Developers Go Big for 17-Story Hawaiian Senior Living Plans

A new senior living high-rise will soon become a fixture on the south shore of Honolulu, Hawaii— a longtime vacation destination for mainland Americans.

And it will be positioned to appeal both to residents of the mainland and Hawaii, say those who are working on the development.

The 17-floor Kalakaua Garden will have 106 assisted-living units, 32 memory care units and 49 skilled nursing beds — the first in its location, with an expected completion date in the end of 2015.


Island Paradise Investments, comprised of a group of San Francisco Bay area investors, holds the title to the land and project. The company originally planned to build a residential condominium in the location in 2008, but switched gears about three years ago after several delays having to do with economic factors and compeition in the market.

“The year 2008 marked the beginning of the recession and was the same year that the Kalakaua Garden first began to sell units for the condominium,” Mark Tacazon, assistant marketing manager for the property’s general contractor Swinerton Builders, tells SHN. “Also, over the next several years, Hawaii was experiencing the over saturation of newly constructed high-rise condominiums which drove the price up for construction costs and further delayed the project.”

Located at the entrance to Waikiki, across from the Hawaii Convention Center, within a mile of the Ala Moana shopping center and adjacent to Ala Moana Beach Park, major players in the new senior living project say it’s attractive both for its location, as well as on-site amenities.


“On property, there are many opportunities for indoor/outdoor living with a garden and water feature located on the ground floor, a courtyard on the fourth floor, and an 1,800-square-foot outdoor exercise area on the sixth floor,” says Ryan Arfman, senior project manager for Swinerton Builders. “The facility also includes a library, fitness center, on-site rehabilitation facilities and common and semi-private dining options.”

Swinerton Builders, based in San Francisco, Calif., also has an office in Honolulu.

The development is also being forged through a partnership between San Mateo, Calif.-based HPL Development, LLC, the developer of the project and Honolulu-based Architects Hawaii Ltd.

Appealing to the emerging urban taste among aging Americans is important to the new facility’s location, says Louis Leong, vice president of HPL Development.

“We strongly believe the location is very good and the best use would be to develop an urban-theme senior care community,” Leong says.

The community’s previously projected cost was $50 million, but the project’s price tag rose as the current cost is over $75 million, Leong says.

Rental fees for the new senior living community will be on par with Hawaiian real estate, Tacazon says.

“It would be safe to assume that it would be typically more expensive than the [U.S.} mainland,” Tacazon says, noting the “paradise tax.”

But, rental prices will be comparable to the market average of projects the same size and location, Leong says.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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