Spotlight: A.C. Kobayashi Delivers the Goods with Sky Ala Moana
Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. leads the charge to build mixed-use development Sky Ala Moana

After: Goodfellow Bros. site prep work included dredging a new estuary.     PHOTO COURTESY SKY ALA MOANA


ocated within the Ala Moana Transit Oriented Development District, Sky Ala Moana is a mixed-use development that includes “two high-rise towers (43 floors and 39 floors) with 768 condominium units, 84 affordable for-sale units, a 299-key hotel with 112 condotel keys, an amenity deck over 60,000 [square feet in size] including 10 pools and seven cabanas, seven floors of parking, and five commercial retail spaces over 16,000 [square feet] combined — [all completed] on-time and within budget,” says Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. (ACK) Project Manager Miles Ikeda.

After: Goodfellow Bros. site prep work included dredging a new estuary.     PHOTO BY JASON GENEGABUS


When the sale of the Kenrock Building, once located at 1400 Kapiolani Blvd., was announced in 2017, the deal between seller Lyk Kenrock LLC and developer The Avalon Group actually included more than just one structure. The property once included three separate two-story walk-up buildings containing office and retail space on approximately one acre of land across the street from Ala Moana Center.

In 2017, The Avalon Group paid $22.25 million for the site, with planning for what would become Sky Ala Moana beginning almost immediately. Two years later, Avalon handed off development of the $500 million project to JL Capital in order to focus on marketing residential units within the project that were still available for purchase.

By late 2021, JL Capital sold all 389 units in Sky Ala Moana West and began sales of the Renaissance Residences Honolulu — 112 studios, one- and two-bedroom homes located on the top floors of the Sky Ala Moana East Tower above the Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa — soon after.

(Marriott International licenses the Renaissance Residences brand to JL Capital, but does not have an ownership stake in the property or participate in sales of residential units.)

JL Capital owns approximately a dozen parcels along the Kapiolani corridor, and is planning to build a mixed-use tower down the block from Sky Ala Moana at 1700 Kapiolani Blvd. near the Hawai‘i Convention Center, across from the planned site of a Mandarin Oriental hotel.

The company’s main investor is Joon-ho Lee, billionaire chairman of NHN Corp., a South Korean video game developer.


When JL Capital hired ACK as general contractor, the objective was clear, according to Ikeda.

“As the general contractor, ACK’s team was responsible for the coordination of all subcontractors and suppliers; procurement of all required local, domestic and internationally produced materials; communication with the developer and design team; project logistics; costs and change management; and the overall timely completion of the project,” he says. “[And] as the concrete contractor, ACK placed almost 50,000 cubic yards of concrete for the podium and both high-rise towers.”

Challenges on the project included “planning for and building two high-rise towers on the same site simultaneously, [with] each having its own critical path,” Ikeda says.

“Materials such as exterior facade glass, elevators, rooftop mechanical equipment, interior finishes [and more] for each tower all had to be procured in advance and independently [in order] to maintain the schedule for each tower,” he explains. “Logistics … [were] a part of this challenge [as well], with two tower cranes [having] overlapping working radiuses [and] tight work areas as the new concrete podium extended to all property lines. Multiple crews [were] required to support each tower.”

The other major challenge, says Ikeda, was COVID-19.

“This project started at the onset of the pandemic and new workplace policies, protocols and checks were implemented to protect workers, each subcontractor and the jobsite,” he says. “Fortunately, this project never had to shut down … but we did experience supply chain shortages, material delays, raw material cost increases and manpower shortages.”

Sky Ala Moana and the Renaissance Honolulu occupy a parcel formerly home to the Kenrock Building.     PHOTO BY JASON GENEGABUS


ACK’s Ikeda is not at a loss for words when asked about Sky Ala Moana’s standout features.

“The eighth-floor amenity deck, eighth-floor indoor common spaces and ground floor main lobbies are standout design features,” he says. “The amenity deck has a large family pool [with] two [integrated] hot tubs, a 25-meter lap pool, waterfall features, a pool refresh bar, six covered BBQ cabanas, open lawn areas, an outdoor fitness deck and dog park.

“The residence tower’s eighth-floor indoor common areas include The Gathering Space (intimate family room), The White Table (formal private dining), The Social Club (multipurpose space for casual lounging), and The Play Space and Children Play Center.

“[And] the hotel tower’s eighth-floor indoor common areas include a yoga room, fitness center, spa facilities [with] separate cold plunges, ofuros, steam and sauna rooms, treatment rooms and lockers. The hotel lobby and elevator lobby on the ground floor are finished with stone tile, full height clear glass storefronts, wood slat ceilings, custom-made Bocci lights and original artwork,” he says.

“It was a pleasure working with the entire development team. They truly had a vision of what they had in mind, a passion for everything that was being constructed and focused on every detail. They engaged ACK, the subcontractors and the design team on a day-to-day basis in order to get things done on-site.”


Subcontractors List
(In alphabetical order)

A-1 A-Lectrician Inc.
A-American Custom Flooring Inc.
Acutron LLC
ADT Commercial LLC
Alaka‘i Mechanical Corp.
Allied Security Fence Co. LLC
American Electric Co. LLC
American Standard Concrete Pumping Hawaii Inc.
Beachside Roofing LLC
Bowman Connectivity Solutions Inc.
Bradford Products LLC
Bruce Matson Co. Inc.
Caulking Hawaii Inc.
Closet Systems Supply LLC
CMC Steel Fabricators Inc.
Commercial Plumbing Inc.
Concrete Coring Co.
CSI Electric Inc.
Entrance Controls Hawaii
Evergreen Pacific Steel LLC
Exerplay Inc.
Ferguson Enterprises LLC
Gima Pest Control Inc.
Goto Construction Inc.
GP Roadway Solutions Inc.
GSky Plant Systems Inc.
Hawaiian Crane & Rigging Ltd.
Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc.
Honolulu Disposal Service Inc.
Island Pacific Installers LLC
Jack Endo Electric Inc.
Jayco Hawaii Inc.
Joon’s Electric
Kalu Glass Co. Inc.
Koga Engineering & Construction Inc.
McClone Construction Co.
Morrow Equipment Co. LLC
Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc.
Otis Elevator Co.
Pacific AquaScapes Inc.
Pacific Resources Heavy Division LLC
Pacific Test and Balance Inc.
Private Security Group Inc.
Quality General Inc.
R&L Ohana Insulation Inc.
R&L Ohana LLC
Resort Management Group LLC
Riggs Distributing Inc.
Road Builders Corp.
Sinclair Drywall Inc.
Sky High Cleaning
Trane US Inc.
WE Painting Inc.
Window World Inc.

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