New Honolulu condos & developments are changing the skyline of Honolulu.

Anyone who knows a thing about Oahu is that we do not have enough housing. Land in Hawaii is costly, and restrictive government regulations make any new development in Hawaii a challenge. However, several significant factors are changing the skyline of Honolulu. From the demand for affordable housing, residents selling their homes and moving into simplified condo living and non-residents buying vacation condos have increased the need for more new Honolulu condos. This fuels the resurgence in development in Honolulu. The Honolulu areas are:

Kakaako

Kakaako, which has been an industrial and warehouse neighborhood for decades, is being transformed into a dense, vibrant urban Honolulu neighborhood. Several key developers are dominating in the Kakaako area. One part of Kakaako is within walking distance to Ala Moana Beach Park and Ala Moana Shopping Center. The other side of Kakaako is within a short walk to the downtown Honolulu financial district, the State Capitol and Iolani Palace. No matter which side you choose, you will be within short proximity to a grocery store and many restaurants and shops. And Kakaako is expanding fast.

View all Kakaako condos here

Ala Moana and Kapiolani

In Ala Moana and Kapiolani, the recently finished building is more luxury and ultra-luxury condos while the Kapiolani Boulevard corridor is turning into more moderately priced and affordable condos. The Kapiolani area is gearing up to be transformed through Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Since this is the ending point for the future rail system as well as Ala Moana being a major bus hub, the government has given special tax breaks and has allowed variances to new residential construction to help provide more housing options for people in different income brackets.

View all Ala Moana condos here

Waikiki

Although already dense, Waikiki has seen further development in the past decade. These Waikiki condo developments have included residential towers like the Watermark Waikiki, the Allure Waikiki, and the Ritz-Carlton Waikiki. There are some plans to add residential towers in the years to come to Waikiki. These both are for residents and people wanting vacation homes.

View all Waikiki real estate here

Honolulu needs more affordable housing

Our housing shortage exists for nearly everybody, expect the ultra-wealthy. This is why there is are many types of condos being built in these areas. Even moderately priced rental housing is in short supply in these areas. It is certainly not enough, but future developments may ease this shortage. The area that is in the most demand is what is classified as “affordable” which is priced for people that make as high as about 120% of the median income for Honolulu. Some of the recently sold “affordable” condo units have seen a massive amount of interested buyers, and “affordable” units sell out very fast in these areas.
Also, residents are moving out of their homes into condos. This has been a trend for some years. It is not just older “empty nesters”. Even young families are making the transition to condo living. It is a smarter and simpler way of life. Moving into more walkable communities that means, less time in traffic and more time to spend enjoying life. While these people give up more space for this convenience, they gain usually access to more amenities at their fingertips.  This is why more new Honolulu condos are needed.

Hawaii vacation homes

There are also a tremendous number of people buying vacation homes in Hawaii. For people especially from Asian countries, Hawaii has much to offer. There are many reasons why you might consider buying in a vacation home in Hawaii. Quite a few families want their children to go to Summer school at some of our prestigious private schools such as Punahou and Iolani. While considered pricey for residents, their tuition is a fraction of the cost of schools in their home counties. Also, for the convenience of playing golf, shopping and not having to drive a car, Honolulu is very convenient for them. Our weather and clean air make Honolulu very desirable. And compared to cities like Hong Kong, Honolulu is rather inexpensive for them. In the future, more new Honolulu condos are needed to accommodate these buyers.

The following developers taking part in Honolulu’s transition:

Howard Hughes Corporation

Howard Hughes corporation controls over 60 acres in Kakaako. Most of their land is within a few blocks of Ala Moana Beach Park. They are creating a special neighborhood called Ward Village. Because they have such a huge area they are able to craft and control all of the development in the area so it all works together. There is a wonderful mix of condo, restaurants, and shops. Whole foods Market is located in the heart of this community and there are also movie theaters. The streets including the landscaping create a special experience. There security as well as speakers playing music throughout the finished parts of the neighborhood.

They are still in the early stages of this community. So far, for the finished and planned projects, Howard Hughes Corporation brings in world-class architects to create unique new Honolulu condos.

Energy efficient and LEED buildings

They have a focus on creating “green” buildings and therefore a “green” neighborhood. The term is actually “LEED”, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In total, Ward Village is going for being deemed a LEED neighborhood, which is very unusual. It is such a feat that Architectural Digest named Ward Village the Best Planned Community in 2017. Up to this point, they have only completed two Kakaako condos:

Waiea condo

The Waiea condo is an ultra-luxury condo. Completed at the end of 2016, this condo has large spaces and ultra-luxurious amenities which include a golf simulator and an owner’s bar. Anything you can want is here, plus a full-service staff makes this one of the most luxurious buildings to call home in Honolulu. The interiors are really upgraded including automatic shades, Miele Appliances and Toto toilets.

Anaha condo

The Anaha condominium is set one small block back from Ala Moana Beach Park. This is not quite as luxurious as the Waiea condo, although close and priced MUCH less than Waiea condo. At the Anaha condo, you get most of what Waiea has for much less. This modern designed condo has Miele appliances, beautiful wood floors as standard in the living areas and studio Becker cabinetry. The amenities are even MORE flashy than at the Waiea in that they offer additional amenities such as a sand volleyball court and a tennis court.

