By Mike Ratliff, Senior Associate Editor
Blackstone knows a good a project when it sees one. It doesn’t get much better than The Howard Hughes Corp.’s (HHC) Ward Village, a mixed-use master-planned community that will rise on 60 acres situated directly between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki on Oahu.
HHC announced this morning that it had secured a $600 million non-recourse construction loan from Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies for the first two condominium towers at the project: Waiea and Anaha. The loan closed on Nov. 6, and bears interest at one-month LIBOR plus 6.75 percent with a December 2019 final maturity date, according HHC’s 3Q14 earnings report.
“The transaction is indicative of our mandate to provide flexible capital solutions to best-in-class sponsors on institutional quality real estate and reaffirms our longstanding relationship with The Howard Hughes Corp.,” Mike Nash, chief investment officer of Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, says.
JLL’s Dallas Capital Markets group, led by managing director Randy Fleisher, arranged the financing.
Waiea, as previously covered by CPE, was designed by Vancouver’s James K.M. Cheng in collaboration with Honolulu-based firm WCIT Architecture. It will feature 171 residences and 8,000 square feet of retail space. Construction began in June 2014, and should wrap up in late 2016.
Anaha was designed by global architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, along with Honolulu-based Benjamin Wood Architects. It will offer 311 condo units and 17,000 square feet of retail space. Construction began this past Saturday, and completion is anticipated for early 2017. Whole Foods Market will also be opening its largest location in Hawaii directly across the street from Anaha.