Groundbreaking held for new mixed-use retail development in Waikiki

By HNN Staff| September 11, 2019 at 10:13 PM HST – Updated September 11 at 10:15 PM 

WAIKIKI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon for Waikiki’s first new “for rent” apartment development in decades.

Developers from Brookfield Properties gathered at the future site of Lilia Waikiki, a 28-story tower that will be located at 2370 Kuhio Avenue.

They say the high-rise will have 402 rental units. For 30 years, 91 of those units will be considered affordable for households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. The remaining 364 units will be available for rent at market-rate.

The development will include retail space, which will be anchored by a two-story grocery called, Waikiki Market, operated by the Food Pantry, Ltd.

“Lilia Waikiki will put local residents at the center of the revitalized Kuhio Avenue district,” said Kris Hui, vice president of mixed-use development for Brookfield Properties.

In addition, 53 units were renovated in an existing low-rise building near Kanekapolei Street.

Developers hope their project will help meet the high demand for rentals in Waikiki.

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Brookfield breaks ground on Lilia Waikiki rental apartments

By Janis L. Magin  – Real Estate Editor, Pacific Business News Sep 11, 2019, 7:37am HST Updated Sep 11, 2019, 7:56pm EDT

Brookfield Properties broke ground on its 455-unit Lilia Waikiki project Tuesday, the first new rental apartment building in Waikiki in decades, which will include 91 affordable apartments for tenants making no more than 80% of the area median income.

Dene Oliver, founder of OliverMcMillan — which announced the project two years ago before being acquired by Brookfield Properties last year — acknowledged the project would be the last started under OliverMcMillan.

He told a crowd of more than 100 assembled beneath a large banyan tree at the construction site that the finished project will be “spectacular and a tribute to Queen Emma.” The name Lilia Waikiki refers to the Hawaiian word for lily, the queen’s favorite flower.

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Brookfield Properties Announces Waikīkī Rental Project in Partnership with Queen Emma Land Company

New proposed 500-unit rental project in heart of Waikīkī will include quality new housing for the local workforce with 20% of rental units set for households earning up to 80% of AMI.

OliverMcMillan, developer of Pacifica Honolulu and Symphony Honolulu is partnering with Queen Emma Land Company to announce the redevelopment of 2.5 acres of land in the heart of Waikīkī into a vibrant commercial mixed-use rental project. Located on the corner of Kūhiō Avenue and Kānekapōlei Street, Brookfield Properties has entered into a lease purchase agreement with the rights to a 65-year ground lease with property owner, Queen Emma Land Company, to develop approximately 500 market-rate and affordable housing rental units, replacement of a full-service grocery store and curated neighborhood serving retail along Kūhiō Avenue.

“We are honored and excited to be selected as the team to bring this much needed rental product offering to Waikīkī under a long-term ground lease that will preserve Queen Emma’s legacy lands and further the mission of Queen Emma Land Company and The Queen’s Health Systems to provide quality health care in Hawai‘i,” said Dene Oliver, CEO of OliverMcMillan. “This is truly a special opportunity that is enabled by the vision of the Queen Emma Land Company and the legacy of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV.”

“Brookfield Properties was selected through a competitive Request for Proposal process for their ability to deliver quality mixed-use projects. Queen Emma Land Company looks forward to see this portion of its Waikīkī ownership redeveloped into quality housing units,” said Eric Martinson, president of Queen Emma Land Company. “Redeveloping this site will play an important role in furthering Queen Emma Land Company’s Waikīkī strategic asset management plan and provide financial support to The Queen’s Health Systems in fulfilling its mission to provide quality health care services to the people of Hawaiʻi, while at the same time supporting the need for housing, especially those working in Waikīkī and neighboring areas.”

The proposed project consists of a new construction 450-unit high-rise tower and a parking podium located at the recently demolished Makittii Hawaii restaurant. The rental tower is proposed to be built within the current height limit of 260-feet with a mauka to makai orientation, comfortably matching the scale of adjacent buildings in the neighborhood. The project vision also includes the renovation of 50 rental units located in four existing apartments on the Diamond Head side of Kānekapōlei Street, completion of the revitalized retail corridor on Kūhiō Avenue with 38,000 square feet of retail space on two-levels, place making elements, and preservation of the large exceptional banyan tree, historic architecture and open space.

