities. But they will also be more expensive to rent.

Tentatively, students can expect to pay $4,250 to $6,990 per year for the new dorm space, Wills said. Currently, dorm students pay $2,817 to $5,427 a year for housing.

Wills estimated that the new dorms will bring in $6.57 million a year.

The board did not need to approve the plans, but some regents did warn the UH-Manoa administration to proceed cautiously, since more dorm construction projects lie ahead.

We wanted to make sure the project was marketable and offered the university an opportunity to increase the recruitment and retainment of students, Wills told regents yesterday.

He said dorms are one of the main things that prospective students consider when choosing a college.

The new dorms would give students four room configuration options

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Here are a few more projects underway but under 12 stories but cool anyway:

Ala Moana Nordstrom is finally under way

The 200,000-square-foot store is slated to open in early 2008

Source: Star Bulletin

After nearly two decades of delays, Nordstrom Inc., the Seattle-based department store chain that some refer to as like the former Liberty House only better, yesterday broke ground on its first full-service store in the islands.

The long-awaited groundbreaking of the 200,000-square-foot Nordstrom, the largest of any in the United States planned during the past five years, begins a two-year expansion project for Ala Moana Center. Other key components of the center's repositioning include: an 800-stall parking garage, 25,000 square feet of additional new retail development along Kapiolani Boulevard and an expansion of the mall's third level by 45,000 square feet.

"We're pleased to open the first full-service Nordstrom in Hawaii, and selfishly we hope it will be their last," said Jeff Dinsmore, vice president of development for the Hawaii Region of General Growth Properties Inc., during a groundbreaking ceremony held at the site of the future three-story store, located makai of Kapiolani Boulevard and diamond head of Keeaumoku Street. More than two dozen businesses and a church were razed at the end of October to make way for Ala Moana's newest anchor tenant.

The opening of a full-service Nordstrom, equal to about half the size of Kahala Mall, will expand the company's presence in Hawaii and increase Ala Moana Center's leased retail space by 10 percent. The entire project, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008, could bring up to 15 new retailers to the center, which is already the top performer in Chicago-based General Growth's portfolio of more than 18,000 retailers operating in approximately 200 million square feet of retail space. It will also add 800 construction jobs, 750 retail jobs and $7 million in general excise tax to the state.

The addition of Nordstrom will make the "gem that is Ala Moana shine even more," said Bob Michaels, president of General Growth Properties, whose mere presence at the groundbreaking spoke to the importance of closing the deal.

"For over 15 years, I've personally been involved in discussions to bring Nordstrom here," Michaels said.

Hawaii holds lots of allure for General Growth and Nordstrom because of its unique consumer base, made up of equal parts tourists and residents, he said.

General Growth, the second-largest U.S. publicly traded real estate investment trust, has created the market stability many mainland chains seek and has led to a number of firsts for island retail, Michaels said.

"Having a large platform always helps," he said. "We've also been very fortunate to be blessed with great people here at Ala Moana."

Over the past six months, a dozen new stores have opened at Ala Moana Center. The new offerings, which include among others premier retailer Harry Winston, a two-story Louis Vuitton, and a DKNY, have ushered in a new era of retail in Hawaii, the likes of which have not been seen since the Japanese boom led to the creation of Waikiki's designer shopping district. In the end, though, locals may best remember General Growth for making good on its promise to bring consumers their Nordstrom fix -- even if it took almost 20 years.

"I guess perseverance pays off," said Pete Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom's full-line store group. "We made our first commitment to a full-line store here 10 years ago. This has been a long time coming, and we are grateful to our loyal customers and employees who have stayed with us along the way."

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who needs clothes for tall men, said he is just one of many local residents who are looking forward to Nordstrom.

"I'm personally very, very happy," Hannemann said, joking that he may become the tallest shopper at the Hawaii Nordstrom, a chain where he can actually buy clothes off the rack.

Like many other Honolulu shoppers, Hannemann said he discovered the retailer during a trip to Seattle. Many Hawaii people are familiar with Nordstrom because of their affinity for the West Coast, said retail analyst Stephany Sofos.

"When Liberty House was in existence, Nordstrom offered a higher level of merchandise and service," Sofos said. "When Hawaii people visited a West Coast Nordstrom they'd come back raving about the chocolate truffles and quality service."

The new Nordstrom in Hawaii will fill a gap between Neiman Marcus and Macy's, Sofos said.

"If Nordstrom can offer good quality at an affordable price with exceptional service, they'll have people in Hawaii running to them," she said.

In response to strong consumer demand, Nordstrom had been trying to open a Hawaii department store for decades, but ran into fierce resistance from Liberty House, Macy's local predecessor.

Although Hawaii's strong economic climate makes it an ideal time to open a Nordstrom in the islands, this deal wasn't based on timing, Nordstrom said.

"Our attitude has always been, let's get here as soon as we can," Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom, which was founded in Seattle at the beginning of the last century by John W. Nordstrom, a Swedish immigrant, has had an island presence for 39 years. The company employs about 80 people between its Nordstrom Rack and Nordstrom Shoes stores, both of which have been among the chain's top performers.

Permit issues, politics, opposition from competitors and difficulty finding the ideal space delayed the entry of a full-service Nordstrom, he said.

The opening of the full-service store will result in the closure of Nordstrom's shoe store at nearby Ward Centre, but the Nordstrom Rack discount store at Ward Village Shops will remain open. The new store will employ more than 400 workers, Nordstrom said.

