Lack of sales prompts developers to cancel luxury tower in Kakaako

Local News

A luxury condominium project slated for Kakaako has been scrapped.

Developers of VIDA at 888 Ala Moana Boulevard told buyers Friday that they will discontinue sales, citing a slowdown in recent months.

Residences at the Vida tower first went on sale in May.

People were lining up to purchase a piece of the newest Kakaako high rise.

The starting price at the Vida tower, just under a million dollars for a two bedroom with three bedrooms starting at $1.5 million.

Fast forward to the present with buyers getting the call that the entire project is being called off.

The 38-story tower was supposed to be built on 3.44 acres that had been occupied by the Cutter family of auto dealerships.

Those who already bought units will be released from their contracts and reimbursed.

Where the Vida tower would have been now is just an empty parking lot. Now all of the investors that already bought a property will be getting their deposits back the question becomes what does this mean for the redevelopment of Kakaako.

“I think it just means that people are stopping and taking a hard look. I don’t believe that the overrall Kakaako redevelopment is going to stop,” said real estate expert Stephany Sofos.

According to Sofos this is in part because of a slow down in the global real estate market.

“I believe that this is the beginning of maybe a recession. How deep it would be? We don’t know,” added Sofos.

She also says a major project like this getting cancelled is unusual, but not unprecedented,

“Do I think its catastrophic for Honolulu? Do I think that this is going to be the end of development? No. I Just think that this is just a beginning of a slow down,” said Sofos.

The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group released the following statement:

We informed our buyers today that we will discontinue sales for VIDA at 888 Ala Moana Boulevard. VIDA was a luxury condominium project which was to be located on Kamehameha Schools land at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Koula Street.

Although the initial launch of VIDA was a success with over forty percent of the units sold, sales for this project had slowed in recent months.

Despite strong marketing efforts, community outreach, and education about the up-and-coming Kaka’ako community, the market feedback indicated that it was premature to proceed with the VIDA project at this time.

The majority of our buyers are local residents who have been waiting patiently for their homes to be built, and many are returning customers. At the current sales rate, we could not deliver our buyers’ homes to them in a timely manner. As such, we decided to release them from their contracts immediately and refund their deposits.

We appreciate our partnership with Kamehameha Schools and their confidence in us. We continue to believe in the vision for Kaka’ako, and remain committed to its future.

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