‘A‘ali‘i: From the Ground Up
Last week, a veritable mix of future residents, city representatives, developers, media and contractors congregated along Queen street for the official groundbreaking of ‘A’ali’i, the latest tower to be erected in Ward Village.
A milestone in the development of the community, ‘A’ali’i represents a visionary approach to design and urban living, all while never losing sight of the land’s rich cultural heritage. The event began with Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner with deep ties to the area, leading the crowd with an oli, a traditional Hawaiian chant. With grace and power, Hina’s words echoed across the grounds, laying the cultural groundwork to bless the land that will soon be home to hundreds of new families.
Following the chant, Todd Apo, Ward Village’s vice president of community development, warmly welcomed the crowd. “We’re here today to mark another milestone in the story of Ward Village. ‘A’ali’i is unlike anything else in the city,” he proclaimed. “When it came time to naming this building, we worked closely with the Sig Zane team. After carefully studying the history, they came up with the name ‘A’ali’i, inspired by the namesake plant that’s been known to thrive in even the most difficult conditions.”
Following Apo’s warm welcome, Mayor Kirk Caldwell took center stage to offer his praise for ‘A’ali’i and its vision for remapping Honolulu’s urban core. “As we sit here today, I’m reminded of just how important it is to honor the aina…as mayor, I ask myself, how do we love this land so that it loves us back? How do we get more people living, and thriving, in our dense urban core? And how do we we do it all with love?
“I love how the architecture here is able to tell us a story. As mayor, I love how we’re becoming a truly urban place, with incredible buildings, and unique stories that only we can tell. The residents here will live differently than we have in the past, but we’re still living with the same values of our elders. We’re creating a new community here. Maybe you won’t drive an automobile as much, maybe you’ll take the rail to work, and talk with each other, and get to and from work more quickly. You’ll ride a Biki on one of our protected bike lanes down Ward. You’ll feel the sun on your face, you’ll feel the shade. You’ll feel the environment the same way the Native Hawaiians did in the past. We’re looking forward, but we’re honoring the past and I’m so excited to see this project progress.”
Designed by renowned architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the building, complete with 751 units, features an array of jaw-dropping amenities and breathtaking lanais. When residents walk into their new homes, they’ll be stepping directly into a new lifestyle. Featuring turnkey move-ins, ‘A’ali’i homeowners will have everything they need from the moment they move in. From the sheets to silverware, from credenzas to the couch, and so much more, it’s all there and ready for you. From a design standpoint, each home was seamlessly decorated by famed design ground Rottet, with each room looking as if it could have effortlessly appeared in any number of interior-design magazines or on your favorite, curated social media feed.
At its essence, ‘A’ali’ is a place that reflects our deepest values: living smarter, living cleaner, and embracing the beauty of simplicity. The groundbreaking signified an important moment in the development of not only Ward Village, but of greater Honolulu. The skyline is changing, and ‘A’ali’i, is set to change the game. Welcome to a new way of living.