Oahu wave pool project finds unique investment classification

The $72million Honokea development, wedged between Oahu’s Westside and bustling South Shore, announced more Opportunity Zone funding details this week.

The project sits in an Opportunity Zone near Kalaeloa Airport, an area at the center of city and state revitalization efforts. Classified as a low-income community, officials and developers are offering unique investment incentives to attract funding.

A recently passed Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act authorized a community economic development program that hopes to attract investors willing to re-invest money that would normally be subject to a capital gains tax. In exchange, investors get temporary tax deferral and other benefits.

“We are targeting to complete the fundraising efforts for Round 1 by September 30 to initiate contracts to commence the entitlements phase of our development,” Honokea said in a statement. “Honokea is working closely with our City & County Mayor, Rick Blangiardi, and Managing Director, Michael Formby, on the Oahu project and are collaborating with them on the project’s planning strategy.”

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For now, the focus is on Hawaii, but as more wave pool projects pop up on the map developers globally will be able to take advantage of similar community incentives.

The 5-acre surf lagoon plans to use a Wavegarden Cove and will be surrounded by bungalows, a SUP area, and a lazy river.

Hawaiian surf rescue legend Brian Keaulana, son of Buffalo and brother to Rusty Keaulana, is behind Honokea. The waterman is promoting the development as both a community resource steeped in Aloha and as a training facility for Hawaiian surfers and Olympic hopefuls.

Honokea has a long wave pool history, at one time partnering with the fledgling NLand wave pool and also planning.