Ko Olina Resort Poised to Nearly Double in Size Through Proposed 514-acre Kapolei West Annexation

ko olina resort development land purchase and expansion

ko olina resort development land purchase and expansion

View of Lagoons 1 and 2 adjacent Four Seasons, Disney Aulani and Beach Villas at Ko'Olina (Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii)

When it comes to Ko'Olina Resort development plans and project updates in Kapolei on West Oahu, typically rumors and speculation long precede any formal announcement. However, this time around there was little room for that with the announcement and subsequent Honolulu Star Advertiser article (linked below), quoting master Ko'Olina developer, Jeff Stone, stating that the 514 acres of land between Ko'Olina and the Kapolei Commons shopping center would potentially be annexed into the 642-acre oceanfront resort.

The 514 acres was recently purchased from James Campbell Co. by China Oceanwide Holdings, Ltd. for a reported $103 million. China Oceanwide also acquired two oceanfront parcels in the Ko'Olina Resort on either side of the Beach Villas at Ko'Olina, with one parcel in between Disney Aulani and Beach Villas at Ko'Olina, with both Lagoon 1 and Lagoon 2 access points, and the other parcel situated between Beach Villas at Ko'Olina at Lagoon 2 and Marriott's Ko'Olina Beach Club, at Lagoon 3, with future access to these two lagoons. It is expected that approximately $3 billion would be invested in developing these two separate oceanfront locations. 

Click HERE to download and read the full article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser about Jeff Stone's announcement related to the possible Ko'Olina Resort expansion in coming years. 

If this annexation plan becomes a reality the Ko'Olina Resort would nearly double in size to 1,156 acres, and would add up to 2,500 resort residences as well as a second golf course. This expanded resort boundary could go as far as Target and the Regal Kapolei Commons Theaters in Kapolei. The 514-acre area is fittingly being called "Kapolei West" and would serve to link the existing Ko'Olina Resort, somewhat separate and distinct from central Kapolei, to the heart of the city and provide other access points to both Farrington Highway as well as Campbell Industrial Park through the additional road connections envisioned to be a part of these new phases of development.

Despite ongoing criticism over the years, both in print and online, aimed at Oahu's "Second City" of Kapolei, for its alleged lack of Second-City-ness, this burgeoning region continues to unveil surprises and unexpected announcements, each helping to bring the city one step closer to ultimately realizing that ideal. The Ka Makana Ali'i Mall had it's grand opening in Kapolei Oct. 21, 2016 and is now recognized as the third largest shopping center in the Hawaiian Islands.

Kapolei Lofts have added significantly to the housing inventory in central Kapolei. C.S. Wo & Sons opened a 60,000 square foot retail location in October 2016, home to HomeWorld, SlumberWorld, Red Knot and Ashley Homestore. 24-Hour Fitness has built a large facility next to the new mall, as have Hampton Inn & Suites, by Hilton. Embassy Suites Kapolei, also by Hilton, is under construction as of November 2016, next to Kapolei Lofts. Entertainment has come to Kapolei in an even bigger way in 2016 with the grand opening of the Regal 12 Kapolei Commons theater as well as Consolidated Theaters' Olino entertainment complex as part of the Ka Makana Alii mall project. I could go on and on as this doesn't even include the many restaurants and shops added to the Kapolei area and the Ko'Olina Resort in 2016 alone. Not to mention the rail transit hub, UH West Oahu and so much more!

I think it is safe to say at this point: "The Second City, it is here…and it is only going to continue to grow!"

Click HERE to download and read the full article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser about Jeff Stone's announcement related to the possible Ko'Olina Resort expansion in coming years. 

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Munro Murdock is an Entrepreneur, Athlete, Real Estate Broker, Blogger, Father, Author, World Traveler and Podcaster. He resides on West Oahu in Hawaii with his wife and three children. You can Contact Munro by email here.

Ko’Olina Resort to Welcome Two New Luxury Hotel Resorts by 2018

The article below was published in the Star Advertiser newspaper. This is long-awaited news for owners and residents in the Ko'Olina Resort, as well as those who have been keeping up with the growth in Ko'Olina in recent years. 

View across Lagoon 2 towards the Beach Villas at Ko'Olina and the subject parcel(s)


2 more hotels planned for Ko Olina

by Allison Schaefers

December 18, 2015

A Chinese corporation closed on two Ko Olina Resort beachfront parcels Thursday and plans to make a $1 billion investment, including the construction of two new uber-luxury branded resorts.

China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. paid $200 million to purchase the 1 million-square-foot fee-simple property, said Jeffrey R. Stone, founder and master developer of The Resort Group, Hawaii’s largest landowner of master-planned resort communities. Stone said the company plans to build two new hotels, which will add 400 traditional hotel rooms and 400 residences to Ko Olina Resort. Stone said hotel branding will be announced before midyear, with construction expected to start by the end of 2016 and a target opening of 2018.

