Hunt’s Hawai‘i Future

Feb 16, 2018

Credit Slick Pixels Hawaii / Vimeo

Texas-based developer Hunt Companies is set to expand its local influence. The company is accelerating the redevelopment of Kalaeloa—while working on high-profile projects on three islands. Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more on what’s ahead for company in the next decade.

Three islands, 1,800 acres, 7,000 homes. That’s the short version of the projects in the pipeline for Hunt Companies. But getting to the point where it’s about to have a decade of phenomenal growth has not been quick or easy.

It’s been five years since the master developer first shared its plans to build 4,000 homes and mixed-use projects on the 500 acres it controls on the mauka edge of what was once Barbers Point Naval Air Station. Now called Kalaeloa, the area is overseen by the Hawaii Community Development Authority. In these past five years, Hunt Cos. has had to solve problems from a lack of water and electricity to land title issues. Final plans will go to HCDA this summer.

Credit Bob Goodwin / U.S. Navy

Hunt Companies is also the master developer for another closely watched project — it was selected last year by the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to redevelop Mayor Wright Homes. There it plans to turn a 364-unit public housing project into a mixed-use community with 2,500 homes. Hunt expects to begin work in 2019, eventually delivering a mix of market and affordable housing.

Then there’s Kilauea Lighthouse Village, a shopping center on Kauai’s North Shore that should wrap up construction in late summer or early fall; and Palamanui, a master-planned development adjacent to Hawaii Community College’s Kailua-Kona campus. Hunt Cos. has contributed $22 million to the UH system, including $12 million for water system improvements, as it prepares to present final plans for a mixed-use community to Hawaii County as early as next month.