Authenticity core of development
Builder consulted with native Hawaiians about area’s history before beginning work
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.”
The kitchen and dining area features water views in an apartment in the Waiea building in Ward Village in Honolulu.
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.