REITs have been a part of life in Hawaii for decades, generating tax revenue, supporting local organizations and charities, and creating jobs.
In all, Hawaii has over 80 REIT-owned properties,3 representing investments of approximately $13 billion.4 Through their current investments and redevelopment activities, it is estimated that these REITs generated in excess of 10,000 local jobs in 2014. Aside from these jobs, these investments generate hundreds of millions dollars in general excise tax and millions of dollars in property taxes. This projection is borne out by just a few examples. Specifically, Taubman Centers Inc. committed $450 million for the redevelopment of International Market Place (IMP) in Waikiki. In 2017, it was projected to generate more than $1 million in annual Hawaii general excise taxes and $43 million in annual property tax. GGP invested $1 billion for expansion of Ala Moana Center and nearby residences. Economic activity during construction included 11,600 jobs and more than $146 million in state tax revenue.
Through their current investments and redevelopment activities, it is estimated that these REITs generated in excess of 10,000 local jobs in 2014.
These investments create a multiplier effect in our local economy. REITs generate tax revenue through the collection of Hawaii’s “general excise tax” (or “GET”) on rents and retail sales, business income tax on profits made by tenants, income tax from employment of Hawaii residents, and millions of dollars in property taxes.
In addition, the most recent data shows that in 2014 more than 9,300 individual investors received a total of nearly $30 million in distribution from non-listed public REITs, generating tax revenue for the state of Hawaii. REITs also create jobs, promote economic stability and support local organizations and charities with donations and their employees’ time.
Nu Business Forms is an example. Nu Business Forms has been working with the REIT-owned Hyatt Place Waikiki. In a letter to Bonnie Kiyabu, the hotel’s General Manager, Nu Business’ head, Nita Una said, “As a vendor, a couple of things stand out for me. The first, each time I visit, every staff member I see will greet me with a warm Aloha. I can only imagine if I were a real guest. The other, which is equally, if not more important, is the number of times per year this hotel will host a community event to benefit charity. They go all out to bring everyone in their community together for a good cause. I’m proud to be a part of this ohana.”
A REIT also developed Ka Makana Alii – The Center for West Oahu, which offers residents and visitors a family-friendly, mixed-use center in the center of Hawaii’s fastest growing community. Through a partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Ka Makana Alii will financially support programs benefiting Native Hawaiian interests statewide for decades to come.
And there is American Assets Trust, which partnered with Hawaii-based Outrigger Enterprises to revitalize and redevelop Waikiki Beach Walk® from a place where many would not choose to venture into an “energetic and inviting, eclectic and exciting…leisure destination to play and to stay.”5
They go all out to bring everyone in their community together for a good cause. I’m proud to be a part of this ohana.Nita Una, Nu Business Forms
Another example is GGP’s Ala Moana Center. The mall partners with a local non-profit on a spring “fashion” event, where together they collect items to be used by women re-entering the workforce.
Along with other malls including GGP’s Prince Kuhio Plaza, Ala Moana also hosts the Laulima Giving Day, which collects donations and raises money to benefit Keiki o ka Aina, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged families in Hawaii.
Or, consider Washington Prime Group’s Pearlridge Center, the second largest mall in Hawaii, which hosts the annual Canstruction® competition along with the American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter. Over the past 11 years, Canstruction raised 351,130 pounds of food to help feed the hungry in Hawaii, providing a total of 276,480 meals for the Hawaii Food Bank.