The Howard Hughes Corporation announced plans Wednesday to create an urban master planned community in the Kakaako district of Honolulu.
Over the next decade, Ward Centers will transform into Ward Village, offering retail space, residences and affordable housing set among public open spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets.
The redevelopment by The Howard Hughes Corporation, the largest private land owner in Kakaako, is a key component of the area's planned revitalization, and represents one of the last opportunities to shape the face of urban Honolulu.
The vision for Ward Village is consistent with the master plan approved by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
In January, 2011, The Howard Hughes Corporation entered into a development agreement with the HCDA, which allowed for up to 9.3 million total square feet of mixed-use development, including more than 4,000 residential units and over one million square feet of retail and other commercial space. The Howard Hughes Corporation assumed ownership of Ward Centers from General Growth Properties in November 2010.
"Ward Village is one of the most significant assets in our portfolio, offering an unparalleled opportunity to be a part of the renaissance of Kakaako," said David R. Weinreb, Chief Executive Officer of The Howard Hughes Corporation. "We are pleased to continue working with local leaders and other partners on the next chapter of this unique district, creating a thriving community in the heart of Honolulu."
The Howard Hughes Corporation's "forWARD" vision for Ward Village incorporates principles of sustainability and cultural respect that honor the rich genealogy of the land. Over time, land use in Kakaako has evolved from fishponds, salt pans and taro lo'i of centuries past to industrial warehouses and working class neighborhoods of the mid-twentieth century and, more recently, to a retail shopping district serving the residents of Oahu. Overlaying these time periods is the legacy of Victoria Ward and her descendants, who owned the land from the 1870s until 2002.
"The Howard Hughes Corporation is honored to take a leading role in the evolution of Kakaako," said Nick Vanderboom, Vice President, Development of The Howard Hughes Corporation. "We are inspired by the opportunity to create a new village -- a gathering place for local residents -- but conscious that this opportunity comes with a great responsibility to the people of Hawaii to be stewards of this '?ina."
Inspired by its rich history, the redevelopment will create a distinctly different character for the neighborhood. The village will include high-rise residential towers with a mauka-makai orientation which will preserve view corridors and showcase the breathtaking views.