Stalled condo projects on Oahu move forward

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A couple of stalled condominium projects on Oahu are finally moving forward again. The developers have dropped their prices to help boost sales.

The Holomua condominium project has been on hold for about a year. Holomua means "progress" in Hawaiian, and now sales will start again this Saturday at 8 a.m. at 1315 Kalakaua Avenue.

"I think it's a recognition that the market has stabilized and that we sort of have hit bottom and the demand has been building and people want new units in town," said developer and sales agent Peter Savio.

The project site is near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Beretania Street. The building will feature 176 fee simple one and two bedroom apartments. Prices for the affordable and market units range from $239,900 to $467,000. The new prices are about $40,000 less than the original numbers in 2009.

"Unfortunately, it was just a bad market. So they sold a number of units but then it sort of stalled and so did every other project in Honolulu," said Savio.

Another project that ran into trouble finally opened its sales center last month. Hale Ka Lae is a luxury condo with 242 units that will be built at 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive.

"We haven't really started a big advertising campaign, but our marketing is starting to pick up now. We did take reservations," said Michael Greco, Chief Operating Officer for Hale Ka Lae.

One, two and three bedroom units are being sold at prices ranging from $700,000 to $3.8 million. That's a drop from previous levels under the original plan, reflecting design costs and current market prices.

"I think from our design and from some of the prices being reduced to what they were three or four years ago, it enabled us to bring the prices down from where we were before so that all helps," Greco said.

"Right now interest rates are low. There's a lot of pent up demand and people want to buy so I think both of them are going to do alright right now," said real estate consultant Stephany Sofos.

Both projects are set to break ground this summer.