Kakaako Development – Exciting Changes Underway
Kakaako has always been known as one of the trendiest urban centers in Honolulu. Originally it was home to Hawaiian royalty, and the area was used for activities such as salt making and wetland agriculture. These days it is home to a thriving art scene, endless entertainment and some of the best cafés and restaurants in Hawaii. These factors have made it a very desirable place to live, and development has really taken off in recent years. In this post, we will look at some of the recent developments and how they are impacting the area. One thing is for sure, whether you are looking to invest or buy – the Kakaako region is the place to be!
Everywhere you look there seems to be a new apartment complex popping up, and the recently completed Ward Village development was even named the “best-planned community in the U.S.” by Architectural Digest. This development has added an additional six residential towers to the Kakaako area. Ward Village is beautifully designed, incorporating the latest architectural styles and making use of local materials, yet it still retains a distinctly Hawaiian theme. Residents will have access to world class amenities right on their doorstep, and job opportunities are expected to be plentiful too. The properties don’t come cheap though, properties in Ward Village have an average price of around $4 million, whilst a 10,000 square ft penthouse equipped with infinity pool was listed on the market at $36 million. Once all remaining construction in Kakaako is complete, there will be more than 4,000 condos in Ward Village. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most exciting developments the Kakaako region has seen, and it will be interesting to see how the community evolves over time.
Plans for the Future
Over the next 20 years, Kakaako will see continued growth. The area is located directly between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, and it’s only a short drive to the airport which makes it very attractive for both property owners and investors. Many of the industrial warehouses that characterize the region remain, but they are slowly being replaced by a mix of low-rise and high-rise residential properties. Properties that surround Ward Village are also soaring in price, with the average condominium going for around $695,000. A further 1,680+ new units will be built over the next three years under five different projects, so people thinking about moving should have plenty of housing options to choose from. There are also plans for beautiful green space, linked walking paths and innovative retail experiences, and this is all part of the master plan developed by Kamehameha Schools. These are all great things for the local community, as they will reduce reliance on cars and helps to foster a strong community spirit. The changing demographics are no doubt contributing to this, as there is a mix of older people as well as young singles/couples that do not need a large (and often much more expensive) house in the suburbs. These young professionals also don’t want to waste time in heavy traffic commuting to work. The new developments in Kakaako aim to solve this issue by providing easy access to everything within walking/riding distance. A development proposal was also put forward in August 2017, and it will involve the construction of micro-units. This way of living has gained some popularity in recent years, as it allows more housing but uses less space. If it gains approval, the Nohona Hale development will add an additional 111 studios to the area, and they will each have about 300 square feet of living space. Rents are expected to be about $500-$1000 per month, depending upon the unit. This would be a great option for people on lower incomes, and it is strategically located near to the proposed rail line. Residents would enjoy access to welcome amenities such as a gym, multipurpose room and tenant gardens.
Kakaako is one of the fastest growing areas in Hawaii, and we can’t wait to see how it evolves over the coming years. If you’ve been thinking about moving, it would be hard to think of a better place to go to. Kakaako’s unique mix of industrial and modern design and convenient location means it will soon be the premier destination for shopaholics, foodies and those looking to enjoy a new way of life. Please contact me if you're interested in moving to Kakaako or if you're seeking to buy/sell your Hawaii Home. - Mahalo - Kimi :-)