Sales start soon for Moana Vista high-rise
KC Rainbow Development LLC, the developer of the Moana Pacific twin-towers project, plans to begin sales this month for another residential high-rise in Kakaako that includes both condominiums and rental units.
The 492-unit, fee-simple project, called Moana Vista, will cost an estimated $150 million to build. It will include about 100 affordable rentals, said Allen Leong, director of operations for KC Rainbow II. The project, slated to break ground in October, could be delivered as early as March 2009, he said.
Projected prices at Moana Vista are $400,000 to $800,000 for fee-simple, two-bedroom condominiums.
KC Rainbow has agreed to satisfy its state affordable housing requirement through rentals, which will be priced at about $1,700 or so per month, based on median-income calculations at the time of delivery, Leong said.
"We went with the rental option because we felt that it would make the project attainable to more people," he said. "There is a pretty significant shortage of rental units available in Kakaako."
Offering rental units will take KC Rainbow longer to get a return on its investment, but the company has a long-term profit strategy, Leong said. The California-based company, which is owned by the Chan family, began investing in Hawaii real estate about seven or eight years ago during the market's downturn.
"The family was able to take advantage of the down cycle and had the ability to hold on through the up cycle," Leong said. "Right now they are enjoying the hot real estate market."
Based on the almost instant success of Moana Pacific, KC Rainbow's latest project likely will be in high demand, said Fred Chan, president of KCR Development Inc.
Located on Kapiolani Boulevard within sight of its sister development Moana Pacific, the Moana Vista will sit between Ward Avenue and Pensacola Street and is walking distance from Ala Moana Center, Ward Entertainment Center, Ala Moana Beach Park and the Neal Blaisdell Arena.
The project has two-bedroom, two-bath floor plans, which range from about 700 to 1,100 square feet and offer ocean, mountain and Diamond Head views.
If history is any indication, Chan's bullish forecast will hold. Sales of Moana Pacific were so strong that prospective buyers camped out to buy units and the company switched to a lottery system. The project's west tower sold out in about seven weeks, the Star-Bulletin previously reported.
KC Rainbow Development plans to begin selling 192 of its units to investors beginning May 20, Leong said. A $25,000 deposit will be required as well as an affidavit agreeing not to flip the property for one year, he said.
Owner-occupied units will be sold by a lottery, which will take place May 30, Leong said. Buyers may register for the lottery at the project's sales office at 1009 Kapiolani.
"There's strong demand," Leong said. "We ran an ad on Sunday and 200 people came into the sales office."
The strength of Honolulu's residential real estate market has led to a slew of development, especially in sought- after locations like Kakaako. Including Moana Vista, there are about 2,073 modern fee-simple condominium units joining the 3,855 that have been developed by the state and private developers since 1982, said Daniel Dinell, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
The HCDA, which approved Moana Vista for the Kakaako special district last year, sees it as an important part of realizing a live, work and play concept for Honolulu's urban core, Dinell said.
"There's been a lot of residential development in Kakaako, but there hasn't been much rental buildup and there is high demand for affordable rentals," Dinell said.
The Moana Vista project, combined with the 170-unit rental tower planned for the nearby Ward Village, will deliver 300 new apartments to Kakaako, he said.
"Having more rental units will be a very positive thing for this live, work and play urban village that we are trying to create in Kakaako," Dinell said.