Honolulu Star Advertiser -- Lap pools, gardens, indoor/outdoor kitchens and living spaces of up to 6,000 square feet are among features being offered in some of the "ultra-luxury" condominiums planned at Ala Moana Center.
Developers today released details of the project, estimated to cost more than $500 million, calling it an organic next step in the evolution of the state's largest shopping center and a new level of luxury living in Hawaii.
The roughly 200-unit condo complex, designed to look like a string of eight-story buildings overlooking Ala Moana Beach Park on part of the mall's makai edge, will convert a big piece of the center into an enclave of homes with ocean views, a private linear park and personal access to the mall's shops and restaurants.
Other amenities touted include private garages, resort-style services, an event lawn, a spa and a fitness club that along with other project features creates what the developers describe as a "discreet sanctuary" that meshes single-family home, resort and condo living in urban Honolulu.
The developers say it is too early to price units, which range from 850-square-foot residences with one bedroom to 6,000-square-foot penthouses with five bedrooms and lanais as big as 1,100 square feet.
Observers predict that the biggest units could top the record $10 million for a new high-rise condo unit in Hawaii at the ONE Ala Moana tower under construction on the mauka side of the mall atop Nordstrom's parking garage.
"This distinct concept will make a significant statement in the landscape of Hawaii's residential development business," Ian MacNaughton, a principal with the development team, said in a statement. "The community will establish a new global standard for luxury residential living without compromising any of Hawaii's understated authenticity."
Honolulu-based development firms The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group are joining with local investment firm BlackSand Capital and the mall's owner, General Growth Properties, on the project.
Construction and unit sales are projected to begin in mid-2014. Completion is expected by late 2016, about a year after General Growth anticipates being done adding a Bloomingdale's department store to the mall along with dozens of other shops in place of an old Sears store and parking.
The project will rise to about 100 feet, which is 15 feet higher than the Neiman Marcus store and is within the area's height limit. No variances to city development rules are necessary, MacNaughton said.
The new condo, which has not yet been named, will stretch about a quarter-mile atop a second-level parking deck between the mall's Piikoi Street end and Neiman Marcus store.
About eight acres of parking with 1,400 stalls covers the project site, though MacNaughton said 1,400 new shaded stalls will be created by adding two additional levels of parking above the street level.
"The mall shopper will have a much better parking experience," he said.
General Growth said it selected the MacNaughton and Kobayashi firms, whose principals also include principals of BlackSand, because of their development experience with the luxury Hokua tower in Kakaako, Capitol Place downtown and ONE Ala Moana.
Sandeep Mathrani, General Growth CEO, said in a statement that combining the expertise of the companies will create a new standard in oceanfront living and shopping.
"GGP knows retail," he said. "The MacNaughton, Kobayashi and BlackSand teams have developed and financed some of Hawaii's premier residential projects. Ala Moana is, in essence, a living, breathing community with some of the world's most iconic retailers."