The Redmont Group may not command the brand recognition of Honolulu’s largest architectural firms, but what the firm lacks in size, it makes up for in quality and flexible execution. Founded in October 2012, the Redmont Group is a boutique firm comprised of architects, construction managers, asset managers and appraisers. Principal and Co-founder Phillip Hasha sees the firm’s diverse internal structure as a prime business advantage. “We are probably the only firm on O‘ahu that can take a project from design to completion, in-house,” Phillip says.
“There is so much power in that. We can do things a lot faster than our counterparts and we add value by thinking like owners because we are owners.”
At 31 years of age, Phillip has already been immersed in real estate for nearly a decade. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in 2007, he went straight to work as an appraiser for his father’s real estate business in Birmingham, Alabama. “I knew going back and working for my Dad would kick my ass,” Phillip explains. “It was the right step to go where I needed to be. I really learned to understand real estate value.”
Three years later, Phillip was accepted to Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development program, where he met fellow Redmont co-founders Ryan Takaki and Brad Wardlaw. “I had the evaluation skill, Brad had the architecture and Ryan the construction,” Phillip says. “That’s something that most firms don’t have.” Ryan, an ‘Aina Haina native, suggested starting the firm in Honolulu. They set up the first Redmont office in an IT closet in one of Ryan’s buildings. Phillip purchased his father’s company, Hasha Appraisal and Consulting Service, and brought it under the Redmont hat in 2013.
“We can do things a lot faster than our counterparts and we add value by thinking like owners because we are owners.”
Phillip is quick to highlight Redmont’s diverse skill set and ability to execute. “Acura came to us needing to move their operations from Kaka‘ako to a location on Nimitz Highway and they had six months to do it,” Hasha says. “The architectural planning phase [alone] can take up to six months.” Phillip and his team set the design, permitting and construction processes in motion simultaneously and moved Acura into the 27,000-square-foot service bay on schedule. “That kind of quick action is pretty unheard of and it’s a great example of how our approach can impact owners positively.”
There’s more than just a versatile in-house team that sets Redmont Group apart from its competition. Where most would demolish and rebuild, the firm takes a refurbish-and-reuse approach to development whenever possible. Redmont is currently transforming the old Patisserie bakery in Honolulu into a high-tech facility as part of its Alert Alarm project. “There’s so much character in these buildings that it doesn’t make sense to demolish them and start over,” Phillips says. “We were able to redesign it and it’s going to be an extremely nice and high-tech facility headquarters.”
Phillip is adamant about increasing Redmont Group’s community involvement as the firm continues to grow. Taking on jobs of all sizes is crucial for healthy development, and Redmont’s client list runs the gamut in scale. Business ventures aside, Phillip also believes that volunteering is an essential part of operations at Redmont. He even allows his employees to volunteer on company time. He’s currently working with his staff and several community organizations to determine the most effective use of Redmont’s resources in addressing the homeless issue in Kaka’ako.
“It’s in our neighborhoods, it’s where we live, where we work,” Phillips says. “I want to be a catalyst for change to help that.”
Some people work hard. Others play hard. For Phillip, the line between the two is a bit blurry. “For me, this is realizing a childhood dream. Real estate development is something I’ve wanted to do since I was ten,” he says. “It’s not about the money. I want to do what my idols did.” An avid traveler, Phillip often seeks inspiration abroad. “Traveling is what I love to do. I work hard to travel,” he says. “When you’re standing atop the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and you’re looking around at everything, you can’t help but take inspiration. When walking the streets of ancient Rome and seeing how it was done 3,000 years ago, you can’t help but be inspired—there’s nothing like it.”