The developer of a planned luxury condominium tower called Vida at 888 Ala Moana in Kakaako has canceled the project due to insufficient buyer interest nine months after sales began.
Kobayashi Group and the MacNaughton Group, two local development firms that partnered to produce the Vida project as MKVida LLC, announced their decision today after informing buyers.
“Despite strong marketing efforts, community outreach, and education about the up-and-coming Kakaako community, the market feedback indicated that it was premature to proceed with the Vida project at this time,” the companies said in a joint written statement.
The development firms said a little over 100 buyers signed sales contracts for the 262-unit tower, or about 40 percent of the project where unit prices ranged from $988,000 to more than $4 million excluding penthouse units.
Nearly all the sales volume for Vida occurred soon after sales began in May, and with no continued momentum the development team said they wouldn’t be able to start construction and deliver homes to buyers in a timely manner.
Officials with Heyer & Associates LLC, the project’s exclusive broker, reported in May that buyers snapped up about 90 units in the first four days of sales after an initial 129 units were released for purchase.
At that time, the developer projected that construction would begin sometime between October and December to allow the tower’s completion in early 2018.
Kobayashi Group and MacNaughton Group officials said they are refunding all buyer deposits.
Vida was slated to be built on 3.4 acres owned by Kamehameha Schools on the mauka side of Ala Moana Boulevard bordering Koula Street and a closed-off portion of Auahi Street. The site had been occupied by Cutter automobile dealerships that were relocated to make way for the tower.
Kamehameha Schools owns nine blocks in the area covering 29 acres, and is in the initial stages of redeveloping the land largely occupied by warehouses into a community under a master plan called Our Kakaako with up to seven residential towers and 2,750 homes. Pieces of the plan that are taking shape include completed midrise rental apartments called Six Eighty Ala Moana, a partially open retail complex dubbed SALT, and three residential projects under construction — a condo tower and midrise complex called The Collection, another tower and midrise complex called Keauhou Lane and a midrise condo and apartment complex dubbed 400 and 440 Keawe.
MKVida principals said they appreciate the confidence that Kamehameha Schools had in the Vida plan, and suggested that they may be a part of Our Kakaako in the future. “We continue to believe in the vision for Kakaako, and remain committed to its future,” the company said.