60-acre warehouse district revitalized as a new “LEED Platinum” community in Honolulu

Located in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii between downtown and Waikiki, the 60-acre master planned community called Ward Village is the largest LEED‐ND Platinum certified community in the U.S. It’s being developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation.

“Light Garden, a 1,000-Year Bloom”

More important to readers of REVITALIZATION, the massive project is revitalizing a lifeless landscape of concrete and empty warehouses into a vibrant new neighborhood with a beautiful new park. New tree-lined sidewalks and bike lanes provide access to an over 100-acre public beach park, as well as the recently revitalized Kewalo Harbor.

In December of 2018, the project’s central greenscape, Victoria Ward Park, opened. The park’s opening included the launch of Light Garden, a 1,000-Year Bloom, a one-of-a-kind immersive art installation designed by Symmetry Labs.

Back in May of 2018, the vision was unveiled for Kō‘ula (pronounced: koh-oo-lah), the first tower to be designed in Hawai‘i by Studio Gang, the architecture and urban design practice led by acclaimed American architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang. The building’s interiors are being designed by Yabu Pushelberg.


Located in the heart of Ward Village, Kō‘ula will bring another bold architectural statement to the evolving skyline, joining towers designed by James K.M. Cheng, Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

Kō‘ula will be located adjacent to the Victoria Ward Park, Ward Village’s expansive, open-air gathering place, and is designed to connect residents and visitors with the surrounding cafes, restaurants, shops and parks located within the award-winning pedestrian-friendly community.

Victoria Ward Park will also be home to community events ranging from yoga, farmersʻ markets, outdoor cinema series, and live Hawaiian music and hula.

Kō‘ula is a transformative next step for Ward Village,” said Simon Treacy, President of the Hawaii region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Its connection to Victoria Ward Park will activate the streetscape in a vibrant outdoor setting that is intended to foster social connection and public recreation in the heart of Honolulu.

Auahi – before.

Comprising approximately 570 residences, the 41-story Kō‘ula tower will offer studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom residences ranging in size from approximately 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet. Kō‘ula features generous private lanai in every tower residence, increasing shade and improving comfort to take advantage of the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of the islands.

The exterior design creates a fluid, waving façade giving way to residences that bend to the coastline for stunning ocean views, natural light and breezy trade winds. The literal translation of Kō‘ula means “red sugar cane,” which references the design of the building’s structural columns and honors the history of the region. Targeting LEED Certification, the bold structure improves environmental performance by reducing solar heat gain.

Auahi – after.

Kō‘ula connects to a public porte cochère that opens onto an expansive courtyard to establish a new entry point to the Victoria Ward Park. A collection of new dining and shopping establishments at Ward Village will come to life at the base of the tower, activating the Victoria Ward Park and complementing the existing culinary and retail options just steps away. Residents will have exclusive access to a lobby and drop-off area located one level above, framing sweeping views of the courtyard below.

Positioned on the eighth floor, the amenity deck blends into a great room that opens on both sides featuring the Plaza to the west and a 42,000 sf outdoor terrace to the east. Over an acre of amenities are featured, including a spectacular swimming pool, a dedicated children’s splash and play area, poolside cabanas, sunset lounge, a dynamic lawn, spacious dining terraces surrounded by lush, native landscaping and expansive island views. Additionally, the amenity level features a spa, fitness club, and multiple event spaces for entertaining guests.

Night scene.

In keeping with Ward Village’s commitment to honor the cultural significance of the area, Kō‘ula was named by Sig Zane Designs. “The literal translation of Kō‘ula means ‘red sugar cane’ evoking the similarity between the structural columns and the sugar cane leaves. The name pays homage to the many varieties found in ancient Kaka‘ako, marking it a prosperous and abundant region,” said Sig Zane.

In addition to expanding the selection of homes in Honolulu’s urban core, Kō‘ula is a vital step in the creation of the Victoria Ward Park experience,” said Todd Apo, VP of Community Development at The Howard Hughes Corporation. “A new collection of dining, shopping and entertainment venues will open at the base of the tower, offering a scale of public amenities that will make Ward Village a one-of-a-kind destination in urban Honolulu.


Construction on a key part of the project—the new homes at A’ali’i—started late in 2018. The mixed-use residential development is the first of its kind in Hawai’i, featuring 751 units with a seamless turnkey experience and space-maximizing design. ‘

A’ali’i has received strong local demand, with more than 76 percent of homes sold since sales began in January of 2018. The new building will join the four other Ward Village towers either already delivered or under construction—Waiea®, Anaha®, Ae’o®, and Ke Kilohana—in continuing to transform Ward Village into the premier neighborhood for smart urban living in Honolulu.

