Au­then­tic­ity core of de­vel­op­ment

Builder con­sulted with na­tive Hawai­ians about area’s his­tory be­fore be­gin­ning work

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

When the com­pany be­hind a ma­jor mixed-use de­vel­op­ment in ur­ban Honolulu started work on the project, re­search into the rich his­tory of the land was an im­por­tant first step.

Howard Hughes Corp. is craft­ing a mas­ter-planned coastal neigh­bour­hood on a scenic 24-hectare stretch of land. At build out, Ward Vil­lage will con­tain about 4,000 res­i­dences along with more than 1 mil­lion square feet of re­tail space.

But the last thing the com- pany wanted to do was piece to­gether a generic com­mu­nity with no con­nec­tion to its sur­round­ings.

“I think one of the core val­ues of our com­pany is re­ally au­then­tic­ity,” says Nick Van­der­boom, Howard Hughes’ vice-pres­i­dent of de­vel­op­ment.

“We do projects all over the coun­try and pride our­selves on be­ing au­then­tic to the place that they’re in.”

The de­vel­oper cre­ated an iPad app with pho­tos, video and au­dio record­ings that tell the story of the area’s his­tory.

This in­cludes a time when the land was home to a plan­ta­tion owned by a de­scen­dant of Hawai­ian royalty.

Van­der­boom says when plan­ning the com­mu­nity, the com­pany con­sulted with de­scen­dants “and na­tive Hawai­ians with fam­ily ties to this area go­ing back cen­turies.

“It’s been a very pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence,” he adds.

The first two build­ings in the project are called Anaha and Waiea. To­gether, they con­tain 482 units. Anaha trans­lates to re­flec­tion of light in Hawai­ian, while Waiea means wa­ter of life.

With Waiea, wa­ter of life is a nod to the sig­nif­i­cance of nat­u­ral springs and fresh wa­ter fish ponds in the area. It’s a 36-floor tower by Van­cou­ver-based ar­chi­tect James K.M. Cheng and WCIT Ar­chi­tec­ture. The de­vel­op­ment will con­tain 171 units, in one-, two- and three-bed­room ori­en­ta­tions. There are also 10 pent­houses and 10 town­homes.

Anaha’s name is a ref­er­ence to how light re­flects off the build­ing’s fa­cade, which fea­tures a wave­like de­sign. And the wave de­sign was in­spired by the property’s con­nec­tion to the nearby shore­line. Anaha will of­fer 311 res­i­dences. These in­clude 238 one-, two- and three-bed­room units along with some stu­dio apart­ments.

There are also 73 town­homes and flats.

Homes in both build­ings have nine-foot-six-inch ceil­ings, ex­cept in vil­las and town­homes, where they are 10-foot-six inches and higher. Fea­tures in these homes in­clude hard­wood floors, pol­ished quartz com­pos­ite counters, Euro­pean cab­i­nets and Dorn­bracht plumb­ing fix­tures. The homes also have a wine re­frig­er­a­tor and ex­pan­sive mas­ter bed­rooms that link to an en­suite with a lux­u­ri­ous rain shower and free-stand­ing tub.

“Just from the choices of the stones in the bath­rooms to the lux­u­ri­ous sizes of the units, the fact that many of the units have pri­vate foy­ers … go­ing into your front door, which adds to that feel­ing like a home, like a res­i­dence, rather than an apart­ment unit,” Van­der­boom says.

The project fea­tures a long list of ameni­ties in­clud­ing a 24-hour front desk concierge ser­vice, fit­ness cen­tre, spa and lock­er­room, swim­ming pools and pri­vate din­ing rooms avail­able by reser­va­tion. There’s also sta­dium seat­ing for a movie theatre, plans for a li­brary and even a golf sim­u­la­tor.

Van­der­boom says there’s a “full range” on the project’s amenity level, “which will be 65 feet to 75 feet in the air.

“So you’ll have great views of the ocean, great views of the moun­tains, a fan­tas­tic at­mos­phere to re­lax by yourself, spend time with your neigh­bours or bring your friends over to have fun,” he adds.

But in Hawaii, there’s no need to stay in­doors. Snow­birds flee­ing the frostier months in Al­berta may want to lap up Honolulu’s trop­i­cal cli­mate.

From De­cem­ber to April, the aver­age tem­per­a­ture is about 24 C.

“You’ve got Ala Moana Beach Park, which is a (48-hectare) park across the street from the site,” Van­der­boom says. He says there’s a la­goon that he com­pared to a large salt­wa­ter swim­ming pool.

“If you go over in the morn­ing, there are people jog­ging, do­ing ex­er­cise classes, swim­ming, pad­dle­board­ing, then there are a lot of great surf breaks just out be­yond the la­goon,” Van­der­boom says. There’s also the Ala Moana Cen­ter, which is the largest open-air shop­ping cen­tre in the U.S., about a five-minute walk down the street.

Ward Vil­lage re­cently an­nounced a lease with Whole Foods Mar­ket, which will build its flag­ship Honolulu store in the com­mu­nity. It’s slated to open in 2017.

“I think one of the ap­peals of liv­ing in that denser ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment is that walk­a­bil­ity,” Van­der­boom says. “That’s one of the great­est luxuries you have here is be­ing able to walk and not get in your car to meet your daily needs.”

Ward Vil­lage

The kitchen and din­ing area fea­tures wa­ter views in an apart­ment in the Waiea build­ing in Ward Vil­lage in Honolulu.

Pho­tos: Ward Vil­lage

The din­ing area and bar in this res­i­dence at Anaha at Ward Vil­lage is mod­ern but bright and airy.

Large win­dows are fea­tured in this roomy apart­ment at Anaha in Ward Vil­lage in Honolulu.

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