HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) announced today that it has successfully completed a $238 million refinancing of the debt maturing September 29, 2016 with an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) for its acclaimed urban master planned community - Ward Village® - in Honolulu, HI. The new non-recourse term loan bears interest at one-month LIBOR plus 2.50% and has an initial maturity of September 12, 2021 with two, one-year extension options. The company swapped $119 million of the loan to a fixed rate of 3.64% through its initial maturity date, representing an all-in interest rate of approximately 3.33% based on the current one-month LIBOR rate. The financing is secured by the existing Ward Village commercial properties, excluding condominium towers currently under development, and allows for the future release of collateral to develop additional residential condominium towers and retail properties across the master planned community.
Having contracted to sell over 1,100 homes to date with three buildings under construction, the 60-acre Ward Village community is rapidly transforming into a vibrant walkable neighborhood that offers a carefully curated mix of exceptional residences, top architectural design and a diverse collection of dynamic retail experiences, including the world renowned Nobu restaurant and a flagship Whole Foods Market that will be the largest in Hawai‘i.
Contracted sales at the community have reached over 90% for the 491 homes in its first two luxury condominium towers - Waiea® and Anaha® - that will respectively open later this year and next summer. At completion, Ward Village is expected to comprise more than 4,000 new residences in a market where supply continues to fall short of demand for new housing along with over one million square feet of retail space.
“Ward Village continues to attract strong demand with its wide range of unmatched offerings,” said Grant Herlitz, President of The Howard Hughes Corporation. “This financing provides us with the flexibility needed to advance our development plan, and with it, we are pleased to continue our close relationship with Wells Fargo.
“Ward Village continues to transform into one of the top mixed-use developments in the country,” said Ryan Campbell, a Vice President in Wells Fargo’s Commercial Real Estate group. “Wells Fargo is proud to support The Howard Hughes Corporation on this project and provide financing that allows them the capital and flexibility to execute their development plans for the next several years. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them on future projects.”
About Ward Village®
Developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation, Ward Village is a 60-acre coastal master planned community in the heart of Honolulu between downtown and Waikīkī in the Kakaʻako district. Ward Village includes three mixed-use residential towers – Waiea, Anaha and Aeʻo – that are now under construction and will transform the popular shopping and dining district into a vibrant neighborhood offering exceptional residences with incredible island and ocean views and a carefully curated mix of retail experiences set among dynamic public open spaces and walkable streets.
Waiea, which will open in late 2016, will include 174 residences and be home to internationally acclaimed restaurant Nobu Honolulu. Anaha, opening in 2017, will include 317 residences and the first Merrimanʻs restaurant on Oahu. Aeʻo will complete construction in 2018; it will include 466 residences and Oahu’s flagship Whole Foods Market.
This growing community includes two additional developments: Gateway Towers and Ke Kilohana at 988 Halekauwila St. The first building of Gateway Towers on Ala Moana Boulevard will bring the architecture of world-renowned architect Richard Meier to the Honolulu skyline. Ke Kilohana launched its sales in April 2016 and will bring housing targeted exclusively for local residents and a 23,000-square-foot Longs Drugs to the neighborhood.
The vision for Ward Village is consistent with the master plan approved by the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority in 2009, which allows for up to 9.3 million square feet of mixed-use development, converting into more than 4,000 residences and over one million square feet of retail space.
Ward Village is Hawaiʻi’s only LEED-ND Platinum-Certified project and the largest neighborhood development in the country to receive such a prestigious certification. The Kaka‘ako area was also recently named by Trulia as the top neighborhood with the best amenities in cities of under one million people.
The Information Center and Residential Sales Gallery is located at the iconic IBM Building located at 1240 Ala Moana Blvd. For more information, visit www.wardvillage.com or call 808.369.9600.
About The Howard Hughes Corporation®
The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 16 states from New York to Hawai‘i. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC with major offices in New York, Columbia, MD, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Honolulu. For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Non-recourse debt means that the debt is non-recourse to The Howard Hughes Corporation but is collateralized by a real estate asset and/or is recourse to the subsidiary entity owning such asset.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements accompanied by words such as “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “enables,” “realize”, “plan,” “intend,” “assume,” “transform” and other words of similar expression, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s expectations, estimates, assumptions, and projections as of the date of this release and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth as risk factors in The Howard Hughes Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly and Annual Reports. The Howard Hughes Corporation cautions you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. The Howard Hughes Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.