A collection of scoops/exclusive stories from Hawaii's commercial real estate/development industry by veteran journalist Duane Shimogawa, who has worked in radio, print and television news in the state and on the Mainland. Send tips/leads to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @dshimogawa or LinkedIn @ Duane Shimogawa
Honolulu senior housing project delayed by high construction costs
A planned senior housing project in Honolulu's Chinatown is getting tripped up by high construction costs.
The 150-unit Halewaiolu senior residence project, which is being developed by Michaels Development Co., was first proposed years ago.
At a recent area neighborhood meeting, the developer and other stakeholders gave an update on the development, which is now scheduled to start construction in late 2019.
The project will include 120 single-bed units and 30 double-bed units on 19 floors with 10 units per floor.
Karen Seddon, regional vice president for Michaels Development, said at the meeting that the cost of construction has gone up and that it is still working on securing funding for the project.
Besides funding, there are other hurdles that the developer must clear including satisfying requirements from the National Historic Preservation Act.
Halewaiolu would satisfy a huge demand for senior housing in the state, which has one of the fastest growing senior populations in the nation. Construction costs in Honolulu continue to grab the top spot in the U.S. It has already put the brakes on several projects in the state including a planned hotel in Kapolei in West Oahu.
A teenager who attends Punahou School has recently started his own social media management agency.
Scott Nakaoka, a 17-year-old senior from the prominent Honolulu school that includes former President Barack Obama as one of its former graduates, has formed Kakou Communications LLC.
He told this blog that his company's goal is to help older mom-and-pop companies to modernize their business to keep up-to-date in today's society.
"We want to move their paper advertising to online and help build or refresh their websites," Nakaoka said. "My generation is all about social media. We are constantly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., and growing up with social media helped me gain knowledge about what, when and how to post."
He said it also taught him what types of posts or web designs grab people's attention and what has potential to be shared, liked and reposted.
Kakou, a Hawaiian word, translates into English as "everyone" or "e…
The new restaurant complex opening in part of the old Shirokiya location at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu is scheduled to open this fall.
Brug Bakery is one of the eateries opening at The Lanai at Ala Moana Center, relocating from another part of the mall. Store officials said it is scheduled to reopen in its new digs at mall level of the old Shirokiya store on September 15.
Others opening at The Lanai include Hi Tea Cafe. The food court is expected to have up to 12 specialty food vendors and indoor and outdoor seating for up to 450 people.
A new restaurant is opening in the space formerly occupied by the popular Pearl Ultralounge at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu that has been vacant for about four years.
Grub & Barrels Inc. has filed a building permit Monday with city regulators to open its new restaurant in the former Pearl space at Hookipa Terrace on the third floor of the state's largest shopping center.
The company, which was formed earlier this year by Annie Kim, has registered the trade names "Grub & Barrels" and "The Brilliant Ox."
John Harada of Honolulu-based In + Form Design Inc. is listed as the architect for the project.
In 2013, Pearl closed after being in business for seven years due to years of damage from water leaks from the tenant above — Romano's Macaroni Grill.
In other restaurant news at Ala Moana Center, chef Alan Wong announced Monday that his Pineapple Room restaurant at Macy's is closing at the end of this month.