At full build-out, the 60-acre community will include approximately one million square feet of retail and dining experiences, with more than 4500 homes.

We have spent years studying the most cutting-edge residential product in the world, and ‘A’ali’i represents our vision of an experiential lifestyle that does not currently exist in the market,” said David R. Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Our robust sales across Ward Village are reflective of the growing market demand for turnkey living solutions and innovative home designs that empower residents to make the most out of their homes.

Ala Moana – before.

Designed by architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz and locally-based Ferraro Choi & Associates, in partnership with interior designer Rottet Studios, ‘A’ali’i presents a design-conscious lifestyle that embodies the hallmarks of Ward Village: a holistic community highlighting wellness, art, food, culture and convenience. The building, located next to Aeʻo® and the recently opened flagship Whole Foods Market, will include up to 11,300 square feet of new street-level retail and nearly an acre of recreational amenities.

The groundbreaking of ‘A’ali’i marks yet another milestone in our development of Oahu’s new pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood,” said Simon Treacy. “We could not be more pleased with the response from homeowners who are excited to live in our innovative and diverse community that is setting a new benchmark for urban living.”

Ala Moana – after.

ʻAʻaliʻi pairs smart design with a collection of resort-caliber amenities to maximize health, wellness and relaxation. Amenities include Lāna’i 42, a penthouse-level sky deck offering a rooftop fitness club, outdoor yoga studio, sunset lounge and ocean-view event spaces. The ʻAʻaliʻi pool deck is complete with an adult pool, cabanas, barbecue pavilions, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and a children’s play/splash area.

A community that is redefining Hawaii’s modern lifestyle, Ward Village was recognized as the “Best-Planned Community in the United States” by Architectural Digest, and most recently as the “Master Planned Community of the Year” by the National Association of Home Builders.

The neighborhood provides world-class amenities including walkable pathways and dedicated bike lanes that offer immediate access to Victoria Ward Park, world-renowned restaurants, unique local retailers, and free community events.

Victoria Ward Park site – before.

Dedicated to the land’s most famous steward, Victoria Ward—whose efforts nearly a century ago first made the area a gathering place, Victoria Ward Park hosts an expansive lush lawn in the heart of Ward Village. Prior to the park’s development in 2017, the land served as a commercial and industrial site.

Today, it is the home of the largest and most technology-forward art installation to be displayed in Hawai’i. Inspired by the Hawaiian flora, Light Garden, a 1,000-Year Bloom features over 25,000 LED lights in more than 2,300 floral 3D sculptures spanning 9,500 square feet, and is Symmetry Labs’ largest-scale work to date.

Ward Village is quickly approaching the sellout of its five mixed-use residential towers that are either delivered or under construction—Waiea, Anaha, Ae’o, Ke Kilohana, and ‘A’ali’i, which are transforming the popular shopping and dining district into a vibrant neighborhood that offers ocean views and a thoughtfully curated mix of retail experiences set among walkable, open spaces.

The opening of Victoria Ward Park is the latest milestone in the development of Ward Village.  “Victoria Ward Park is designed to engage the community as the new center of Ward Village,” said Treacy. “Focused on curating a thriving public realm through the development of unique spaces and one-of-a-kind amenities, we invite everyone to the park to relax, play and connect—with each other, the community, and our island beauty.

Set to sit adjacent to the park is Kō’ula, designed to further engage the community and activate the site with shopping, dining and entertainment.

Victoria Ward Park – after.

The inspiration behind Light Garden, a 1,000-Year Bloom is the re-introduction of nature into Honolulu’s urban core. A 1,000-year bloom describes the unique opportunity to see a flower that is seldom seen in nature.

Millions of people visit Hawai’i each year who cannot help but be awestruck by the natural beauty that is a hallmark of the state,” said Alexander Green, Founder, Symmetry Labs. “I was excited and honored by the opportunity to create a work of art designed to elicit the same sense of natural wonder and island enchantment using innovative technology.

Thus, former warehouses and concrete have now given way to an acre and a half of lush grass with native plants and a grove of coconut trees reminiscent of the original Ward Estate. Victoria Ward Park represents the community’s dedication to preserving original elements of Ward’s heritage, a legacy which serves as its guiding vision to create a modern-day haven in urban Honolulu.

All images courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation.

See Ward Village website.

See Architectural Digest article about Ward Village.

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