Duncan MacNaughton’s understanding of the real estate business is extensive—exemplified by the number of his big-named projects in the State. Now his company’s name is attached in the development of such retail brands as Starbucks, Blockbuster and P.F. Chang in Hawaii. Duncan MacNaughton’s current success stems from his modest beginnings as a Dillingham Corporation employee in the late 60s.

The MacNaughton Group specializes in commercial and residential developments, and has grown in to the retail sector. Costco became The MacNaughton Group’s first big deal that they brought from the mainland. His latest are the co-developments of Capitol Place, a 394-unit residential condominium in downtown Honolulu; and Kapolei Commons, a regional “lifestyle” open-air mall in Kapolei to be opened in 2007.

Evan and Kari interview Duncan MacNaughton, CEO of TMG and Partner in Lava Ventures, about his experience as a real estate employee and entrepreneur. MacNaughton talks about his day-to-day activities and how he has become more proactive in community giving despite his seemingly busy schedule.

He also talks about the main challenges his company has faced in the volatile real estate market, and why integrity and sense of teamwork are two vital characteristics of an outstanding employee and employer.

“If you present well as a team player and you always make the people on your team feel that you’re making a significant contribution, they’re going to work hard to assume their responsibilities,” he said. “Everybody then pulls together, with that it reduces your risks, and it also feels better.”

Listen now to this interview and find out more about his thoughts on philanthropy, and making a difference in the community.


Duncan MacNaughton is founding partner and Chairman of The MacNaughton Group. In recent years, he has focused on the development of retail properties. Between 1989 and 1997, he either owned or developed for his own account in excess of 1,800,000 s.f. of GLA in the state of Hawaii, including the development of Waikele Center (725,000 s.f. of GLA), Hawaii’s premier value center, in partnership with Richard W. Gushman II, and the development of Maui Marketplace (over 300,000 s.f. of GLA), a value-oriented center in Kahului, Maui.

Mr. MacNaughton began his real estate development career in 1967 when he joined the Dillingham Corporation’s property development department. During his three years at Dillingham, he assisted in numerous residential condominium projects, as well as the management of Ala Moana Shopping Center and several smaller retail centers on Oahu. In 1970, he joined the McCormack Corporation, where he was responsible for numerous residential developments on Oahu and the neighbor islands.

In 1975, he joined forces with Richard W. Gushman II to form their own real estate firm, Gushman MacNaughton. For the next ten years, they worked on a variety of real estate and investment projects. They opened separate offices in 1985 and continue to own and invest in projects jointly.

In 1993, the Hawaii Chapter of the International Council of Shopping Centers honored Duncan MacNaughton as the “Shopping Center Developer of the Year.” In 1995, the Financial Executives International, Hawaii Chapter, recognized Waikele Center and developers Dick Gushman and Duncan MacNaughton as the “Deal of the Year.” In 2002, the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties presented Duncan MacNaughton with the “Kukulu Hale Lifetime Achievement” award.

Mr. MacNaughton was born in Portland, Oregon in 1944. In 1938, the MacNaughton family moved to Hawaii, at which time Duncan MacNaughton’s father, Boyd MacNaughton, assumed the Presidency of Dole Pineapple. In 1956, his father assumed the Presidency of C. Brewer and Company, one of Hawaii’s premier sugar companies.

Duncan MacNaughton attended Punahou School, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, and Colorado College. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Punahou School, La Pietra School for Girls, and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. He also serves on the Board of several for-profit companies.

The MacNaughton Group

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