The Nordstrom in Hawaii will be larger than most mainland locations, Nordstrom said, adding the company's department stores usually average between 140,000 and 170,000 square feet. Nordstrom operates more than 155 stores in 27 states, he said.

The company is currently not eyeing other Hawaii locations or expansion into Asia, but anything is possible if the market supports it, Nordstrom said.

"We're going to wait and see how we do at Ala Moana," he said. "We'll have to compete against the best stores in Hawaii."

Ward to add specialty grocer

Whole Foods Market will open its first store in Hawaii in 2008


Source: Star Bulletin

Marking the consummation of a five-year courtship with the Aloha State, Whole Foods Market Inc., the nation's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, has announced plans to open its inaugural store in Honolulu in early 2008.

The 67,000-square-foot store will anchor General Growth Properties' Ward Village Shops in Kakaako, located between Queen and Auahi streets near Kamakee Street. Construction is scheduled to begin this month with a store opening in early 2008.


Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1980, Whole Foods Market has grown in the past 25 years into a specialty food mammoth, with 181 stores in North America and the United Kingdom and sales of $4.7 billion in 2005.

The company has produced such staggering sales by selling not just the items normally associated with health-food stores -- organic produce, hormone-free beef, eggs laid by free-ranging hens and obscure grains sold from bulk bins -- but also by filling demand for handcrafted specialty items, such as European cheeses, artisanal vinegars, gourmet coffee and prepared takeout foods.

Jeff Dinsmore, vice president of development at General Growth Properties, said the store will be an attractive amenity for residents of Kakaako, including owners of the new condominiums that appear to be sprouting in the neighborhood like mushrooms.

"I think it's going to be a real destination," he said. "What Whole Foods brings is not only the grocery components, but they also have a lot of prepared foods that will appeal to a lot of professionals and young families."

The 67,000-square-foot size makes the store significantly larger than the typical grocery store in Honolulu, Dinsmore said. It is also the second largest of 10 new locations Whole Foods announced yesterday during a conference call with analysts.

At the core of Whole Foods' corporate persona is the image of a green corporate citizen that cares about the communities where it operates. The company recently announced it had acquired enough energy credits from wind farms to offset 100 percent of the electricity used in all of its stores and other facilities, including regional and national headquarters. Whole Foods ranked 15th in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 best companies to work for in 2006, the ninth year the company has made the list.

A catalyst for bringing Whole Foods to Hawaii was David Cole, chairman, president and chief executive of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., who has had a long relationship with Whole Foods from his years in the organic and natural foods business. Cole said he worked closely with Michael Besancon, regional president for Whole Foods Market's Southern Pacific region, whom Cole has known for years.

The MacNaughton Group, a Honolulu real estate consultancy, helped match Whole Foods with the Ward location, Dinsmore said.

Jeff Arce, chief financial officer with MacNaughton, said the store will provide added value for the Ward-area Hokua condominium project, which MacNaughton developed in a joint venture with the Kobayashi Group and A&B Properties Inc.

"As the developers of Hokua, we are really pleased to be able to bring Whole Foods to that community," Arce said.

Eric Tema, director of development for MacNaughton, said that MacNaughton and General Growth executives worked closely with their counterparts at Whole Foods to convince them that the Ward site was the right one.

"The challenge was there's no such thing as a 5-acre site in downtown Honolulu where you can have a parking lot and a single-layer store," Tema said.

The store will occupy two levels, anchoring the Diamond Head end of General Growth's redevelopment project on Auahi, Dinsmore said. It will include cafe tables for indoor and outdoor dining.

"Whole Foods is really so much more than a grocery store," Tema said. "They're a grocery store with a giant restaurant attached to it."

Whole Foods expressed interest in opening a 40,000-square-foot store at the same location in 2000, but that deal ultimately stalled, Dinsmore and Arce said. About a year and a half later, Whole Foods came back with another attempt at establishing itself in Hawaii. After a long search, the company ended up at the same site it had considered previously, but with plans for a store more than 50 percent larger than first envisioned, Dinsmore said.

Whole Foods executives could not be reached for comment late yesterday.

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More new developments on the way:

Hale Alii


Source: Pacific Business News

One of the last significant buildable parcels in Hawaii Kai will be used for a 300-unit luxury condominium complex called Hale Alii with starting prices at about $1 million.

The site at the foot of Mariners Ridge was once planned for housing for the elderly, but the developer says demand for high-end homes prompted the change in the scope and marketing of the project.

Mike Klein, marketing director of the development team, 21st Century Homes, said the 3.5-acre site is the last remaining developable parcel in the area. The project would be adjacent to the existing D.R. Horton Schuler development at the corner of Hawaii Kai Drive and Keahole Street.

The design of the $120 million project will feature two separate buildings behind a security gate, a small park, waterfalls and a putting green. The developer is seeking a variance to allow him to build two 90-foot-high buildings, 30 feet above the current maximum allowed.

Two- and three-bedroom units are expected to go on the market this summer, with an average starting price of about $1 million.

Klein said the project is on par with new luxury towers like Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana Blvd. and Watermark Waikiki, which have found strong demand.

He expects second-home buyers, wealthy retirees and downsizing baby boomers to be prospective clients.

Hale Alii may seem like yet another development capitalizing on the residential high-rise boom, but the project has been on the drawing board for more than five years.

21st Century Homes bought the corner parcels from Moanalua Associates in 2000, and since then the project has been a "moving target," said Joe Brown, president of the company.

Klein also is the founder of the Hawaii Intergenerational Community Development Association, which developed the neighboring Kaluanui Senior Apartments in Hawaii Kai about two years ago.

