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  • RISE facade

The CoStar Group has named the Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center the Redevelopment of the Year in its 2024 Impact Awards Hawai‘i program.

The $70 million live-learn-work Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center opened to the first University of Hawai‘i student-residents in August 2023; it was the first new UH student housing 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 Hawai‘i is located on the corner of Metcalf Street and University Avenue at the flagship University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus.

In 2019, Hunt Companies Hawai‘i, UH and the UH Foundation entered into a public-private partnership (P3) to design, build and finance RISE Center – the first P3 for the university. It is fully funded with private, non-taxpayer money.

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 RISE Center included:

“This project sets a new standard for PPP partnerships and repurposing a historic building into an institutional 21st century building.” (Yifan Chen, Assistant Professor of Finance and Real Estate, University of Hawai‘i at 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)

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

“The Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center was self-funded with the private funds that the 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.”

FOR UH • FOR HAWAIʻI, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, is focused on raising $1 billion to support UH priorities on all 10 campuses across the state, including student success; research that matters; kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi; sustainability, resilience and conservation; innovation and entrepreneurship; building Hawaiʻi’s workforce; and engaging our community. Learn more at

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The Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center is a student innovation and entrepreneurship center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus, with housing for 374 students. It was built as the first public-private partnership between UH, the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation and Hunt Companies Hawaiʻi. It opened in August 2023.

With over 30 years of service in Hawai‘i, Hunt Companies Hawai‘i's Development Division is recognized for its innovative use of underutilized government properties, its commitment to creating premier master-planned communities, a commitment to sound environmental, social and governance standards, and respect for the cultural and geographical riches of the Hawaiian Islands. In Hawai‘i, Hunt is responsible for the development, revitalization, and asset management of more than 500 entitled acres and 500,000 square feet of industrial and commercial space.

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.