The developer of Allure Waikiki will host a ceremony today to celebrate the recent opening of Honolulu’s newest condominium tower.
The upscale high-rise on the former site of the Wave Waikiki nightclub at Kalakaua Avenue and Ena Road has achieved only modest sales amid the economic downturn, but completion of the 35-story tower is good reason to celebrate.
"It’s turned out very well," said Alan Schachtman, senior vice president of Fifield Cos., the Chicago-based developer of Allure Waikiki. "We are thrilled that this day is finally here."
Schachtman declined to disclose how many of the building’s 291 units are sold. He would only say that it’s more than 51 percent.
Schachtman added that the pace of sales has picked up after completion of the tower allowed potential buyers a close look throughout the building, and that an expected approval soon by Fannie Mae to buy mortgages made on the project should add to the momentum.
High-rise condo projects in many mainland cities — and one in Honolulu — have halted construction in the face of the poor economy. By comparison, Allure Waikiki has fared well.
Fifield announced its plans in mid-2006 and launched a sales effort in mid-2007. Sales got off to a good start with commitments made for 48 units upon the sales office opening, but then sales bogged down with the economy.
After construction began in January 2008, the developer remained hopeful that units would sell out upon completion, but financial markets and the economy deteriorated, and sales remained slow despite price reductions.
As part of the grand-opening event, Fifield is promoting a 25 percent discount on five units on the market for $870,000 to $1.69 million, or $652,500 to $1.27 million with the discount.
Allure Waikiki was one of a few Honolulu condo projects caught in the economic downturn before completion. Others include Moana Vista, a project where construction stalled until a new developer took over and re-branded the tower Pacifica, and the Vanguard Lofts, a loft-style midrise. Pacifica and Vanguard Lofts are still under construction in Kakaako.
Allure Waikiki, tucked among other buildings at the Ewa entrance to Waikiki, includes units ranging from 833 square feet to 1,633 square feet with one to three bedrooms. Other features include a fitness center, pool, recreation deck and a 12,000-square-foot public park with shallow ponds. A roughly half-acre parcel containing the sales office is slated for either retail or a restaurant. Schachtman said Fifield will either sell or develop the site.
The tower welcomed its first handful of residents last month. Schachtman said roughly two-thirds of buyers are Oahu residents, while the rest are mostly from Japan, the mainland and Canada.
"We are grateful for the support of the local Hawaiian community and its leaders that have made it possible for us to celebrate this stunning addition to the Waikiki skyline," he said.