Hawaii is the ideal backdrop for a luxurious beach resort. But a vacant, former U.S. military base located at the historic entrance site of Pearl Harbor was anything but picturesque.
In a joint venture between San Francisco–based real estate investment firm Carmel Partners and architecture firms KTGY Group and Faulkner Design Group, the underdeveloped land and utilitarian military housing structures were transformed into a 1,453-unit, resortlike community on the island of O’ahu.
Redeveloping the land didn’t come without challenges. The team was required to work in close partnership with the U.S. Navy and get approval before any stages of the project began. Archaeologists also had to be brought in, to make sure no construction or digging took place on sacred Hawaiian grounds.
The main hurdle, however, was the topography of the land itself. The site had deteriorated after the base was shut down for a number of years, and had to be overhauled. The team renovated the beach, readjusted the shoreline—which had significant erosion—and built rock jetties to protect the shore from the water. Close proximity to the ocean also required an elaborate dewatering operation for all excavation, including pools and foundations.
The military barracks were renovated to provide more views of the beach environment, with large glass windows and a lanai for outdoor space. The resort offers both single-family and multifamily units for rent.
The developers and architects also wanted to incorporate Hawaiian culture into the project, so for the resort’s 20,000-square-foot community center, they sourced materials, such as Hawaiian Monkeypod Wood and a living wall with native Hawaiian flowers, from the island itself.
Taking its name from a Hawaiian word that means “relationship” or “community,” the expansive community center offers a wide variety of amenities and events for residents, including playgrounds, a spa, a fitness center with classes, a yoga deck, a weekly farmer’s market, luaus, numerous pools, a dog park, and a beach park overlooking Pearl Harbor.