The project’s housing program envisions a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three- bedroom units, ranging from approximately 350 to 1,100 square feet of living space. “Brookfield Properties has a commitment to affordable housing in Honolulu. We are proud to devote 20% of our total targeted 500 rental units as affordable housing rentals for households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income,” said Kris Hui, director of development at OliverMcMillan. “The remaining 400 market- rate rental units are an exciting new offering that provides more people who work in Waikīkī a place to live in Waikīkī.”

The developer anticipates a two-year planning and predevelopment process which includes site and impact studies, archaeological fieldwork, and community engagement efforts. Upon completion of due diligence, project permitting and entitlements targeted for summer 2019, the developer and property owner would then enter into a 65-year ground lease and commence construction with anticipated project completion in the latter half of 2021. Professionally managed by OliverMcMillan, the soon-to-be named project will provide ground lease revenues and economic value to support The Queen’s Health Systems and their mission.

In Honolulu, to date, with the completion of Pacifica Honolulu and Symphony Honolulu, Brookfield Properties has provided 224 for-sale Reserved Housing units in Kaka’ako, representing 36% of the total 617 completed for-sale reserved units built since HCDA started its for-sale Reserved Housing inclusionary affordable housing program in 1987.

Lilia Logo annoucement

Brookfield Properties Unveils the Name of its New Rental Project, Līlia Waikīkī, and Extends Affordability Period of its Affordable Rental Program

Līlia Waikīkī will provide 20% of its units at 80% AMI for 30 years

OliverMcMillan’s latest mixed-use rental housing development will be called Līlia Waikīkī. Located on the corner of Kūhiō Avenue and Kānekapōlei Street on land owned by the Queen Emma Land Company, the name honors the life and legacy of Queen Emma, and her favorite flower, the lily (līlia).

With a love of gardening and being outdoors, Queen Emma’s mea kanu (plants) flourished on her lands. Her journal entries are filled with descriptions of the plants and flowers surrounding her home, including the lily pond at her Waikīkī residence in Kaluaokau.

“We are honored to be able to build a project that she would be proud of,” said Dene Oliver, CEO of OliverMcMillan. “It’s truly a special opportunity to be able to bring this much needed rental product offering to Waikīkī under a long-term ground lease that will preserve Queen Emma’s legacy lands and further the mission of Queen Emma Land Co. and The Queen’s Health Systems to provide quality health care in Hawaii.”

Through thoughtful design and programming reminiscent of the cultural and historical significance of the area, Brookfield Properties hopes to inspire its residents to live the life they love at Līlia Waikīkī.

“The causes championed by Queen Emma during her lifetime will be honored at Līlia Waikīkī and demonstrated through a series of cultural themes established to enhance the experience,” said Kris Hui, director of development at OliverMcMillan. “Her passion for the environment, for wellness and practicing and preserving culture in a contrasting changing world will be illustrated throughout the project.”

Targeted for completion in mid-2021, the proposed new 28-story, 285-foot mixed-use high-rise rental apartment project includes 455 new rentals and 42,600 square feet of retail space on two-levels, anchored by a full-service grocer.Despite no affordable housing requirement tied to the development, Brookfield Properties is offering 20% of the units (91 units) priced at 80% of area medium income (AMI) – a housing level that has been historically unserved in both new for-sale or rental housing redevelopment in Honolulu. To meet the projected housing demand, the State reports that 70% of the housing needed by 2025 is for households earning 80% or less of the AMI.

To go one step further, Brookfield Properties worked with their local district Councilmember Trevor Ozawa to extend the affordability period of these units from 15 to 30 years.


“Hawai’i is faced with a housing crisis and we feel that rentals are a part of the housing solution,” said Kris Hui. “Councilmember Ozawa encouraged us that providing 91 units of 80% AMI housing despite no affordable housing mandate is an extremely rare opportunity. We wholeheartedly agreed and are excited to be able to commit these 91 units to a 30-year affordability period to ensure that our 80% AMI rentals can remain available and affordable for local people to call home for decades to come.”

The Department of Planning and Permitting will host a public hearing this morning for OliverMcMillan’s mixed-use project, Līlia Waikīkī.

