Owner of Ward Village to develop 900 apartments - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Owner of Ward Village to develop 900 apartments

Nicholas Vanderboom Nicholas Vanderboom
Gov. Neil Abercrombie Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Paulette Kaleikini Paulette Kaleikini
David Striph David Striph
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

After several years on hold, plans to develop highrises on Victoria Ward property in Kakaako are going ahead again.

Howard Hughes Corp. today said it will build 900 condominium units at three sites over the next three years.

It's all part of a decade-long plan to develop 22 towers on the 60-acres owned by the company.

"Phase 1 of Ward Village will have a substantial impact on the local economy generating more than $1.2 billion in economic impact and more than 9,000 jobs," said Nicholas Vanderboom, senior vice president for development at Howard Hughes.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the strong demand for workforce and affordable housing will fuel development in Kakaako for years to come.

"I'm serious, this is our stimulus program. This is what we're going to do to put people back to work," he said.

The residential highrises will be build at three locations: the Pier 1 Imports site, the parking lot across from Ward Theatres and the former Dixie Grill building on Ward Avenue.

Howard Hughes also plans to redevelop the IBM building on Ala Moana for commercial use.

The project re-start comes after Victoria Ward's previous owner General Growth Properties hit a number of snags before bailing out.

Efforts to build a Whole Foods store next to the Pier 1 site was shelved after dozens of Hawaiian burial remains were discovered at the property. General Growth later filed for bankruptcy and sold the property.

Paulette Kaleikini, a cultural descendant for the remains, said the current developer worked with members Hawaiian community early on.

"I feel they are more receptive to the descendants and what the people of Hawaii have to say," she said. "Right from the start, they wants to do things pono."

David Striph, senior vice president for Hawaii at Howard Hughes, said input from the Hawaiian community has helped shape their vision for the Ward properties.

"From the start when we got here, we really focused on the history of the land and the culture and the people who live here," he said.

The developers say the first phase will be completed in 2016. The plan must first get approval from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which meets next month.


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