2011 Kukulu Hale Awards—Building Community, Building Excellence
Recognizing excellence in Hawaii's commercial real estate industry
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(1) One of Island Palm Communities’ pool areas (2) A happy family in front of their Hickam home (3) Bird's eye view of Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s Waikuku community (4) A street in the Marine Corps Base’s Mololani neighborhood
Developers of the Year—Ku Ho‘okela Award
Lend Lease and Forest City
Designed to attract private sector financing, expertise and innovation not only to revitalize the aging and deteriorating DOD-owned facilities, but also to build new housing, the initiative opened doors of opportunity for some of the country’s leading development companies.
In Hawaii, two companies have been addressing the MHPI housing needs of the four military branches through 50-year lease agreements with the DOD. Lend Lease was awarded contracts to privatize housing for the Army and the Air Force installations; Forest City has similar contracts with Navy Region Hawaii and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Combined, the two companies have been working to refurbish, replace, maintain and manage a total inventory of nearly 17,000 military homes and the offices, community centers, parks, playgrounds and other amenities associated with these communities.
NAIOP Hawaii salutes Lend Lease and Forest City as co-recipients of the 2011 Developer of the Year Award for their positive impact and significant contributions to the well-being of Hawaii’s military and non-military communities.
Lend Lease is First to Arrive
Lend Lease’s public partnership business, formerly Actus Lend Lease, was an early entrant into the DOD’s privatization initiative, establishing this new development arm in 1999. A world leader in project management, design and construction, the company also is one of the nation’s leaders in public/private community development.
Island Palm Communities, Lend Lease’s partnership with the U.S. Army in Hawaii, is the DOD’s largest privatization project to date, encompassing Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks and other Army installations throughout Oahu. In its initial 10-year development period, the company is committed to delivering 5,241 new homes, 2,515 renovated homes, various management and maintenance offices, 7 community centers and other neighborhood amenities from swimming pools to parks and playgrounds – all by 2015. The total project value is estimated at $2.51 billion.
“Challenges are what make the project exciting, working with the Preservation Partners and the Air Force allowed everyone to present their concerns and potential solutions, and ultimately we reached what we all feel is the best solution.”
Many of Island Palm’s new homes have earned LEED Gold Certification, and Ft. Shafter’s Simpson Wisser neighborhood is among a select group of projects in the country that will help establish the first national green building rating system for neighborhood development.
Lend Lease’s agreement with the Air Force, Hickam Communities, encompasses 2,474 homes, including 1,208 new homes as well as several hundred historic homes. These, along with two community centers, a recreational sports complex and other amenities are on track to be completed by mid-2013.
“One of the biggest challenges of the Hickam project is balancing current needs of families while appropriately preserving the historic homes,” explained Dick Hawes, executive manager of Lend Lease’s Hawaii Region, who notes that this is the largest historic housing project underway in the military privatization effort, and one of the largest contiguous historic renovation projects in the nation.
The company is renovating and reconfiguring 623 historic homes into 438 homes, including 24 select historic (museum) restorations.
“It has required a monumental effort to create, consult, modify and secure approval for the multitude of house and site drawings,” Hawes said, “but challenges are what make the project exciting, Working with the Preservation Partners and the Air Force allowed everyone to present their concerns and potential solutions, and ultimately we reached what we all feel is the best solution.”
“No doubt, there are many differences between private sector and government approaches to development, but both bring valuable experience to the table,” Hawes continued. “What has helped us overcome our challenges is having a shared common goal, which is to do the right thing for our military families. When you see families making our houses their homes, making our neighborhoods their community, you know the partnership is working.”
Lend Lease’s impact extends beyond its military communities. The company’s annual Community Day has contributed more than $100,000 to capital improvement projects for nearly a dozen Hawaii charities. “It’s an employee-driven event and nearly every one of our nearly 400 employees is out there pouring concrete, painting, or clearing brush,” said Hawes. “Our subcontractors have been a tremendous support to all of our community efforts, too.”
The Lend Lease team is also active with Big Brothers Big Sisters; leads construction mentorship programs at Waipahu and Leilehua high schools; and partners with the University of Hawaii to provide internships for business and engineering students, many of which result in full-time positions following their graduation.
Opportunity Knocked for Forest City
As a major player in the nation’s multifamily residential industry, Forest City saw the Military Housing Privatization Initiative as an opportunity to apply its years of experience in developing and managing more than 35,000 apartment units in 16 states.
The company made its entrance into the MHPI business in 2003 and now has military family housing projects in eight states, comprising 14,600 homes for the Navy, Marines and Air Force. Forest City has had a presence in Hawaii since 2004, after its Military Communities subsidiary landed the contract for Navy Region Hawaii. In 2006, the company added Marine Corps Base Hawaii to its privatized military housing portfolio.
The Navy Housing Hawaii project has involved the construction and renovation of more than 3,000 homes as well as community centers, pools and playgrounds in 14 neighborhoods on the island of Oahu. At Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the company is underway with the construction and renovation of 1,800 homes and community amenities in six neighborhoods. The total development cost for both contracts is approximately $1.8 billion.
Committed to sustainability, Forest City Hawaii has amassed considerable experience that includes building energy efficient and Green homes that have earned LEED Silver, Gold and Platinum certifications from the USGBC, and an entire neighborhood with the Gold certification and Net Zero Energy homes. A major achievement was the Stage 3 certification of the LEED Neighborhood Development (ND) for the 338 Waikulu site at the Marine base, which is the first in Hawaii and ninth in the nation. This ND certification exemplifies the integration of the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the total neighborhood design.
As part of its renewable energy initiatives, Forest City Sustainable Resources LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, was formed to design, finance, own and operate renewable energy projects. The company is on track in developing and installing a 2.2MW ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar farm at the Pearl City Peninsula neighborhood as well as a 1.1MW system in West Oahu. It already has a PV system installed at its largest community center as well as on the rooftops of its housing projects.
Forest City has earned numerous accolades for its military housing communities in Hawaii, from recognition by the U.S. Department of Energy as a leader in sustainability to multiple awards for its privatized housing performance and management by industry peers.
“While Forest City has completed hundreds of real estate projects in its 90-year history, there have been none more satisfying than the Public Private Venture (PPV) projects,” said Jim Ramirez, vice president, Forest City Hawaii, who oversees design and construction activities in Hawaii. “The PPV partnership between Forest City Enterprise and the Department of the Navy has enhanced the quality of life for our military personnel and their families in that we are not just building houses; we are building safe and aesthetically pleasing communities.”
Giving back to the communities in which it does business is equally important as delivering quality homes to Hawaii’s military community. Forest City’s 240 Hawaii employees join the company’s Community Day observance each year, closing their offices and rolling up their sleeves to tackle maintenance and beautification projects at public schools in Leeward and Windward Oahu. These volunteer projects complement the company’s long-time support of Hawaii’s 3Rs – Repair, Remodel and Restore Hawaii’s public schools – the initiative launched a decade ago by Senator Daniel Inouye to bring outside financing and human resources together to address the multi-million-dollar backlog of school repairs.
“With a presence now firmly established in the Islands, Forest City is leveraging its track record for building quality mixed-use communities, including the award-winning redevelopment of Denver’s Stapleton International Airport, to expand our Hawaii development opportunities beyond the military gates,” said Jon Wallenstrom, president of Forest City Hawaii, who is charged with overseeing the company’s non-military projects.
Three years ago Forest City won a state RFP to build an affordable planned community in Kailua-Kona, in partnership with the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation. Called Kamakana Villages, this 2,300-home development will include associated commercial and retail components. It is scheduled to break ground within the next couple of years.
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