Howard Hughes Corporation has plans for many more towers in their 60 acres Ward Village. Current projects Ward Village under construction or new Honolulu condos for sale are:

Ke Kilohana condo

Ke Kilohana, on Ward Avenue, is mostly affordable housing according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) rules. This project is sold out.

Aeo condo

Aeo, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2018, is a luxury condo right in the heart of Ward Village. This has some affordable units, studios, one, two and three bedroom units. This condo has been very well received, and almost all of the units have sold. The few remaining units are most all three bedroom units. To learn more about the Aeo condo follow this link. UPDATE: This building is now sold out. Contact us for Aeo resale units.

Gateway condo

The Gateway condo project has been delayed. The original plan was supposed to be a two-tower ultra-luxury condo designed by award-winning architect Richard Meier. These condos will be architecture like never seen before in Hawaii. The first tower is referred to as the cylinder because of its round shape. The developer announced on May 25, 2018 , that the Honolulu Gateway Tower project is on hold.

A’ali’i condo

The A’ali’i condo development will is next to Aeo condo. Still an ultra convenient place within Ward Village, this condo has micro, studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom units. This is setting a new trend in condos. The micro-units will come equipped with smart furniture. This is furniture that transitions from things like a sofa to a bed. The other units have an option to come fully furnished down to the dishes, forks, and glassware. To learn more about the A’ali’i condo follow this link.

Ko’ula condo

The Ko’ula condo project is coming. The plan is set to be presented at a public hearing in June 2018 to the Hawaii Community Development Authority. We understand that the condo is likely going to be similar to A’ali’i condo.

SamKoo Pacific

SamKoo Pacific is another developer that is active in Honolulu. This Korean developer acquired two prime lots along the Kapiolani Boulevard corridor. Their focus has been on offering quality housing that is more affordable. Kapiolani Residence is their first condo in Honolulu. It sold out within days and is expected to be completed later this year.
Their second condominium will The Central Ala Moana which is near Kapiolani and Keeaumoku streets. The project with having approximately 60% of the units priced at “affordable” which is desperately needed. Sales should start this year on this project

Alexander & Baldwin

Alexander & Baldwin is a major Hawaii landowner and developer. They developed the Collection located at Ala Moana Boulevard and South Street. This is right next to the financial district and courthouse. This project was completed in 2016.

Before that Alexander & Baldwin developed the Waihonua condo right near Ala Moana Center. This condo has been tremendously popular. It is anticipated that Alexander & Baldwin will likely do another condo town in Kakaako. Right now their focus is developing lands they own in Wailea on Maui and also the Estates of Kahala, which is a small exclusive single-family home development on the beach at Kahala Avenue.

Kobayashi-MacNaughton

Kobayashi-MacNaughton is a partnership between Kobayashi Group and MacNaughton Group. These team along with Black Sand Capital have produced several luxury condos in Honolulu. Starting from 2006 they built Hokua Condo, one of the most luxurious condos in Honolulu. They also developed Capitol Place condo in the downtown financial district.

They completed One Ala Moana condo in 2014 which is luxurious condo attached to Ala Moana Center. It is more of a boutique condo with tons of amenities and high-quality finishes. Kobayashi-MacNaughton has done a great job of building consistently on what they learn from the previous project. And you can see some similarities in all of their condos.

Their latest offering is Park Lane condo which is an ultra-luxury low-rise condo along the ocean side of Ala Moana Center. Sales are still on-going for remaining three bedroom condos in this complex. These are some of the highest priced condos in Honolulu.

Stanford-Carr

Stanford-Carr is a local developer that in the past has built single-family home projects. They developed Keauhou Place on the downtown financial district side of Kakaako. They also have built some affordable rental housing in the neighborhood.

OliverMacmillon

OliverMacmillonwhich was bought by Brookfield Residential, is a developer based out of San Diego, California. They have done commercial and residential developments across the United States. Last year, they finished the Symphony Honolulu at the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard. This is a luxury building across from the Neal Blaisdell Center with great interior designs. It is likely they will do more developments in Honolulu. They also have plans to do built a condo in Waikiki

EB-5 investments.

Developer Jay Fang of California represents a group of EB-5 investors. These are investors that are foreigners and with enough investment can apply for U.S. visas. This group has plans for two condominiums in the Kapiolani area:

Hawaii Ocean Plaza

Hawaii Ocean Plaza will front right on Kapiolani Boulevard. This is a mixed-use building. It will have commercial on the ground floor, some hotel rooms and residential units. There is also about 30% of the residential units will be affordable. The layout and the location will make this condo very popular.

Hawaii Civic Plaza

Hawaii Civic Plaza located on Sheridan Street by Wal-mart. This is a mixed-use building too. With commercial space on the ground floor including a restaurant. The condo has about 30% affordable housing. The location and units should make this building popular.

More Honolulu condo projects

More projects are coming. With the demand for more housing primarily in the urban center, the rules are being relaxed, and more building is encouraged.  With or without the rail, more housing is needed in the Honolulu center. Fortunately, the focus on the rail development Even regulations about walk-up buildings are being considered. This push for more housing is the first time in many, many years that the government is seriously working to make a difference for Hawaii residents. These projects are much needed and will change all of Honolulu.

Buying real estate in  Honolulu

There are always changes and new offerings in the condo market. It is important to be in contact with someone who knows what is going on. If you are interested in any new Honolulu condos, please contact us for all of the latest news and condo offerings.

Our local Honolulu partner Agent will contact you.

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