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All-Suite Condo Hotel Attracts Full-Time Residents

View from lanai of 10th floor apartment in Waikiki Beach Tower.

Fourth in a series

In the late 1960s Hawaii hotel developer Andre Tatibouet began focusing his attention on the eastern sector of Kalakaua Avenue and undertook his first major project in the area, the Pacific Beach Hotel. In 1974 he purchased the nearby 12-story property developed as a Motel 6 and placed it under the management of his Aston Hotels & Resorts, eventually renaming it the Waikiki Beachside. One of Waikiki’s first boutique hotels, it is now undergoing another transformation as a residential condominium. His next development on Kalakaua across from Kuhio Beach, the 39-story Waikiki Beach Tower, opened as an Aston property in 1985.

“I had started planning the project as an upscale residential condominium in 1972,” Tatibouet said. “It took ten years to acquire the several lots needed for the development and then amalgamate them before we would actually start building. I hired a top architectural firm, Johnson & Perkins, to draw the plans and one of our best general contractors, Hawaiian Dredging, to handle construction. In 1980 Herbert Horita joined me as a partner in the project.

“When residential sales did not meet our expectations due to the soft economy, we decided to convert the building to a condominium hotel, made some changes in the plans, and came up with a new marketing program. Within a year all units had been sold leasehold and the property became one of Honolulu’s earliest all-suite hotels.

“It was then, and is now, the buyer’s option to decide whether to live in the unit or place it in the Aston rental program.”

Tatibouet said all 140 two bedroom, two bath apartments include fully equipped kitchens, large lanais, upscale furnishings and finishes, and access to all the amenities of the resort hotel – swimming pool, tennis courts, meeting rooms, and concierge service. Assigned parking is on the first four floors of the building. Jane Tatibouet and prominent designer Max Davis collaborated on the design of unit interiors and the lobby. Access to the Waikiki Beach Tower, located at 2470 Kalakaua, is via a landscaped promenade.

Currently two of the condominium apartments are listed for sale by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Realtors. Jackie Hasegawa is offering a two bedroom, two bath, ocean-view, leasehold unit on the 10th floor for $680,000 inclusive of furnishings and one oversize parking space. The fee is not currently available from the owner.

“This is really a special unit…since it is in the Aston rental program, the buyer can choose either to live in it or rent it out,” Hasegawa said. “I’ve previously sold three units in this building to buyers from Japan. Typically they use the apartment as their main residence while in Hawaii a few months each year. When they leave, it’s returned to the hotel rental pool and serves as an investment property. This is a great arrangement for people who want a second home that can generate income.

“Owners have commented that the Aston hotel service is excellent and the building is well maintained. The valet parking is another nice feature. The Aston employees remember the residents’ names and make them feel at home.”

Hasegawa noted that during the recent Coldwell Banker “Waikiki Is Open” promotion, her unit was visited by approximately 40 groups, the majority from the Mainland U. S., Canada, and Europe.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Realtor Miki Matsumoto is marketing a two bedroom, two bath ocean-view unit on the 14th floor. The apartment is priced at $1,029,000 fee simple.

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