Avalon’s Sky Ala Moana towers may start construction early
Sky Ala Moana, Avalon Development’s $510 million twin-tower condominium and hotel project near Ala Moana Center, has sold nearly half of the 390 residential units in one tower less than two months after launching sales, and is on track to start construction as early as January.
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The Sky Ala Moana project on Kapiolani Boulevard consists of two towers atop a shared podium — the tower on the Ewa end with 390 one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two bath residential units, and a tower on the Diamond Head side with 84 workforce units topped by a 300-unit hotel. Design Partners is the architect on the project, and Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. is the general contractor.
Christine Camp, president and CEO of Avalon Development Co., said the project “has been a delightful surprise,” and also said she bought two units for her own use and plans to move there with her family.
The project began sales for owner-occupied units April 1, and by April 10, 165 units were under contract. Unrestricted sales began May 1, and as of early this week, 187 units were under contract, eight shy of the halfway mark of 195, which is also the number of sales to trigger construction, Camp said. Prices start in the mid-$500,000s and go up to $1.3 million.
Camp said she also has a buyer for the hotel, but declined to identify the company, only saying that the developer’s requirement was that it be flagged as a brand that is “four stars or better.”
Camp’s company and partner Capbridge Pacific LLC bought the former central piece of property, a 40,000-square-foot parcel that’s currently the site of the Kenrock Building, for $22.25 million in 2017 and is in contract to buy two 15,000-square-foot parcels on either side, from Watumull Enterprises Ltd. on the Ewa side and from Maruito USA Inc., and will close on them prior to demolition.
The current tenants on the properties are all on month-to-month leases and have been told they will not be renewed past September, Camp said.
That means demolition will be done between October and the end of the year, she said.
Camp had originally planned on starting construction in March, but if the pace of sales continues, construction could start as early as January.
The actual construction start will ultimately depend on when building permits are issued — the application for the new building was filed on Sept. 28. The project received approval from the Honolulu City Council for its transit-oriented development zoning in November and special design district approval in March.
While the project also applied for a foundation-only permit in March, Camp said the halting of courtesy inspections by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting make it risky to begin constructing the building before the full permit is issued.
As for the 84 workforce units in the Diamond Head, or east, tower, Camp said Avalon must have its affordable housing agreement approved before it can finalize condo documents, so sales will likely start sometime during the summer. Prices for the studio, one- and two-bedroom units will be priced between $390,000 and $500,000 for buyers making 100 percent to 120 percent of the area median income.