If you haven't been to Honolulu recently, you probably won't recognize it especially with all the changes in the last couple of years or so.
We hear about retailers shutting down brick & mortar stores all across the United States because online purchasing has skyrocketed. People don't go shopping like they used to because now they can do it from the comfort of their own home.
Not so in Honolulu.
So what about Honolulu where I have seen the world's top brands opening up stores at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, along Kalakaua Avenue and in the totally redone International Market Place? Quite a few of these stores are in at least 2 out of the 3 places. And you know they are paying top dollar for their leases.
Do they expect to make a profit? Or just bragging rights as in we are "located in London, Paris, Rome, New York" and now adding Honolulu?
By the way, the top shopping capitals are London, Tokyo, NY, Paris, L.A., Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and Milan". These and several other cities (22 of them) rake in $417.48 billion a year.
But these cities take in so much because of:
(1) sheer population,
(2) high standard of living, and
(3) high spending tourists.
Well, Honolulu has TWO out of the THREE.
Because of limited available land on an island, Honolulu has gone VERTICAL especially in the Kakaako area that lies between Waikiki and the downtown area. This is an area that used to be warehouses filled with small businesses of all types.
Fairly recently, several high rises were built in the district which uses the Ward Village is its major center for shopping and dining.
Ward Village is a 60-acre master planned community.
And now, the Howard Hughes Corporation, recognized throughout the US as a preeminent developer and operator, just opened its first of four mixed use residential towers, the Waiea.
The next three towers to open are called the Anaha, Ae'o and Ke Kilohana.
By the time the Howard Hughes development of the 60 acres is completed with a total of 22 towers, there will be 4,000 residences and 650,000 square feet of retail.
At this point, three out of the four towers are priced well over $1 million up to $43 million.
Add to that the recently built Park Lane, another high end residence complex in the Ala Moana Shopping Center with sales prices starting at $6,169,000 - beautiful units with incredible ocean views across Ala Moana Park-- and you see where our real estate prices are going.
To answer my question whether we can sustain these high end retailers that have come to Honolulu; yes, with real estate prices that high in the area, it stands to reason that this is the type of shopping these owners are looking for.
Who buys these "residences"/condos?
Clients from around the world, many of them from California where I also have a broker's real estate license.
And if you are interested in investing in real estate here in Honolulu, you can contact me either here in Honolulu or my office in Carmel-by-the-Sea for further information.