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Ward Village Reports "Robust" Demand on latest project, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The Park at Ward Village rendering courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation has disclosed that it has signed contracts for 64% of units in its eighth project, The Park. The Park includes 545 total units across 41 stories. It is planned to be located adjacent to Victoria Ward Park, and will feature open, airy spaces that create harmony between the indoors and outdoors. Howard Hughes says that its sales so far show "robust" demand.

Additionally, the Howard Hughes Corporation confirmed sales for its ninth tower, Ulana, will begin on January 3. This tower will feature subsidized housing reserved for households earning up to high- moderate incomes.

Read more from Andrew Gomes of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below:

The developer of the Ward Village condominium tower community in Kaka­ako has sold most of its next planned luxury tower while also seeking buyers for a moderate-priced project to be sold by lottery.

Howard Hughes Corp. disclosed in a financial report last week that it has sold 348 of 545 units in its planned The Park Ward Village tower as of Oct. 29, after starting sales in July. On Oct. 30, the company also made applications available for its planned 697-unit Ulana Ward Village tower designed to satisfy a state requirement to produce moderate-priced housing in Kakaako.

For The Park project, signing contracts for 64% of units in the planned tower represented what Hughes Corp. described as “robust” demand. “We could not be more pleased with these exemplary results,” David O’Reilly, CEO of the Texas- based development firm, said in a statement.

Prices for The Park units range from studios starting at $570,000 to a penthouse unit for $3 million.

This luxury tower, estimated to cost $620 million, would be the eighth high-rise at the Ward Village master-planned community on 60 acres, and is expected to begin construction in 2023 and be finished in 2025.

Ulana would be the ninth tower at Ward Village, and represents subsidized housing reserved for households earning up to high- moderate incomes.

Prices at Ulana range from $271,000 for a 289- square-foot studio on the second floor up to $717,400 for a three-bedroom unit with 1,001 square feet living space on the top floor of the planned 42-story tower.

Hughes Corp. has proposed Ulana as a way to satisfy its remaining need to produce homes meeting moderate-price rules of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

HCDA requires that 20% of new homes in high-density projects in Kakaako be affordable to households earning up to 140% of the median income for Honolulu.

The agency’s calculations put maximum incomes at $103,900 for a single person, $118,700 for a couple and $148,400 for a family of four.

Under HCDA rules for what it calls “reserved housing,” buyers may not have assets above a certain level, must occupy the unit and must give the agency the opportunity to buy a unit back if sold within a certain number of years. Also, a buyer and the agency must split a predetermined amount of equity represented by a discount between the sale price and the home’s initial appraised price.

For instance, Hughes Corp. said in Ulana application materials that the least expensive unit priced at $271,000 should have an appraised value of $386,500. So the $115,500 difference would be split between the owner and HCDA upon resale or if an owner decided to pay back the shared equity early.

Hughes Corp. said in its financial report that it expects to deliver the estimated $409 million Ulana tower at a break-even cost.

Locations, the broker for Ulana, is slated to begin accepting applications Jan. 3. Qualified interested buyers have until Feb. 13 to submit completed applications to be entered in a March 1 lottery for selecting buyers.

Hughes Corp. to date has completed five towers since 2016, with the most recent one, ‘A‘ali‘i with 750 units, opening last month. Two other towers, Koula with 565 units and Victoria Place with 349 units, are under construction and slated for completion next year and in 2024, respectively. All but three units in the first four towers have been sold. For ‘A‘ali‘i, Koula and Victoria Place, the company reported sales at 86%, 89% and 98%, respectively.

Ultimately, Ward Village is slated for up to around 4,500 residential units in 16 towers, along with 1 million square feet of retail space replacing a mix of largely industrial and retail space.

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