San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan is resurrecting a $284-million, 48-story luxury condominium project in Oahu, Hawaii, that was shut down for more than a year after the original developer went bankrupt.

A stirring market leads to the relaunch of a 430,000-sq-ft condo project on Oahu, Hawaii.
Photo: Courtesy Olivermcmillan
A stirring market leads to the relaunch of a 430,000-sq-ft condo project on Oahu, Hawaii.

In April, the Honolulu office of Ledcor Construction Hawaii, working with Architects Hawaii Ltd. and Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineers, took up where another Honolulu-based company, KC Rainbow Development Co. LLC, left off in fall 2008.

The tower, called Pacifica Honolulu, is now set for completion in the third quarter of 2011. The project is expected to generate about 400 direct and indirect construction jobs in a market that seems to be improving.

The project could serve as a bellwether. The Hawaiian market is beginning to rebound from the lows of late 2008 and early 2009, says Timpson, and contractors are finding more work. “Subcontractor pricing is still competitive,” he says, “but without the discounts seen a year ago.”

The Pacifica Honolulu project was originally called the Moana Vista. Before losing its construction loan, the first general contractor, Honolulu-based Hawaiian Dredging Construction, had poured the 27th floor of the reinforced-concrete tower with post-tensioned, concrete-suspended slabs and started on the exterior glass and interior finishes.

Rebid and Renegotiated

After purchasing a $29.5-million lien from Hawaiian Dredging Construction, OliverMcMillan rebid to engage a new general contractor. The firm also negotiated with original mechanical, plumbing, electrical, window and elevator subcontractors to continue work on the project and recertified the tower crane.

Financing was tougher than before. First Hawaiian Bank required extensive insurance and new warranties, says Joyce Timpson, OliverMcMillan spokeswoman. The restart required many remedial tasks: replacing concrete formwork for walls and slabs exposed to weather for more than a year, replacing or repairing post-tension cables and cleaning exposed reinforcing steel.

OliverMcMillan also adjusted the design to include retail, entertainment facilities and 492 market-rate and moderate-income residential units. The developer reconfigured the standard layout from all two-bedroom units to a choice of one, two or three bedrooms above the 15th floor. Modifications were restricted due to the need to keep plumbing and HVAC vertical-pipe chases aligned with lower floors, says Timpson.

Timpson says the developer is currently looking for other similar opportunities.