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Friday, December 14, 2001



University


UH moving ahead on
medical school

The regents approve the selected site
makai of the former Gold Bond Building


By Treena Shapiro
tshapiro@starbulletin.com

The University of Hawaii is pushing ahead with plans to build a medical school in Kakaako next fall by preparing to move the tenants occupying the 10-acre site.

At a special meeting yesterday, the UH Board of Regents voted to approve the site selected for the medical school in Kakaako, makai of the old Gold Bond Building and Ilalo Street.

The board also approved acquiring land at the Kapalama Military Reservation to relocate Produce Center Development Inc., which had a long-term lease with the state on a portion of the medical school site.

The state Department of Agriculture facilities in Kakaako will also be moved to Kapalama, with $14 million appropriated by the Legislature.

The Kapalama lands are owned by the Department of Land & Natural Resources, which would need at least 45 days to negotiate a lease with Produce Center and could be required to take sealed bids by other parties interested in the land.

But since the autonomous UH can negotiate directly with Produce Center, the regents voted to let DLNR deed the 10-acre Kapalama site to UH, which would negotiate a new lease with Produce Center, then convey the fee-simple title back to DLNR, encumbered with the lease for Produce Center.

Meanwhile, DLNR will have to revoke the permits for 11 tenants renting space at the designated Kapalama site.

Bert Kobayashi, vice chairman of the Board of Regents, said that those tenants would have three or four months to move, possibly to another site at Kapalama.

The regents also deferred a decision to acquire the Meadow Gold Farm in Waimanalo, pending a review of environmental reports on the liabilities of the property.

Three environmentalists testified at the meeting yesterday that some of the soil was contaminated with benzene.

The UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources plans to take over the Meadow Gold site, which the company has offered to give to the university.



Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii



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