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 approximately 80 REIT-owned properties,3 representing investments of almost $8 billion.4 Through their current investments and redevelopment activities, it is projected 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. has committed $450 million for the redevelopment of International Market Place (IMP) in Waikiki. When completed, it is projected to generate more than $10 million in annual Hawaii general excise taxes and $4 million in annual property tax. General Growth Properties is investing $1 billion for expansion of Ala Moana Center and nearby residences. Economic activity during construction includes 11,600 jobs and more than $146 million in state tax revenue. CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. invested more than $3 million in improvements at Wet‘n’Wild Hawaii, which currently employs more than 350 residents.
Through their current investments and redevelopment activities, it is projected 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, data shows that 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.”
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 General Growth Properties, Inc.’s (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 owned in part by Washington Prime Group, which, along with the American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter, hosts the annual Canstruction® competition. Last year, Canstruction raised 20,252 pounds of food, which will provide a total of 15,946 meals for the Hawaii Food Bank.