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Prices run high as Waikiki runs low on vacant lots for developers

Pacific Business News

Waikiki is running out of vacant land to develop and the few remaining lots are fetching high prices. As the last available lots sell, deals such as the one confirmed last week will be less frequent. In last week's announcement, Irongate Capital Partners of Los Angeles and New York developer Donald Trump confirmed long-standing reports that they would build a luxury complex as part of the Outrigger Enterprises' Waikiki Beach Walk project. The 350-foot-high Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk will combine condominiums and hotel rooms with retail and dining space. Estimated cost is $350 million to $400 million.

"There's a limited amount of undeveloped property at this point," said Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Improvement Association. "And there are several other major projects on the drawing board at the moment."

Those last remaining parcels are selling.

Joel LaPinta, a Hilo broker who relisted a 2.2-acre lot at 1837 Kalakaua Ave. in February, confirms that the site is under contract.

The original plans for a San Diego architect to build a high-rise condominium on the site fell through. But LaPinta says an experienced developer now is planning to build on the lot, although he declined to name him.

LaPinta also has a listing for $5.5 million for a 23,750-square-foot site on Namahana Street, adjacent to the Royal Gardens Hotel in Waikiki. He has had the listing for more than a year and admits that it poses some challenges. It's zoned residential, and could be home to another high-rise condominium. But part of the package includes a swimming pool that can't be used.

"We've had some offers," he said, "but we're at the stage of interviewing some architects to see what we can do."

He said his client, Pacific Century Development and Realty Inc., might even consider holding onto the property rather than selling.

Meanwhile, a half-acre lot at the entrance to the new Waikiki Beach Walk project is in escrow, according to broker David Jurbala of Chaney Brooks & Co., who said there were several offers. The $15 million list price amounts to about $542 per square foot.

That's a bit steep for some real estate analysts, but Jurbala said the location is prime, since it's near the central part of Kalakaua Avenue. He said the deal is expected to close in mid-July at very close to the asking price.

Related Neighborhoods:Waikiki - Central


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