Opponents target sale of Kewalo state land
A community group hopes to forestall private development
A community group that forced Alexander & Baldwin Inc. to scale back its Kakaako redevelopment project now wants to stop the sale of state-owned land in the area to private developers.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday for further discussion on the revised Kakaako Waterfront redevelopment plan.* Members of the Friends of Kewalo Basin Park Association plan to organize a march and 10 a.m. rally at the state Capitol on Jan. 23, the day Gov. Linda Lingle gives her State of the State address.
"The battle is not over," said Ron Iwami, president of the Friends of Kewalo Basin Park Association.
About 40 of its members and supporters attended a meeting at Kewalo Basin Park yesterday to discuss their continued opposition to the sale of public land on the waterfront. The group also wants more public input in any decisions made by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, an agency charged by the state to help develop Kakaako's waterfront.
George Downing, spokesman for Save Our Surf, and Jerry Teves, member of a group called Hui O He'e Nalu, also known as Da Hui, attended the meeting in support of the association. House Speaker Rep. Calvin Say, City Councilman Rod Tam and State Rep. Bev Harbin, who plans to introduce legislation this month to ask lawmakers to revoke the agency's power to sell state-owned land, also attended the meeting.
Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s real estate unit, A&B Properties, presented a scaled-down version of its plan during a December meeting held by the agency in response to criticism from surfers, sailors and supporters who opposed the $650 million project.
A&B's revised plan includes a one-third reduction in residential towers. It also eliminated plans for new restaurants at Point Panic and Kewalo Basin and a pedestrian bridge linking Kewalo Basin to Point Panic. A&B also proposed to build 230 new parking spaces for those who frequent the area.
Iwami said they plan to attend a meeting to be held by the agency Wednesday to restate their opposition of the sale of state-owned land to a private developer for residential development.
"They should just leave it alone. It should be designated as a park. Period," Teves said.
"They're selling public lands. It's wrong," Downing said.
In a written statement, Daniel Dinell, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, said, "The decision to consider the sale of state land as part of the proposed development was a difficult one, but it was ultimately determined that such a sale could help fund the development of public facilities and maximize the public benefits from the project."
Stanley Kuriyama, chief executive officer of A&B Properties, said they "have given up significant revenue components of the project, including one of three residential pods."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
» The Hawaii Community Development Authority will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow for further discussion on the revised Kakaako Waterfront redevelopment plan. A Page A5 story in yesterday's morning edition incorrectly said the agency would meet for final approval on the revised plan.