While the original intention was to create more senior homes, those plans changed as construction costs skyrocketed.

"Construction costs have risen so much in the last three years, all you can afford is high-end so that the budget's not upside down," Klein said.

Groundbreaking should take place within a year, with completion expected in 2008.

Though he is one of the last developers out with a project, Klein is confident there will be buyers for the luxury units this summer.

"It's all subject to supply and demand in a particular area," he said. "It's the only product available other than Stanford Carr's."

Real estate analyst Ricky Cassiday agreed, noting that the prices are similar to what the Hokua asked for, at $600 per square foot.

"The high end of the market is more than capable of absorbing all those units, if they're really good units," he said.

Klein is still negotiating the final details for the second building, on a lot behind the one fronting Hawaii Kai Drive, with another investment partner.

A new gate should soon go up at the site, replacing a temporary white picket fence. A sales center also is planned for the site this summer, with East Oahu Realty as the project's broker.

Hawaiiana Management is signed on to manage Hale Alii.

Designs by Honolulu firm CDS International call for two concrete buildings, with underground parking. Current zoning allows for 60-foot-tall buildings, but the team will seek a variance allowing them to build higher.

Prior zoning allowed for a height of 150 feet, until it was changed in the mid-1980s after the proliferation of condominium towers along Hawaii Kai Drive.

Though it initially provoked resistance from anti-development community groups, 21st Century's final design plans were approved by the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.

Klein said he still envisions a senior housing project being built on the parcel that his partnership owns between the Oahu Club and Hale Alii, but those plans are still in development.

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Here are a couple more proposals! :D

Here we go with another proposal but this one is for one of Honolulu's suburbs:

Affordable condos planned in Waipahu

Source: Honolulu Advertiser




More than 150 average O'ahu wage earners could have a shot at buying new affordably priced condominiums under a $62 million private development proposal on state land in Waipahu.

The project, Plantation Town Apartments, involves building and selling 165 one- to three-bedroom units in two midrise buildings for $134,000 to $295,000 later this year for delivery late next year.

If the project receives necessary permits, it would be a small step toward resolving a critical affordable housing need that a legislative task force recently estimated will swell to 32,580 units on O'ahu for sale or rent by 2009.

But the community could raise concerns over the scale of the plan, which as envisioned would create the second-tallest structures in Waipahu after the Waipahu Sugar Mill smokestack.

Local developer Plantation Town Apartments LLC was recently selected by the Housing & Community Development Corp. of Hawai'i for the project.

According to a report by the developer, Plantation Town's target market are singles, young couples and families earning 80 percent to 120 percent of the statewide median income, which for a family of four would be $54,000 to $81,000.

"This is a great opportunity for people ... really the work force," said Laura E. Thielen, executive director of the nonprofit Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance.

A more dire need for affordable housing serving lower-income residents exists, according to Thielen, but she said projects like Plantation Town could free up housing in the tight affordable rental market. "It's all part of the puzzle," she said. "We need housing at all different levels of the income scale."

Estimated prices for the Plantation Town project compare with more than $400,000 for typical new condos being sold at mostly glass-sided towers in urban Honolulu, or similarly priced townhomes or single-family homes in Central and Leeward O'ahu.

A few other projects are planned with affordable for-sale homes, including 228 townhomes Castle & Cooke plans to sell late next year on state land in Kapolei for an estimated $315,000 to $370,000.

Cost of ownership at Plantation Town would be among the lowest fee-simple housing options on O'ahu, where half of all used condos sold for more than $315,000 last month.

The project, on six vacant acres of state land 'ewa of Waipahu Field, is part of the Housing & Community Development Corp.'s master-planned Kau'olu community.

Kau'olu, spread over 23 acres, was largely developed from 1993 to 2003 with the Waipahu Civic Center, Waipahu Library, Kamalu and Ho'olulu elderly housing projects, the Hale Kuhao assisted-living facility, and a health and childcare facility, according to a report by the developer.

Last year, the agency issued a request for proposals to develop the largest remaining vacant piece of land at Kau'olu. Plantation Town Apartments LLC, headed by Michael Kimura, was selected over one competing respondent, said agency spokesman Derick Dahilig.

Under the arrangement with the state, the Plantation Town developer would buy about three acres of the 6-acre site. The developer would lease another three acres for parking.

State financing is not part of the project, which the developer intends to finance with help from bank lenders.

Kimura could not be reached for comment yesterday. According to a draft environmental assessment the developer filed with the state, Plantation Town amenities would include a private 30,775-square-foot park, a picnic area, tot lot and recreation/meeting room. Part of the property would be set aside for a vegetable garden.

Condo units would range from 418 square feet to 724 square feet with one to three bedrooms and one bathroom, including 16 meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards, in two 12-story buildings.

Building height, at 104 feet, would be the tallest structures in Waipahu after the 174-foot-tall Waipahu Sugar Mill smokestack if built as planned. The developer is requesting a height exemption to allow the buildings to exceed a state 80-foot height limit that already pre-empts a 25-foot height limit under city zoning.

George Yakowenko, Waipahu Neighborhood Board chairman, reserved comment on the project until the board is briefed by the developer, which is to happen at the board's March 23 meeting. But he said the community in general is concerned about tall buildings.

At a January Neighborhood Board meeting, state Sen. Brian Kanno, D-19th (Kapolei, Maka-kilo), questioned the suitability of a nearby site for a planned 71-foot-high condo with 2-bedroom units priced at $275,000.

If Plantation Town proceeds as planned, construction could start between July and September, and conclude late next year.

