A new residential high-rise tower could be built on the site where the Heald College office building across from Ala Moana Center in Honolulu currently occupies, the new owner of the property confirmed to PBN.
Salem Partners, a Los Angeles-based investment bank and wealth management firm, which includes Managing Director Jim Ratkovich and President Bill Witte, purchased the Heald College property as well as the adjacent newly-built Walgreens flagship Hawaii store for a total of $73.5 million, as first reported by PBN.
“We are looking to do something transformative, something that sets the tone for others to develop side by side with us along Kapiolani Boulevard and throughout the district, something catalytic,” Ratkovich told PBN. “As the plan stipulates, it’s something we are very excited to be a part of and we’re writing checks to prove it.”
He said that his firm is leasing back the store property to Walgreens and is looking at several different options, including residential uses, for the Heald College building site.
“It’s a likely option,” he said referring to developing a residential project. “Given where it is, adjacent to Ala Moana Center, its location at the intersection of Keeaumoku Street and Kapiolani Boulevard, it’s something we have to study and we are working with the city and the community. We’re anxious to get this ball rolling.”
The fee simple 1500 Kapiolani site encompasses 73,103-square-feet of gross leasable space on about 43,000 square feet of land. It was being marketed as being a part of the City and County of Honolulu’s transit-oriented development, or TOD, zoning plans that recommend a possible redevelopment of the Heald College Building site into a residential high-rise.
There are currently three tenants at the Heald College building, including FedEx, Roger Dunn Golf Shops and a Japanese restaurant, according to Ratkovich, who noted that it may seek temporary tenants to fill up some of that vacant space.
Earlier this year Heald College’s parent, Corinthian Colleges Inc., closed all operations and discontinued instruction at its remaining 28 campuses, including the Honolulu campus.
The redevelopment plan for the Heald College Honolulu building is expected to be sent to the city within 18 months or sooner, Ratkovich said.
“It’s a 195-day schedule once you have your initial studies completed, [including] traffic studies, sewer capacity studies, meeting with neighborhood associations, city’s Department of Planning and Permitting, the city council and mayor,” he said. “Once you do all of that, [you’re] ready to submit the application.”
For Salem Partners, being on a distribution list regarding such properties to come up for sale was the way the purchase of these properties began.
“There were two packages, one for the Heald College building and the other for the Walgreens site,” Ratkovich said. “We immediately looked into it. We are already engaged with TOD on our other site [near the Hawaii Convention Center]. We certainly had to make a run at it.”
Salem Partners is also looking to develop a mixed-use project that could include some hotel rooms across from the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, as first reported by PBN.
“We’re still going through our planning process,” Ratkovich said. “We’re still interfacing with DPP. We expect to submit our application on that property in the next 90 days to 120 days to DPP. It’s a great site. Hopefully it will be a nice hotel, condo-hotel, or condominium project.”
Pacific Business News