Spotlight: It Takes a Village
Nordic PCL and an elite corps of subcontractors erect Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort
Kona Village site


Sitting on 81 acres with a history that includes celebrity patronage and destruction by a tsunami in 2011, the updated Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort is nothing short of majestic.

Redeveloped by Kennedy Wilson and completed by general contractor Nordic PCL Construction Inc. (NPCL) in April 2023, Kona Village now encompasses a larger area than its predecessor and includes more than 300,000 square feet of Native Hawaiian-inspired structures.

Glen Kaneshige

“The original Kona Village had developed a large following of loyal visitors that included many celebrities and business people,” says NPCL President Glen Kaneshige.

The new resort, which made its debut last July, “offers these loyalists and new visitors the experience of living in a coastal village setting … while providing them modern luxury amenities.”

Redevelopment was a huge, multi-layered effort. After the project’s start in June 2020, NPCL completely cleared all remaining tsunami debris and damaged infrastructure, both above- and below-ground.

New power grids, energy and water systems, reservoirs, ponds, roads, trails, pathways, groves, greens, common areas and white-sand beaches had to be installed, fortified or expanded — all to support construction of a self-sufficient village that would deliver an unparalleled luxury experience and reaffirm the original resort’s deep commitment to Native Hawaiian culture and design.

The new resort was designed by Walker Warner Architects and Nicole Hollis.

“Growing up in the Hawaiian Islands, Greg Warner understands how to create contextually appropriate designs,” Kaneshige says. “With the goal of preserving the natural features of the land, the design team highlighted the site’s unique archaeological landmarks and restored the relaxed Pacific Island style that branded the original property.

“Returning guests are welcomed into similar but modernized single hale — which provide a very different experience from other resorts on the island. Walker Warner organized the guest hale like a traditional Hawaiian home and luxury beach bungalow. The dining, wellness and recreational facilities are located centrally to provide access to the guests.”

Drew Gourley

Walker Warner and NPCL also looked to Native Hawaiian design to enhance the project’s sustainable, energy-efficient features.Walker Warner and NPCL also looked to Native Hawaiian design to enhance the project’s sustainable, energy-efficient features.

“As a certified LEED Gold project, buildings are positioned with trade winds in mind, and are built using natural and responsibly sourced materials that would not deplete the island’s resources,” says Drew Gourley, NPCL construction manager. “In fact, the thatched roofing throughout the resort is made of recycled materials, rather than native leaves.

“With over 170-plus buildings, the design included all types of structures to maximize local labor resources — wood frame, masonry, structural steel and metal framing as well as pre-engineered metal buildings.” 

When clearing the property’s original tsunami-damaged structures, Kennedy Wilson partnered with Re-use Hawai‘i, resulting in over 80 percent of demolished materials salvaged and repurposed as affordable building supplies.

Kona Village now utilizes photovoltaic solar and Tesla batteries to provide 100 percent renewable energy for the resort, as well as a reverse osmosis plant to treat brackish well water for irrigation. The plant also features an R1 pump that produces high-quality recycled water for landscaping.

“To manage the magnitude and various schedules,” Gourley adds, “NPCL used proprietary cloud-based project management software that allowed all team members, including trade partners, to see the project progression 24/7. The tool allowed our team to have a higher level of transparency to foster collaboration and increased coordination to ensure success.”

Success also depended on the commitment of the project’s subcontractors — hand-picked from among Hawai‘i’s most skilled trade partners and their mainland affiliates. These include Goodfellow Bros. Inc., Robert A. Bothman Inc., CMC Steel Fabricators, Pan-Pacific Mechanical LLC, Wasa Electrical Services Inc., Coastal Construction Co. Inc., Jayco Hawaii Inc., Hawaii Millworks, BMK Construction LLC, IG Steel LLC, Group Builders Inc., Oahu Metal & Glazing LLC, Buck Roofing Co. Inc., Sperber Landscape Companies, Anderson Poolworks, Assa Abloy Global Solutions, Island Pacific Installers LLC, Bowman Termite & Pest Management LLC, Islandwide Fencing Inc., Northwest Demolition & Dismantling, Summit Painting Inc., Orness Design Group Inc., Beachside Roofing LLC, InspiredPlay Hawai‘i, Foundations Hawaii Inc., Haas Insulation Inc., BEK Inc. and Skylani Cleaning Contractors Corp.

“Construction of the new Kona Village Resort started in June 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic,” Kaneshige points out. “The project provided jobs for over 300 workers at the peak of construction when many other businesses, including the hotels, were laying off their employees and closing their operations. The multiplier effect of the construction at Kona Village further provided sales and employment for businesses who provided construction materials and equipment when the economy was in a shutdown mode.”

As Kona Village took shape, “the developer and designers were very sensitive in honoring the desires of the [area’s] lineal descendants with a final product that would proudly share the cultural importance of an ancient Hawaiian village on a site deemed as sacred,” says Kaneshige.

So too were its jobsite “villagers” — NPCL’s hundreds of subcontractors — whose skill and commitment to the project raised not a child, as in the African proverb, but a masterpiece.

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