Turtle Bay planning five hotels, 3,500 rooms

Source: Honolulu Advertiser


Developers of the Turtle Bay Resort yesterday outlined plans for five new hotels with 3,500 rooms and condominium units that would transform the area.

Officials with the Kuilima Resort Company said they plan:

# Two hotels with a maximum total of 900 rooms to be built at Kawela Bay, a secluded cove adjacent to Turtle Bay;

# A hotel on each side of the existing Turtle Bay Resort;

# A fifth hotel near Kahuku Point.

The current resort has one hotel, fewer than 500 units, and two golf courses.

The new development would include four public parks and expanded public access to beaches.

Until yesterday, resort officials had remained tight-lipped about expansion plans, which are based on a "unilateral agreement" hashed out two decades ago by developers, the city, the state, and members of the North Shore community. The resort is owned by a multibillion-dollar investment company, Oaktree Capital Management.

The original agreement outlined a three-phase development, but officials yesterday said their plan is to develop the area all at once. The project still must receive city permits to go forward.

To gain the zoning changes necessary to expand the resort, developers in 1986 agreed to numerous conditions and amenities to make the deal more acceptable to the community.

The expansion of the 880-acre property, as envisioned 20 years ago, never occurred because of the financial struggles of the Japanese company that owned the resort at the time.

The unilateral agreement, however, has no cutoff date, and remains in effect.

"The unilateral agreement is our driving force," said Hy Adelman, redevelopment project director for KRC.

Adelman said the company intends to fulfill all the provisions of that agreement, which was passed unanimously by the Honolulu City Council in April 1986. Those provisions include development of four public parks, shoreline access at five locations, public parking with restroom and shower facilities, road improvements, an employment training program, and a daycare center for employees' children, among other things.

Last Thursday, Keith Kurahashi, president of Kusao & Kurahashi Inc., planning and zoning consultants for KRC, outlined the company's updated redevelopment plans to the Kahuku Community Association. Tomorrow night, he'll make a similar presentation to the Ko'olauloa Neighborhood Board, and will later speak to other area groups.

"The key to the approval (of the unilateral agreement) was the attempt to try to get more jobs and employment out in the area," Kurahashi said yesterday as he unfolded Turtle Bay development diagrams across a desk in his office in Manoa.

One part of the agreement requires that 51 percent of the expansion units be hotel rooms.

"What that meant is that of the 4,000 total units proposed for the site, including the 500 at the existing hotel, the minimum of the new units

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2 Waikiki condominium plans advance

Source: Honolulu Advertiser


A local developer that helped convert the former Ohana Waikiki Hobron Hotel into The Windsor residential high-rise condominium is moving ahead with plans to build more condos around the tower along Kaio'o Drive.

Kaioo LLC, a firm managed by principals of Honolulu-based U.S. Pacific Development LLC, plans to develop 116 modest-priced condos in a pair of six-story buildings available for sale toward the latter part of the year if permits are granted.

The project, dubbed Waikiki Palms, would fulfill previously envisioned plans to establish a new low-rise residential complex on the nearly two-acre site off Hobron Lane where 82 deteriorating rental apartments built in the 1940s and 1950s were demolished three years ago.

But unlike previous ideas that contemplated developing the site for second-home buyers or seniors, the primary target market is focused on people who live or work in Waikiki.

Before the apartments were razed in 2003, several residents objected to the plan. But the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and other members of the community expressed support for the redevelopment project because of its contribution to the renewal of Waikiki.

Robert Finley, Waikiki Neighborhood Board chairman, said the board hasn't received details of an updated plan to develop the low-rise addition, and hopes the developer will do that soon so the board can comment.

Waikiki Palms is designed as two six-story buildings with two levels of parking below four levels of residences. Recreational facilities including a pool, barbecue area, workout room and meeting room would be between the two buildings.

A general intent to develop the low-rise possibly as ordinary condos or senior residences was announced in 2002 as a future phase to the hotel conversion. But even after most Windsor units were sold by late 2003, developers held off on the addition.

Then U.S. Pacific Development principals and their Windsor development partner, California-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management LLC, tried to sell the undeveloped site for $9.5 million in late 2004.

The property was promoted as an opportunity to develop low-rise condos for second-home buyers. But partnership principal Larry Hansen said no offers were received.

Hansen said his colleagues at U.S. Pacific Development decided to buy out Oaktree last year and pursue the low-rise development targeted to more of the local worker population at below luxury prices.

"We felt that even if the market has a slowdown, there will be a market for our product," he said.

Hansen said it is too early to estimate prices, but said they would be "modest" in part because Waikiki Palms lacks ocean views like the Windsor and a neighboring high-rise under construction called The Watermark Waikiki.

Sales could begin in the latter part of the year if permit approvals are obtained, with construction estimated to take about a year.

The project needs several approvals, including a Waikiki Special District Permit and conditional use permit. The project also recently submitted a draft environmental assessment with the state, and will seek a variance to allow 34,847 square feet of open space, which is 1,221 square feet or 3.6 percent short of meeting a 50 percent open space requirement.

*Honolulu's a booming still...

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Here's another project about to kick off, its not a highrise development but the project is pretty large scale. Unfortunately, this development is in the suburbs and like many suburban developments its going to eat up more land and in the case of Hawaii where land is limited i don't like it. :(

A&B joins Gentry on 5,000-home Oahu project


Alexander & Baldwin Inc. announced it will help homebuilder Gentry Cos. develop the initial 5,000-home phase of Gentry's long-planned Waiawa community.