The project has submitted and finalized its Environmental Assessment and received a Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Brookfield Properties is pursuing a Planned Development – Apartment (PD-A) and Waikiki Special District (WSD) permit from the City and County of Honolulu under and pursuant to Section 21-2.110-2 and 21-9.80.4(d) of the Revised Ordinance of Honolulu (ROH).

To deliver this housing opportunity to those working in Waikīkī and neighboring areas, Līlia Waikīkī is requesting to increase the allowable density of the combined parcels from 1.9x to 3.0x FAR (floor-area-ratio). Allowable under the PD-A process, this modification is being requested as part of the developer’s application submittal. While the PD-A process allows for a 350 feet maximum height limit, Līlia Waikīkī is proposing to build only up to 285 feet, a 25-foot increase above its existing height limit of 260-feet.

The proposed 455-unit project includes the full renovation of 53 low-rise rental units located in four existing apartment buildings on the Diamond Head side of Kānekapōlei Street and 402 rental units located in a new 285-foot tower. The tower and podium will be built with a mauka to makai orientation, matching the scale and orientation of adjacent buildings in the neighborhood, and the existing banyan tree will be preserved.

The 91 affordable units offered to households earning no more than 80% AMI will consist of 38 studios averaging 385 sf, 44 one-bedrooms averaging 500 sf and 9 two-bedroom apartments averaging 900 sf.





Food Pantry, Ltd. Signs New Space Lease

Food Pantry’s “The Market at Waikīkī” to Debut in 2021 at Līlia Waikīkī

On land owned by the Queen Emma Land Company, a long-term space lease has been executed with Food Pantry, Ltd. to reopen a full-service grocery store at Līlia Waikīkī upon the project’s completion in mid-2021.

“We are thrilled to be able to announce that Food Pantry will return to Līlia Waikīkī with a brand-new store and offer its quality products and exceptional service in a way that only a locally owned business with a nearly 60-year history in this community can do” said Dene Oliver, Brookfield Properties Chief Vision Officer (former CEO/Founder of OliverMcMillan). “We started talking to Food Pantry from day one, and haven’t spoken to anyone else since. There’s no better grocer operator for Līlia Waikīkī and the Waikīkī community.”

Food Pantry’s new full-service local grocer concept, “The Market at Waikīkī,” will occupy 27,000 square feet of space on two floors, accessible from a ground floor entrance on Kūhiō Avenue.

“Food Pantry is extremely excited to be able to return to this special location where we opened our first store in 1960. We have a long history of serving Waikīkī residents and visitors, and look forward to continuing to be a part of the community for years to come,” said Roger Wall, vice chairman for The Sullivan Family of Companies.

Līlia Waikīkī received City Council’s vote of 8-0 in support of its Planned Development – Apartment (PD-A) permit in December 2018 and is expected to break ground in the first half of 2019 on the corner of Kūhiō Avenue and Kānekapōlei Street. Upon completion, the mixed-use development will deliver 455 units of much-needed rental housing in the heart of Waikīkī and provide over 43,000 total square feet of neighborhood-serving retail with Food Pantry as its anchor.

“From the very beginning of our partnership, OliverMcMillan (now part of Brookfield Properties) has engaged with the community and been very responsive to their needs and desires,” said Eric Martinson, President of Queen Emma Land Company. “With the signing of the Food Pantry lease, we are happy knowing that a local business with a nearly 60-year vested interest in this community will be back with the opening of Līlia Waikīkī.”

During construction, patrons are encouraged to visit Food Pantry’s other locations including Food Pantry on Hobron Lane, Holoholo Café and Market on Kūhiō Avenue, Whaler’s General Store on Kūhiō Avenue and Coco Cove on Kalākaua which will offer expanded grocery offerings.

This revitalization is estimated to create 600 development and construction jobs, as well as 90 permanent operational positions providing long term economic stimulus. Despite no affordable housing requirement tied to the rental development, Līlia Waikīkī is offering 20 percent of the units (91 units) to households earning up to 80 percent of the area medium income (AMI) – an affordability level that has been historically underserved in both for-rent and for-sale housing redevelopments in Honolulu. To go one step further, Brookfield Properties (formerly OliverMcMillan) has offered a 30-year affordability period for these units.

Brookfield Residential, acquired OliverMcMillan, the San Diego-based developer of large-scale mixed- use properties in February 2018. As of January 2019, Brookfield Properties is now part of Brookfield Properties offering a variety of real estate capabilities.