June 15, 2013
Line Forms Early For New Condo Units
Honolulu Star Advertiser
by Andrew Gomes There was no symphony music, but a red carpet and a black Ferrari greeted eager buyers who lined up before sunrise Friday outside a sales office to reserve units in a planned condominium tower called Symphony Honolulu in Kakaako. The sales office opens at 10 a.m. today, but about 30 people lined up by noon Friday to ensure a chance to buy one of the 388 units priced between a little more than $500,000 and about $3 million. Garrett Taira, a real estate agent with AMG Realty Inc., arrived at about 8:30 a.m. Friday to reserve a unit for a client who wants to move from her high-rise condo in Hawaii Kai to Symphony Honolulu. �It�s pretty much the location she�s buying,� Taira said. �I think it�s going to be a great building.� Symphony Honolulu will be on the mauka-Ewa corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard, just Ewa of Neal Blaisdell Center, and is being developed by San Diego-based developer Oliver McMillan and local car dealer JN Automotive Group. The 43-story building is slated to have a restaurant, cafe and sales showrooms for JN�s Audi line and exotic car brands that include Ferrari and Bentley. Plans for the project were announced early last year and received approval 12 months ago from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako. �We�re just so excited to get this going,� said Dan Nishikawa, president of the Hawaii affiliate of OliverMcMillan. Symphony Honolulu, the fourth condo tower project in Kakaako to launch sales in recent months, is part of the leading edge in a wave of about a dozen tower projects announced to date in an area of urban Honolulu that Gov. Neil Abercrombie has described as an evolving �third city.� Already under construction is Waihonua at Kewalo on Queen Street, where 321 of 341 units have been sold at prices from $375,000 to $1.9 million. Also under construction is One Ala Moana, a 210-unit luxury tower atop the Nordstrom store parking garage at Ala Moana Center which sold out of units priced from $583,000 to $9 million. The third project, 801 South St., is preparing for construction shortly and has sold out all 635 units priced between $253,200 and $501,300. For Symphony Honolulu, construction is slated to start by the end of the year and finish 25 months later. About 400 construction jobs will be generated, according to Oliver McMillan. Another 100 jobs will be added by the auto dealership after the tower is completed. The developer established a sales office inside part of the Inspiration Furniture store showroom about three blocks away from the tower site. Only about 160 of the 388 units are available for purchase by the public as of today. About 130 units have been reserved for people connected with the development team, and another 100 units will be made available under a state affordable-housing program in the late summer or early fall for moderate-income residents via lottery. Symphony Honolulu units range from 672 square feet to about 2,000 square feet. Estimated monthly maintenance fees range from $444 to $1,355. Mike Joy, operator of a wedding photography business, was second in line Friday in hopes of buying a unit so he can rent out his current residence at the nearby Pacifica Honolulu condo tower. �I see the market going up because there�s not too much inventory,� he said.