A&B said it will invest about $50 million in the master-planned Central O'ahu project, and share the role of master developer with Gentry's Waiawa Development LLC.

The two Honolulu-based companies plan to develop some homes as well as sell 530 acres to other homebuilders for development.

The first homes are expected to be finished in 2009.

A&B said plans call for a variety of housing, including town houses, duplexes, cluster homes and conventional single-family houses.

As part of obtaining county zoning approvals for the project's initial phase, 30 percent of homes must be sold to buyers earning 80 percent to 140 percent of O'ahu's median income, which last year was about $54,000 to $95,000 for a family of four.

A&B said the development plan calls for delivering more of the lower-priced homes up front, selling 600, or 60 percent, of the first 1,000 homes under the county affordable guidelines. Roughly translated today, affordable home prices would range from $250,000 to $390,000. Actual prices will vary depending on interest rates and median income at the time of sale.

The total Waiawa project, in the works since the mid-1980s on 3,700 acres of Kamehameha Schools land, is envisioned for 10,000 to 12,000 homes, two golf courses, parks, a commercial center, schools and other community facilities.

Buildout of the first phase, which primarily involves 5,000 homes, one golf course, parks and land given to the state for an elementary and middle school, is projected to take about 10 years.

Participation in the Waiawa project gives A&B its first large-scale residential project on O'ahu. The company currently is involved in developing residential real estate at Wailea, Maui, and at Kukui'ula on Kaua'i.

Gentry since 1968 has built about 15,000 homes and commercial projects mostly on O'ahu, including Waipio by Gentry and Ewa by Gentry.

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$80M gift for Leeward O'ahu

Source: Honolulu Advertiser





The Salvation Army in Hawai'i received a philanthropic gift of $80 million today to build and operate a state-of-the-art Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in Kapolei, officials announced this morning.

The center will provide a place for athletic, recreational, educational, artistic and cultural activities.

"The prospect of a Kroc Community Center being established in Hawai'i has the great potential of changing young lives and making a positive impact on those children and families for a lifetime," said Maj. David Hudson, the Salvation Army's Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division commander.

Kapolei High principal Alvin Nagasako, who is familiar with the Hawai'i Kroc Center plans, agrees.

"It will provide venues to learn and display cultural and artistic opportunities, which we lack right now," Nagasako said. "This is a growing community, and the impact of such a center is it addresses a critical need for family recreation, in Kapolei and Leeward O'ahu.

"We will also have opportunities to create a healthy environment to support early childhood development through the center, which is much needed in our community," Nagasako added.

While the Salvation Army in Hawai'i requested $60 million in its bid proposal, it is expected to receive an award today that is larger. Even at $60 million, the gift is enormous.

"Sixty million dollars is going to blossom a hundredfold in the way it will touch our youth, our future and the keeping of a sense of family in our area," said George Yamamoto, a recently retired police captain and member of Neighborhood Board 34 (Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale), which supported the Kroc Center project.

"The center will provide jobs in the area, lessening the impact of traffic, and hopefully, its preschool will give our children a good head start," Yamamoto said. "We have Kamehameha Schools doing outreach out here but we welcome more services that provide opportunities to our keikis. It's really a fabulous project."

The center will be on 10 acres of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' property near the agency's planned $12 million office building and site of the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu campus.

The Advertiser reported in March 2005 that the lease agreement, in part, is for 65 years at $10 per year, with other considerations involved. The Kroc Center will feature separate areas for aquatic, athletic, performing arts and cultural events.

Among its components are a 25-meter pool for competitive swimming events; a college-standard-size gymnasium; a preschool for more than 100 children; an outdoor area dedicated to cultural arts that will include a pavilion for staging performances, such as hula; a performing arts theater with seating for about 1,000; a worship center; and a youth sports complex with baseball fields.

There also will be multipurpose rooms for meetings and social-services programs, a center for worship and fitness/training areas. The facility will cover more than 100,000 square feet.

Local officials expect to open the center in 2010, when the entire project is completed, rather than opening in phases.

Securing a 10-acre site in an underserved area in Leeward O'ahu satisfied a key element that allowed Hawai'i to compete for a share of the $1.6 billion bequeathed to the Salvation Army's national office by philanthropist Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's Corp. founder Ray Kroc, for the specific purpose of building up to 50 neighborhood community centers nationwide.

Joan Kroc, who died in 2003, wanted designs of the new neighborhood centers to reflect the communities where they are built.

Planning for a cultural activities component at Hawai'i's Kroc Center included a canoe-building facility and hula mound, which are consistent with Kroc's vision. There's also no major theater to stage or showcase performing arts in West O'ahu, another component included in the Hawai'i proposal.

As the operations officer, Hudson worked with Mrs. Kroc from 2000 to 2002 on the development of the 12-acre Kroc Corps Center in San Diego before coming to Hawai'i in June 2004.

"Her dream was to see these centers across the country," Hudson told The Advertiser in December 2004, when he started organizing the Kroc Center bid.

The $1.6 billion gift to the Salvation Army is solely for the construction and operation of Kroc Centers and not for any programs. Kroc believed that communities where Kroc Centers are built must also share in the operational expenses.

Hawai'i reportedly submitted a proposal requesting $30 million for construction plus the matching endowment for operating costs. The amount may have changed, but when Hawai'i's center opens, only interest from the $30 million matching endowment can be used to pay for operating expenses and to provide scholarships to children to take advantage of programs at the center.

By March 2005, the Salvation Army in Hawai'i had secured support for its project from the Hawai'i Business Roundtable, made up of CEOs of the 50 largest local companies, as well as community and state leaders.