In addition to bringing Ko Olina nearer to the conclusion of what’s been about a 20-year build-out for Stone, the investment is expected to attract more of China’s coveted high-end visitors and bolster further Chinese investment in Hawaii. The purchase is expected to play a major role in increasing the emerging China market, which was forecast to bring only just over 185,000 visitors to Hawaii next year.

“By far and away this is the largest Hawaii hotel investment from a Chinese investor. Nothing compares to this,” said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of hotel consultancy Hospitality Advisors LLC. “We’ve seen that level of investment on the mainland, but never in Hawaii before.”

And what’s even better is that the investment will bring two new luxury hotels to Oahu, where Toy said only about 1,450 of about 28,000 hotel and condo rentals can be counted among the highest tier. The significant increase in top hotel rooms is expected to attract more higher-yield visitors, whose spending keeps tourism growing regardless of capacity caps.

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said further development at Ko Olina is welcome news for Oahu’s visitor industry, which has been grappling for some time with hotel room compression in Waikiki and has needed more top-tier rooms.

“These new luxury hotels at Ko Olina will help alleviate concerns that westbound, and especially international, travelers have about securing first-class accommodations, while expanding their range of offerings to choose from,” Szigeti said. “Keeping travelers excited about coming to Hawaii means our industry needs to continually evolve to satisfy their expectations. These new hotels help us to meet that reality and, ultimately, our entire visitor industry stands to benefit.”

Stone said Ko Olina’s partnership with China Oceanwide along with the May 27, 2016, opening of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and the August 2011 opening of the Aulani, a Disney Resort &Spa in Ko Olina, together play a pivotal role in attracting more of the world’s most admired hotel and leisure brands to Oahu.

“China Oceanwide has deep expertise in real estate development. The Ko Olina acquisition complements our global investment strategy very nicely, and will greatly enhance our international development portfolio,” said Lu Zhiqiang, China Oceanwide chairman.“We look forward to our partnership with Ko Olina and the Hawaii community.”

Stone, founder of The Resort Group, said its long-term strategy is to position Ko Olina as a premier mixed-use destination offering a sophisticated mix of upscale hotels, branded private residences, vacation clubs and recreational and leisure amenities with international appeal.

“China Oceanwide will bring development of our master plan to 75 percent,” Stone said. “We only have two parcels in the resort remaining. There’s the marina resort site at Lagoon Four, and then there’s the grand Ko Olina site that’s next to Disney.”

At full build-out, Stone said total investment in Ko Olina is expected to exceed $15 billion, with a yearly generator of $1.4 billion a year to the state. All the projects together will have created more than 35,000 construction jobs and some 14,400 permanent jobs, he said.

(article content above is from Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper)

Additional content available in the following articles:

Pacific Business News (Dec. 18, 2015) http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2015/12/18/chinese-developer-to-build-two-towers-at-ko-olina.html


We can now wait with anticipation for more updates about these new developments and hope that the end result will be to make Ko'Olina an even more desirable Hawaii resort destination than it was before. 

I am of the opinion that as the resort matures in its development the values of real estate will strengthen as prospective buyers will have less and less uncertainty in their minds around what will be coming in the future and whether or not what comes will be a good thing or a bad thing for them. 

To the credit of Jeff Stone and the others involved in the implementation and execution of Ko'Olina's master plan, high standards have been set for any new entry into the resort and the caliber of resorts and investment partners has proven to be very high. The news is not all that surprising given the active project underway by Four Seasons Ko'Olina. With Marriott, Disney, Four Seasons, and now this luxury holdings group from China involved, Ko'Olina is truly poised to be recognized as one of Hawaii's most desirable resort destinations for families from around the world.

While construction of new projects like these bring noise, dust and unsightly cranes to the resort, the end result is an enhanced resort experience, a more complete master plan and a clearer understanding of just what Ko'Olina is; what it is shaping up to be. 

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Munro Murdock is an Entrepreneur, Athlete, Real Estate Broker, Blogger, Father, Author, World Traveler and Podcaster. He resides on West Oahu in Hawaii with his wife and three children. You can Contact Munro by email here.

Ko Olina Resort Real Estate Market Update

A new day is dawning for Ko Olina Resort real estate. Why do I say that? There are many reasons, a few of which I have outlined below. Given the current market conditions we are seeing in Hawaii real estate, the homes and condos within the six Ko Olina Resort housing developments are positioned well to see some great gains in real estate appreciation this year – in my opinion, of course.


A beautiful Ko Olina Resort sunrise I was able to capture during a morning run next to the marina (24 Dec 2012)

The Ko Olina Resort is a master-planned community on more than 642 acres along the drier southwestern shores of the island of Oahu.

