JW Marriott Ihilani’s Transformation into a Four Seasons Resort to Cost $500M

Hawaii real estate developer Jeff Stone has partnered with Canada-based Westbank to buy and re-brand the JW Marriott Ihilani hotel at the master-planned Ko Olina community in West Oahu into a Four Seasons resort. Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC is the seller of the property.

Hawaii real estate developer Jeff Stone has partnered with Canada-based Westbank to buy and re-brand the JW Marriott Ihilani hotel at the master-planned Ko Olina community in West Oahu. Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC is the seller of the property, which will be redeveloped into a Four Seasons resort.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Stone’s company, The Resort Group, and its Canadian partner will invest an estimated $500 million into the project, which includes $250 million for the hotel’s acquisition and another $250 million for its redevelopment.

Plans include a major overhaul of the property’s existing 401 units, as well as the construction of a new 15-story tower with 150 luxury residences, the island’s first Four Seasons-branded estates.

“This is the fulfillment of a long-held dream for Ko Olina,” Stone said in a news release. “The economic impact of the project, the return to the state and county, is over $1 billion. This is a real hotel with real residences that are part of the hotel. No brand has ever come and done this.”

The renovation is scheduled to begin Jan. 10, following the expiration of the JW Marriott contract at the end of this year. This phase of the project will bring 195 guestrooms dedicated for hotel use, along with 206 resort condominium residences priced between $1.5 million and $5 million. It will also include a wedding chapel, two new main pools, seven private pools, a coconut grove, a remodeled resort entry, a lobby atrium with a ceiling-to-floor 3-D art piece, as well as a new grand staircase and water promenade.

The hotel is expected to reopen in December 2015, while construction on the new high-rise, designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, should begin in January 2016. The prices of the new units are estimated to range between $5 million and $10 million.

Honolulu-based Group 70 International is also involved in the project, along with James K.M. Cheng Architects, Philpotts Interiors and SWA Group.

During the renovation, Ihilani’s 500 employees will receive severance packages and medical benefits totaling $5.2 million. Upon completion, the new resort is expected to employ 800 people. It will be renamed Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina (or “place of joy” in Hawaiian).

“We welcome the very first Four Seasons hotel or resort to Oahu. The addition of this world-renowned hotel brand will enhance Oahu’s tourism base and support economic growth on the leeward coast. The city looks forward to working with Four Seasons on their expansion plans and the growth opportunities they bring to Ko Olina,” added Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The Canada-based Four Seasons hotel management company — which operates properties on Maui, the Big Island and Lanai — first attempted to bring its luxury brand to Ko Olina in 1990, and then in 2008, when the economy stalled. It currently manages the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu on the Big Island, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay and the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele.

Photo credits: Four Seasons Resorts

For our most recent Hawaii office, retail and industrial market snapshot, click here.