The planning has been so organized that Don Hoerner, president and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank, has been working on a fundraising plan to offset operating expenses for over a year as a member of the Salvation Army's East Kapolei Kroc Center steering committee.

Kroc's gift was divided equally among the Salvation Army's four territories in the United States, with each territory receiving $375 million. As of yesterday, none of the finalists in any territory had been awarded a Kroc Center.

In addition to Hawai'i, the Salvation Army Western Territory finalists were Salem, Ore.; Concord, Calif.; San Francisco; Aurora, Colo.; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Long Beach, Calif.; and Phoenix South Mountain, Ariz.

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10,000-15,000 more 'Ewa homes planned

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

This is part of a parcel of land ,with Kunia Road at left and Farrington Highway in front of St. Francis Medical Center West in distance, that could become the community of Ho'opili within about 30 years.


This land, now used by Aloun Farms, is off old Farrington Highway, looking southeast. It could become new neighborhoods.


A Hawai'i home builder is proposing what could be O'ahu's largest master-planned housing development ever

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Loft project planned in Kaka'ako

Source: Honolulu Advertiser



Fans of urban living in Honolulu could soon have a new alternative to the glass-clad towers rising throughout the city: take up residence in a transformed old office building.

A local developer is proposing to create loft-style condominiums by remodeling and expanding the former NCR building, a six-story complex at 720 Kapi'olani Blvd. in Kaka'ako.

The plan, if successful, may very well be O'ahu's first office-to-residential building conversion

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Unfortunately, there's another set back to the project but i really like the proposal for this project to have an urban-like univeristy village and central plaza. I hope that this project will get the funding necessary to get things rolling, it makes sense and looks good IMO.

UH-West O'ahu left without funds again

Source: Honolulu Advertiser




Bad News so far: :(

Maeda Timson remembers testifying before the state Legislature in support of a University of Hawai'i campus in West O'ahu when her daughter was 7 years old. Her daughter is now 27, and still there's no campus.

"I'm not trying to get (UH-West O'ahu) for my daughter anymore. I'm fighting for it for my grandchildren," said Timson, chairwoman of the Makakilo/Kapolei Neighborhood Board.

Plans for a UH-West O'ahu campus, which have been decades in the making, were stalled again this past legislative session when $33.5 million in bond money proposed by Gov. Linda Lingle was not included by lawmakers in the state budget.

"We've been talking about this for over 20 years. Finally we have a partner that wants to work with us, we have all the stars aligned, Board of Regents is fully supportive and on board, and then for some reason it didn't get funded," said Kitty Lagareta, chairwoman of the UH Board of Regents.

"It was a huge blow," said Gene Awakuni, chancellor of UH-West O'ahu. "We were really counting on that money to get us started."

Despite the setback, university officials, legislators and residents say they are still committed to construction of the four-year campus. However, they say the next legislative session is critical to keeping the project on track to be finished by 2009.

The project originally was slated to be completed in late 2008, Awakuni said. But legislative session after legislative session of setbacks have made 2009 the more "realistic" deadline, he said.

Fortunately, Awakuni said, UH-West O'ahu still has about $4 million of $8.5 million in planning money appropriated in 2003. That is enough to continue with an environmental impact study, pursue Land Use Commission approval and conduct some long-range planning.

"We can't get much further than that unless we get some help from the Legislature," he said.

UH-West O'ahu presently holds classes on the Leeward Community College campus. But advocates say a stand-alone, four-year West O'ahu campus is needed to accommodate booming growth in the area.

Phase I of UH-West O'ahu will include the construction of four buildings on the 500-acre Kapolei site and is expected to accommodate 1,520 students. Total cost of the infrastructure and buildings is expected to be about $150 million. No date has been set for completing the other phases.

In addition to state money, a private contractor is expected to help build the West O'ahu campus in exchange for development rights on up to 200 acres of the 500-acre site owned by the state, Awakuni said. Most of the noncampus land will be used for homes, he said, but that deal has yet to be finalized.

Awakuni said the developer, Hunt Building Co. Ltd., is limited in the amount of cash it can contribute to the project, so money from the Legislature is "absolutely critical."

Lawmakers say they are committed to UH-West O'ahu but cannot be solely responsible for its future.

Rep. Mark Moses, R-40th (Makakilo, Kapolei, Royal Kunia), said "internal politics" is the reason UH-West O'ahu did not receive its funding. He said other UH campuses were each attempting to get their piece of the pie and in the end left West O'ahu with nothing.

But he said he is certain UH-West O'ahu will get the money it needs eventually.

Sen. Clayton Hee said the Senate's Higher Education Committee had set aside money for UH-West O'ahu, but since the state House did not do the same, West O'ahu came up empty.

But Hee, D-23rd (Kane'ohe, Kahuku), said that while the Legislature is committed to providing money to develop a West O'ahu campus, the UH system also needs to provide its own money for the project.

"It seems to me that West O'ahu for the most part has always been thought of as a stepchild," he said.

Hee said the university has to be willing to set aside money from the anticipated $26 million in additional revenue from a tuition increase that begins in the fall.

"It's a little weak to suggest that all the burden should be on the Legislature's shoulders," he said. "The university does not need to wait for the 2007 Legislature if West O'ahu is truly a priority."

University officials say they are absolutely committed to making sure UH-West O'ahu becomes a reality but they need help from the Legislature.

Lagareta said while she is disappointed that West O'ahu did not receive the anticipated funding, the university will move forward on the plans.

