The Howard Hughes Corporation broke ground Tuesday on Central Plaza, an outdoor community site, which marks a major milestone in the redevelopment of Ward Village.

The initial phase of the plaza will open to the public in January 2019 via an expansive park setting featuring a lush lawn and native landscaping.

Continuing the transformation of vision into reality at Ward Village, the Central Plaza will be the heart of community activity in the 60-acre master planned neighborhood. 

The vision for this community gathering space seeks to activate the park with surrounding urban development. 

With the future rail station located at its mauka point and Kewalo Harbor makai. 

Central Plaza will sit adjacent to Koula, the recently announced Ward Village project. 

Koula's ground floor will not only establish a public entry experience to the park, it will also host a new collection of dining and shopping options that will activate this community amenity.

"Today's groundbreaking is a pivotal moment in the evolution of Ward Village," said Todd Apo, Vice President of Community Development at The Howard Hughes Corporation. "Central Plaza will become the epicenter of our expanding community, building on the legacy of Victoria Ward, who envisioned this land as a gathering place for everyone. We have heard from the community and from the Hawaii Community Development Authority board about the importance of open spaces in our neighborhood. We are both proud and excited to be moving towards its reality."

Central Plaza will serve as the home to Ward Village's ongoing free community events, including weekly yoga, a farmer's market, an outdoor cinema series and live Hawaiian music and hula. It will also serve as the community's "backyard," giving guests and visitors the opportunity to spend leisure and recreation time in an open air setting.

In celebration of the landmark groundbreaking of Central Plaza, The Howard Hughes Company today donated $100,000 to Hawaii Community Foundation in a partnership that creates the Ward Village Community Fund.

"In concert with our continued efforts through the Ward Village Foundation, we believe this partnership with Hawaii?i Community Foundation will allow their expertise to amplify our corporate citizenship efforts. To that end, we will work with the foundation so that a portion of today?s donation will be dedicated to recovery and relief efforts on Hawaii Island, as well as, Kauai and Oahu, in response to ongoing natural disasters in those areas," continued Apo.

"The mission of the Hawaii Community Foundation is to harness the collective power of giving and use it to transform communities," said Micah Kane, CEO and President of Hawaii Community Foundation. "We are grateful for the generous partnership with The Howard Hughes Corporation. The creation of Central Plaza is an asset to our community and these funds will be critical in shaping the future of our island home."

As the largest LEED-ND Platinum certified master plan development in the country and the only one in Hawaii, Ward Village is at the forefront of sustainable community development and will feature public amenities at a scale not offered by any other urban development in the state.