Honolulu

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Name: Vanguard Lofts

Type: Loft style living with bottom floor for retail
(32 Residential Units amenities include a skydeck with pool whirlpool spa, and cabanas. 1 parking stall per bedroom)

Website: http://thevanguardlofts.com/the-vanguard/

Perspective:

Loft living in urban Honolulu in a renovated building... What took so long?  The idea of a loft is to keep with an urban design trend by utilizing pre-existing commercial buildings and turning them into a residential structure.  Furthermore it reuses an existing building which can help conserve resources included Hawaii’s limited landfill space.  Maybe at first the initial thoughts of Hawai’i are sand, surf, coconut trees and hula dancers, Honolulu is as urban as it gets.  Downtown Honolulu may not be the biggest, though the skyline stretches on for 8 miles because of the Waikiki Hotels, but it’s metropolitan area is one of the densest in the nation.  It’s one of the most multi-cultural, areas in the world and is everything you could want and more. 
The developers have used the Architectural Firm of Richard Matsunaga and Associates to help redesign the old National Cash Register office building originally done by Vladimir Ossipoff.  They also enlisted the design help of Philpotts and Associates for the interior.  The Vanguard Lofts will also include a high end car dealership on the lower floor.  There are multiple design plans depending on they type of look the buyer wants. 

In my opinion there is a market not only for Loft living in Honolulu but also the building of offices and other more upscale commercial usages for that space.  This is said because Honolulu is big city and surprisingly trendy.  In recent years Chinatown with its old historic buildings has been experiencing revitalization as the nightlife scene has been moving towards a trendier more affluent crowd.  With the influx of money will be a decrease in the crime and problems that plagued the area in the past.  Now could be the time to full revitalize the area as there can be only so many night clubs in one area.  The example that can be used is Philadelphia where the streets east of Broad have been reclaimed.  This can be used as an example as to how Chinatown area can be transformed.  One of the keys would be to not drive out the vendors in Chinatown that create that atmosphere.  Many of them charge lower prices on their goods therefore increasing their rent would drive them out of business and change the area for the worse.   Instead there are many places with run-down bars which could be bought up.  In turn this helps the local business owners.  These next 10 years or so should be telling as to how Downtown Honolulu establishes itself in this century.

Shelter