"We've been assured that the parts that (the university) needs to do between now and next legislative session, they can do," Lagareta said.

However, she said, if the Legislature again does not fund West O'ahu next session, it could suffer further delays.

Timson said UH-West O'ahu is critical to the future of education on the Leeward Coast and the rest of the state. She expects to lobby on behalf of the campus again next session but right now she said she is left feeling like "we're not being cared about."

"It really affects the youth more than anyone," she said. "Why shouldn't we have a university out here

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UH-West plan may add 4,000 housing units

More than 4,000 housing units are being proposed as part of the University of Hawai'i's planned West O'ahu campus, according to new details of the project that would become one of the largest housing developments on the 'Ewa Plain.

The tentative plan, which includes a mix of student and faculty housing, affordable housing and market-priced homes, is subject to approval by the UH Board of Regents and county zoning changes.

If approved as envisioned, the project would become the third-biggest future residential community slated for construction in the 'Ewa area over the next two decades or so, joining nearly 40,000 homes planned at numerous projects.

The large number of proposed UH-West O'ahu homes surprised Maeda Timson, chairwoman of the Makakilo/Kapolei Neighborhood Board. But she remained steadfast in her longtime support of the campus plan.

"I just think UH-West O'ahu is the most important piece of a healthy, successful community that you sometimes have to trade off," she said. "This is a well-worth-it trade-off to me."

Development of UH-West O'ahu is being pursued under a private-public partnership involving Texas-based Hunt Building Co., which would build university facilities for the state in return for being permitted to develop housing and commercial projects on state land around the campus.

The state also is spending money on the project, though $33.5 million in bond money proposed by Gov. Linda Lingle was not included by lawmakers in the state budget earlier this year. UH officials say funding next year will be critical to move the project forward.


A year ago, UH officials selected Hunt as the best-qualified developer to help realize the plan. Since then, the company and the university have been working on detailed planning and design for the 500-acre site between Kapolei Golf Course and the planned North-South Road makai of Farrington Highway.

Hunt plans to buy and develop 287 acres of state land and to use development proceeds to build the university campus on 214 acres.

Preliminary housing details of the project were disclosed in a draft environmental impact statement UH filed last week with the state Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Of 4,041 units planned by Hunt, 761 would be for student and faculty housing. Another 355 are described as "workforce/affordable housing." The balance

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Here are some updates.

Regents approve revised plan for UH-West O'ahu

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A revised long-range plan for a University of Hawai'i campus in West O'ahu was approved yesterday by the UH Board of Regents and includes several changes to the original plan passed in 2004.

The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in May 2009, rather than 2008. And about 4,040 residential units, including 760 student housing units at three beds per unit, also are planned for the Kapolei site

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Smaller project but actually pretty nice looking.

A 5,000-square-foot chapel planned for Waikiki would include two banquet rooms on the ground floor and a steeple up to 60 feet high, replacing an abandoned two-story walkup.



The NCR building to loft conversion gets the OK.


Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A plan to transform a rundown low-rise Kaka'ako office building into residential condominiums with rooftop gardens got the OK yesterday from a state development agency. Developer Cooke Clayton LLC estimated it could start converting the former NCR building at the corner of Kapi'olani Boulevard and Cooke Street into 47 residential units, some retail space and 100 parking stalls in the first quarter of next year. Cooke Clayton received approval to exceed a 45-foot height limit by 15 feet for part of the structure. That would allow new construction to match the building's existing 60-foot-high diamondhead wing.


This is a storage facility, what a trip looks like a mini office building

Lock Up Storage Centers plans to woo female customers with well-lit corridors and security systems.


Source: Honolulu Magazine

BRB Development Co., the parent company of Lock Up Storage Centers, lures customers with carpeting in hallways and rooms, easy-listening music piped through the building, and an extensive intercom system, according to Bob Soudan Jr., co-owner of BRB. Since the company

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NOAA center breaks ground



Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Navy yesterday broke ground on NOAA's $250 million Pacific Regional Center. NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher, a retired Navy vice admiral once stationed in Hawai'i, said more than one dozen of its agencies and offices housing more than 500 staff members are now scattered throughout O'ahu, from Hawai'i Kai to 'Ewa Beach. They will be consolidated into one general area once the 30-acre center is completed in about 2010.

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Kapolei's "Mehana" planned mixed-se development


I really hope more projects like this take-off around the state and that the other neighborhoods in the Honolulu metro like Moiliili, Kaimuki, Kailua, Wahiawa, Kalihi, Chinatown, Salt Lake, etc also allow and implement this form of development. This is encouraging news and i'm glad some people are taking an interest in it. Other places that i think that mixed-use developments would work well in the state and would add more vibrancy to their towns would be Wailuku, Kahului and Kihei, Maui.... Hilo, Hawaii and Lihue & Kapa'a, Kauai. Hilo on the Big Island is in desparate need of something like this and could probably thrive if developed correctly.

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Huge news here!

60,000 new homes planned for O'ahu

These homes on Kaie'e Street at Haseko Hawaii's Ocean Pointe are nearing completion and are part of the unprecedented housing expansion cycle O'ahu has experienced over the past few years.


Developers, encouraged by strong housing prices, plan to build roughly 60,000 new homes on O'ahu over the next two decades, according to a city survey and Advertiser estimates.

The expansion

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'Ewa community fast taking shape

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Work is ongoing on the Manor Homes at Ocean Pointe. The homes, with up to 2,819 square feet of livable space, start at $840,000.


