Tuesday, September 24, 2002

City & County of Honolulu

Hot, dusty Kalaeloa
awaits its rebirth

Rezoning requests may breathe
new life into a Navy ghost town

Kalaeloa plan

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

It includes acres of park land and the potential for sports complexes.

It likely will hold a general-aviation airport.

It could very well become home to a large industrial center.

Kalaeloa holds all those possibilities in a joint state-city plan for the 2,235 acres that used to be Barbers Point Naval Air Station. The Kalaeloa Redevelopment Plan took a step forward with a zone change application submitted recently to the city Planning & Permitting Department.


It has been three years since the Navy closed the air station, and progress on redevelopment has been slow going.

State and city agencies are taking over sections of the property but often without concrete plans, leaving much of it sitting idle.

A once-teeming military housing community is now a ghost town.

"The dream of the community has turned into a nightmare," said Maeda Timson, a member of the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board who has been involved with the redevelopment.

"It's looking ghettolike because the redevelopment is so far down the road. And so what has happened is, what was a pretty green area has been put on somebody's back burner, and it's very dry and very depressing out there," Timson said.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, which has been overseeing Kakaako redevelopment, recently took over management of Kalaeloa from the Barbers Point Naval Air Station Redevelopment Commission.

Jan Yokota, HCDA executive director, said what Kalaeloa needs is a development anchor that would at once be an economic engine for the area and be compatible with neighboring Kapolei and Ewa. So far, Yokota said, "No major ideas have emerged."

City officials are hoping to spark the redevelopment by securing zoning approvals for the area. The city is accepting public comment on the project through Oct. 15. From there the Harris administration will submit its recommendation to the City Council, the final arbiter on the rezoning application.

Randall Fujiki, city director of planning and permitting, said locating funding sources for upgrading improvements such as roads and sewers are a key to the redevelopment.

The Kalaeloa commission estimated infrastructure costs for the site at $118 million.

Fujiki said developers will be asked to provide their fair share, but the city is looking at ways to develop a different set of standards for the area that could make improvements more feasible.


Kalaeloa plan

The former Barbers Point Naval Air Station is now the Kalaeloa Community Development District. The zone-change application includes:

>> A general aviation reliever airport on 752 acres to be developed by the state Department of Transportation to alleviate traffic at Honolulu Airport. The property includes 145.5 acres for the Hawaii National Guard's relocation from its headquarters at Diamond Head.

>> About 491 acres of park space to be overseen by the city Department of Parks & Recreation, including 168 acres along the shoreline. Mayor Jeremy Harris has suggested an athletic complex for part of the inland area.

>> Three parcels totaling 286 acres for commercial and recreational uses that would fall under the state Department of Hawaiian Home lands. Potential plans include a commercial festival center, marine park and auto raceway.

>> About 12 acres in the "downtown" portion of the property for housing and programs for the homeless. A homeless shelter for childless couples opened in 2001.

>> A 129-acre parcel on the northwest section of the property has been considered for light industrial and commercial use. Additionally, five other parcels totaling 111 acres are also being designed for light industrial and commercial. All the parcels are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

State of Hawaii
City & County of Honolulu

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --