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How Much for a Slice of Luxury Paradise?

Kyle Nishioka / Flickr
Kyle Nishioka / Flickr
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Honolulu’s newest luxury condos come with stratospheric prices, but may seem like a bargain for some international buyers. Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more.  ?

At Waiaea, there’s a penthouse priced at $36-million.  At the Ritz-Carlton residences in Waikiki, try $24-million for an apartment.  Park Lane at Ala Moana? You’d be looking to spend $20-million.

There are high prices, with amenities to match.  While they represent a level of luxury that’s new to Honolulu, however, some buyers may find them downright affordable compared to options in other destination cities.  Honolulu’s luxury product sells for about three or four thousand dollars per square foot.  Compare that to nearly seventeen thousand per square foot for a unit in London’s One Hyde Park, where an apartment goes for $151-million.  Or an $82-million apartment in New York’s Bloomberg Tower, at nearly $13,000 per square foot.  The Frank Gehry designed Opus Hong Kong has a unit listed at $66-million or about $12,000 per square foot.

Developer BJ Kobayashi is partner an co-founder of the Kobayashi Group, currently building Park Lane Ala Moana.  He recalls there was a time when no one thought Honolulu prices would pass $1,000 per square foot.  That they have a sign of the Market’s strength and he believes that while the market has slowed down a bit, there’s room in this category for prices to climb even higher.

Where are the buyers coming from?  At the $1-billion Park Lane project, 60% of the units have been purchased by Hawaii residents, 20% by Japanese citizens, the rest from Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.S. West Coast. 

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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