Haseko (Hawai'i) Inc. is nearing the halfway mark in its Ocean Pointe master-planned residential and resort community in 'Ewa Beach.

Haseko's plans call for 4,850 homes, a golf course, hotel, commercial center and marina on 1,100 acres.

Since the project broke ground in 1997 as 'Ewa Marina, about 2,000 homes have been completed, more than half the marina is excavated and golf course construction is under way.

Total buildout is expected to take 15 to 20 more years, with the final population estimated at about 13,000 residents.

Here's an update on the project:

# Golf Course: Construction began this year on the 18-hole Ernie Els-designed Hoakalei Country Club. The clubhouse is being designed now; opening is slated for 2008.

# Marina: A boat marina with 600 to 800 slips is about 60 percent excavated. Digging the marina is expected to be complete in 2008, but the facility isn't expected to be ready for use until roughly 2010.

# Completed homes: Two neighborhoods (Ke Noho Kai and Ke 'Aina Kai) as well as one 304-unit townhome village (Spinnaker Place) have been completed.

# Home construction: Work continues on a third neighborhood (Ke'alohi Kai) and a 216-unit townhome village (Fairway's Edge). Sales are expected to begin soon for the first homes fronting the future golf course

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'Second city' area may get 4,100 more homes

Yay more suburban sprawl and waste of limited land! :angry:

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A Campbell Estate partnership is moving ahead with a long-held plan to develop a hillside residential community between Makakilo and the Waimanalo Gulch landfill.

The proposed project with 4,100 homes, dubbed Makaiwa Hills, is one of the last and largest master-planned communities envisioned for the Kapolei region, and would expand the designated "second city" of O'ahu.

But there is much concern over housing growth and the traffic such a project would bring to a severely congested part of O'ahu playing catch-up on road expansion that has not kept pace with residential and commercial development.

"Everybody's concern is traffic," said Maeda Timson, chairwoman of the Makakilo/Kapolei/ Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board.

Campbell Estate estimated that Makaiwa Hills would be developed over more than 10 years, starting in 2009 and finishing in 2020.

The estate said the project is consistent with the city's 'Ewa Development Plan, and would represent a fraction of the region's estimated population growth from 84,000 today to 96,000 by 2010 and 141,000 by 2025.

More residents, the estate said, are necessary to attract businesses that will make Kapolei a full-fledged city that helps reduce the need for 'Ewa residents to commute into Honolulu.

Makaiwa Hills also would create 1,100 nonconstruction jobs of a projected 40,000 new jobs in the Kapolei region over the next 20 years, the estate said.

Estate spokeswoman Theresia McMurdo emphasized that plans are preliminary and that community feedback will be solicited to help refine plans.

"It's very preliminary," she said. "It's at the very beginning of the planning for the project."

The proposed project is one of several long-term communities planned for the Kapolei region. Others include 4,041 homes at the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu campus, 11,000 to 13,000 at Ho'opili and more than 7,000 at various projects in Kapolei.

Envisioned on 1,781 acres among several gulches, Makaiwa Hills is slated for a wide range of housing from luxury to below-market affordable units, neighborhood commercial centers and an elementary school site. About half the property would remain as open space with some used for recreation.

Based on past city practices, it is expected that about 30 percent, or 1,230 homes, will be affordable under guidelines for low- to moderate-income families, though the actual number has to be negotiated between the developer and city.

Three major roads would connect the planned community to the H-1 Freeway at the Kapolei Interchange, to Farrington Highway between the Honokai Hale subdivision and Kalaeloa Boulevard, and to Makakilo at Nohona Street.

Timson, who lives on Nohona, said the connection to Makakilo would provide a second route to Makakilo that residents have long desired. "We only have one way in and one way out," she said. "But for me, somebody who lives on (Nohona), I'm not sure how I feel about that."

Honokai Hale resident and neighborhood board member Jane Ross said her neighborhood has general concerns about traffic and drainage impacts from development of Makaiwa Hills, but that she reserves comment until more details are presented.

"We're going to be very interested in seeing what it is and sharing our concerns and comments about it," she said.

In 1990, Campbell Estate pursued developing the property as a community of 2,130 upscale executive homes it likened to Wai'alae Iki, with a possible golf course and shopping center.

That version was rejected by the city in 1992, partly because of its focus on luxury housing.

A modified plan in 1993 called for 4,850 residences including 2,700 single-family homes priced from $375,000 to $1 million, 1,400 townhomes from $145,000 to $300,000 and 750 affordable rental apartments for families earning 50 percent to 80 percent of the median income.

The estate advanced the revised plan that same year when the state Land Use Commission designated the land for urban use. But a housing market decline stalled the project.

Three years ago, with O'ahu's housing market rebounding strongly, a city advisory committee identified part of the property, Makaiwa Gulch, as a potential site for a landfill, but instead chose to expand the present landfill at the neighboring Waimanalo Gulch.

Earlier this year, Campbell Estate created a joint venture company Makaiwa Hills LLC with an affiliate of La Jolla, Calif.-based firm Monarch Group, and transferred ownership of much of the project site to the partnership.

This week, the estate filed an environmental impact statement preparation notice containing preliminary data for Makaiwa Hills.

The project still needs a zoning change that would require City Council approval, and is subject to the environmental impact statement being accepted by the city Department of Planning & Permitting.

The city accepted a previous environmental analysis in 1991, but because the project is larger the developer is preparing a new analysis.

In the 1991 analysis, 34 archaeological and historic sites were identified on the property, including habitation structures, agricultural terraces and petroglyphs. The estate said its plan will reflect efforts to preserve significant sites.


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