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Kakaako is a commercial and industrial area located in the heart of urban Honolulu. Situated directly between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, it was the ideal to place to build a masterplan community.

An area once known for it’s rich agricultural lands and fish ponds, to a mostly industrial hub for local businesses, Kakaako’s transition has been many years in the making. Fast forward to 2016 and you can see cranes across the Honolulu skyline, as we witness it’s final transition. Residential high-rises will bring many new residents to our new Kakaako. Grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and boutiques, will keep them here for many years to come.

Who own’s Kakaako?

Howard Hughes and Kamehameha Schools (KS) are the two major private landowners in Kakaako. Each of them has their own vision of what Kakaako should be and they’ve illustrated this in their respective masterplans. Together these two entities own close to 40% of all the land in the area. This offer them a great opportunity to build a beautifully curated city, but it’s also a great responsibility to build a neighborhood that locals will utilize and prosper in.

Kamehameha Schools – Our Kakaako

Kamehameha Schools has envisioned “Our Kakaako” as a gathering place for residents, families, and locals alike. Offering a mix of residential towers, featuring market rate units to affordable rate rentals, “Our Kakaako” has something to offer everyone. At the heart of “Our Kakaako” is “Salt” an 85,000 square-feet shopping center curated with retail, restaurants, artisans, and local businesses.

One of my favorite places to visit at Salt is Arvo, an Australian-inspired coffee shop that features different toasts for example, they have an amazing smoked salmon with cream cheese toast covered in onions and capers. Arvo is located inside Paiko a truly unique take on a plant shop with all types of interior inspiration.

Howard Hughes – Ward Village

Howard Hughes took a very different approach from KS when planning Ward Village. With all their experience in developing masterplanned communities in Texas, California, and New York City, walkability was key in their design. The one unique advantage that Howard Hughes has over KS is that they are both the land owner and developer.

KS owns the land in “Our Kakaako” but they sell the land to developers after conceptualizing the individual projects. Howard Hughes has not only planned the entire community from the start, they will design each building as it’s part of a whole so that the entire community flows with a beautiful, yet cohesive design.

What you have at the end of the day is a very walkable community, with wide sidewalks, shaded walkways, manicured landscaping, and a mix of commercial tenants sure to meet your every need.

The other great thing about Ward Village is that it was planned with no existing high-rise buildings in the area. This means that they are able to plan where the buildings will be built, so that the towers in the back row will have the best views possible. With other projects in Kakaako, the developer has only so much room to build a tower. If you have a building directly in front of you then you had to deal with it, in Ward Ward Village they can play around with the design to maximize views for everyone.

The above map represent all of the existing projects in Kakaako where some 10,000+ residents currently live. These residents utilize all the great amenities Kakaako currently offers like, the great parks, proximity to Ala Moana Beach and shopping center, restaurants, shops and more. There is no doubt many of these residents are looking forward to what “Our Kakaako” and “Ward Village” will bring to the neighborhood.