Recent News for the Beach Villas at Ko Olina

First: There has been some recent talk amongst owners of the Beach Villas at Ko Olina about the possibility of reaching a ‘global settlement’ with regard to the ongoing legal issues that have plaqued the Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) for many years now. Note my emphasis on the word possibility. As with all legal matters, there is no way to predict the ultimate outcome, of course.

No specific details or timeline have been made public, but the general sentiment from other owners I have talked with has been that they expect the settlement to be a positive thing and a step in the right direction for these two oceanfront towers on Honu Lagoon 2.

There is one other important update at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina that I would like to include in this first section. That is that the two broken spas have now been repaired and are fully functional! Those who have visited the Beach Villas during the past couple of years will likely remember their being only ONE working spa adjacent to the ‘quiet’ lap pool next to the Ocean Tower. In order to complete the needed repairs some minor excavation was done near the Beach Tower and the pool closest to the ocean was closed for about a month.


View of the "Quiet" Pool from the Ocean Tower at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina (24 Nov 2012)

Our family purchased a new condo on the 8th floor of the Beach Tower when Centex originally released those units for sale. We are currently in the process of buying another condo in the Ocean Tower. If all goes as planned then our intention is to make the condo available as a luxury vacation rental. We are invested in Ko Olina and believe in the long-term stability of buying property in the resort.

Ko Olina Resort Sees More Visitors Than Ever Before

Second: Hawaii tourism numbers are up and visitors are spending an increasing amount of money while soaking up the sun in the beautiful Aloha State. More and more visitors are experiencing Ko Olina for the first time than ever before.

This increased exposure of the resort to vacationing tourists can and does have a ripple effect on the real estate activity in the area. It is not at all uncommon for me to meet several vacationers while hosting an open house within the Ko Olina Resort. Their stories tend to sound the same: “We followed the open house signs and wanted to take a look. We’re on vacation here and we love the area so much that we’re considering buying a property in the resort.”

In addition, since the Ko Olina Resort is also home to the new Disney Aulani Resort & Spa, there is now a much broader demographic of visitors that are experiencing first-hand what Ko Olina has to offer. Disney is even attracting quite a few travelers from other countries that may not have otherwise known about Ko Olina had Disney not established a presence there. Naturally, some of these visitors develop an interest in learning more about available real estate within the Ko Olina Resort housing developments.

These current market dynamics have served to create a pent-up demand for Ko Olina properties.

Low Real Estate Inventory for Ko Olina Resort Communities

Third: The final reason I will give for a ‘new day’ in Ko Olina real estate is based on the recent market activity within the Ko Olina Resort communities. With the exception of the Beach Villas and single family homes in Ko Olina Kai, there is simply very little active Ko Olina Resort real estate currently available for sale. There truly are buyers in the wings that are waiting for the right property to become available so that they can jump on it and submit their offer.


Huge rainbow above Ko Olina Hillside Villas (08 Jan 2013)

At the time of this writing there are only FIVE active condo listings in Ko Olina, not including the Beach Villas condos. I am excluding the Beach Villas listings from my current market analysis simply because not many have exchanged hands in the last six months due to the pending litigation.

I’m also excluding the six active Ko Olina Kai single family home listings as they fall within a much different price point ($1.2M – $1.5M+) than the other condo communities. There are only 60 single family homes in the Ko Olina Resort, all of which are located in Ko Olina Kai, and I will write more about that in future blog posts.


Click on the image above to view screenshot with highlighted 'Days On Market' for five active condo listings in Coconut Plantation, Kai Lani, Fairways and Ko Olina Kai

Getting back to the rest of the condos in Kai Lani, Coconut Plantation, Ko Olina Kai, Hillside and Fairways, it is interesting to note that of the 22 condos that sold within the last six months, 17 (that’s 77%) were on the market less than 60 days before going under contract; 12 of them (that’s 55%) actually went under contract in less than 30 days and eight of the listings (that’s 36%) received offers in 14 days or less! Of the five active condo listings within these communities, four have been on the market less than 14 days and one has been listed for 64 days, likely due to being overpriced.

Ko Olina Resort Market Overview

The point in all of this is that new listings that are priced correctly are going into escrow very quickly to a growing list of ready buyers that are waiting for the right Ko Olina Resort property to become available. In this market buyers are learning that they need to act fast in order to secure a first position on a property of interest.

As sellers begin to see condo prices go up along with the growing demand from buyers, I anticipate there will be an increase in the number of Ko Olina properties being listed, thereby presenting an opportunity for buyers that have been waiting to invest before list prices surpass their investment limits.

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Munro Murdock is an Entrepreneur, Athlete, Real Estate Broker, Blogger, Father, Author, World Traveler and Podcaster. He resides on West Oahu in Hawaii with his wife and three children. You can Contact Munro by email here.