Cooke Clayton LLC is gearing up in May to open its sales offices for Vanguard Lofts, a planned 35-unit building on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Cooke Street. But while converting commercial buildings into lofts is all the rage on the Mainland, the project is the first of its kind for Hawaii, says Chris Deuchar, spokesman for the developer. That’s reason for excitement, but it’s also a marketing challenge.
“Lofts mean different things to different people,” Deuchar says. “Some people think it means a two-story unit or a wide-open shell with a toilet in the corner.” So unlike most sales offices, Deuchar says, there will be a fully furnished unit on the second floor to educate people as to what loft living is all about.
What will they see? “High ceilings, lots of concrete exposed in areas, wood floors and large windows with lots of light,” Deuchar says. In all, when completed (target date February 2009) the building will have 35 units, ranging from 835 square feet to 2,900 square feet. Prices start in the $600,000s and top off at $2 million. There are 18 different floor plans. Seventeen units have roof-top decks, the largest covering 2,000 square feet. There is also a common area with a sky deck, a swimming pool, a whirlpool spa, cabanas and a barbecue.
Why build lofts? Deuchar says the building was originally bought for office space, but during the demo process, the company discovered the hidden beauty of the structure, designed by renowned Hawaii architect Vladimir Ossipoff in the 1950s. Loft space could truly show off his stunning work. Plus, Deuchar says, the company believed Hawaii was ready for such funky and chic urban living.
The five-story, 61,000-square-foot building will be doubled in size by the time work is done and a ground floor commercial tenant is added. What tenant would fit such a unique property? JN Automotive is signed on to run a showroom for Ferrari, Bentley, Lotus and Lamborghini.
renderings courtesy cooke clayton llc
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