RISE recognized for innovation, awarded design honor

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large pink and blue building
Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center

The University of Hawaiʻi’s Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center has been named the Redevelopment of the Year in the 2024 Impact Awards Hawaiʻi program by CoStar Group.

The CoStar Impact Awards are judged based on a number of factors including innovation, challenges overcome, and whether the redevelopment is a catalyst for economic activity or vibrancy in the market.

Judges’ comments about the RISE Center included:

  • “This project sets a new standard for PPP (public-private) partnerships and repurposing a historic building into an institutional 21st century building.” (Yifan Chen, assistant professor of finance and real estate, UH Mānoa)
  • “I chose this project for the efforts it went through to restore this historic site while also creating a place that benefits the surrounding community.” (Evan Ketter, leasing manager, MW Commercial Realty, Inc.)
  • “This large redevelopment will turn out some very well-educated business students for our community.” (Mark Bratton, senior vice president, Colliers International)

“The Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center was self-funded with the private funds that the UH Foundation raised through bond issuance and no taxpayer funds, and was the foundation’s first development project, which we could not have done without our partners,” said John Han, UH Foundation COO and CFO. “We are honored and grateful that CoStar is recognizing the RISE Center with this award.”

The $70 million live-learn-work Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center opened to the first UH student residents in August 2023. It was the first new UH student housing facility in 15 years, successfully repurposing the landmark 1930s Charles Atherton House building into a state-of-the-art modern institutional facility flanked by two new six-story student residential wings. The first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship-and-innovation center for Hawaiʻi is located on the corner of Metcalf Street and University Avenue at the flagship UH Mānoa campus.

Read more about the Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center

In 2019, UH, UH Foundation and Hunt Companies Hawaiʻi entered into a public-private partnership (P3) to design, build and finance RISE Center—the first P3 for the university.

“To receive a national award for RISE Center is reflective of not only the vision of the University and the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, but also the hard work of the many people that had a hand in opening up this project on time,” said project lead Mike Lam, senior vice president of Hunt Companies Hawaiʻi. “On behalf of Hunt, our project partners and the UH community, we thank CoStar Group for this honor.”


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