HONOLULU, HI—Blackstone plans to development anew 418-unit vacation ownership tower at Hilton HawaiianVillage Waikiki Beach Resort.

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An official groundbreaking ceremony recently marked theconstruction launch of The Grand Islanderby Hilton Grand Vacations Club, slated forcompletion in early 2017. A Blackstone-managedfund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI, isproviding the capital for this new tower. It has appointed HiltonGrand Vacations, the vacation ownership division of HiltonWorldwide, to provide vacation ownership sales and marketingservices, resort operations, timeshare homeowners' associationmanagement and loan servicing.

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The 37-floor tower will be constructed adjacent to theTapa Tower along Kalia Road and will offer viewsof the Pacific Ocean and immediate access to the sprawling 22-acreoceanfront Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort.

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More than 3,000 people work throughout the Hilton HawaiianVillage campus in the hotel towers, vacation ownership properties,restaurants and retail outlets. In the short term, the developmentof The Grand Islander will create hundreds more jobs in theconstruction sector and through affiliated suppliers, as well asmore than 900 additional jobs in operations, sales and marketing inthe coming years.

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The traditional Hawaiian blessing and ceremony was hosted byTyler Henritze, senior managing director atBlackstone; Mark Wang, executive vice presidentfor Hilton Hawaii; Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell,and other local dignitaries.

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“We are thrilled to partner with Hilton Worldwide to bring a newtimeshare offering to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort,”Henritze said. “Combined with the quality of the Hilton GrandVacations Club product and the Hilton brand, this destination willprovide a fantastic vacation experience. We're pleased thatBlackstone's investment will help create hundreds of jobs for thecommunity, in line with our continuing commitment to Hawaii'stourism economy.”

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“It is our privilege to continue creating new ownershipopportunities for our discerning clientele with a spectacular newHilton Grand Vacations Club tower in Hilton Hawaiian Village,” saidWang. “This project combines the industry-leadingsales, marketing and management expertise of Hilton Grand Vacationswith the established development strength of Blackstone, and buildsupon our history of strategic collaboration.”

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Hensel Phelps Construction Company has beenappointed as the general contractor, Group 70 International, Inc.as the architect, and Indidesign retained for interior design.Rider Levett Bucknall will provide Project Management services,while Hilton Worldwide will act as the Development Manager.

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The development of The Grand Islander fulfills a key milestonein the Master Plan for Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki BeachResort. Hilton says that for more than 50 years, it has beencommitted to the enhancement of what it calls the preeminent resortin Honolulu, and the surrounding community.

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.