KAPOLEI IS GETTING URBAN
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
H-1 traffic, worsened by growth in areas such as Kapolei, is seen during morning rush hour in Aiea.
Suburbs no longer
Traffic in bustling Kapolei already is bad and the"second city" is expected to grow even more
They say that the telltale sign of urban growth is traffic.
Traffic jams have hit Kapolei, qualifying the Leeward region as a center of urban growth. While there are no high-rises yet, and the traffic can be blamed in part on the need for more roads, private developers say it is time to think of Kapolei as urban rather than suburban.
Kapolei offers 1.6 million square feet of commercial space, with another 1.1 million either under contract or in negotiations for development.
COMING TO KAPOLEI
Developments that are in the pipeline:
» Kapolei Parkway Shops (with a drive-through Starbucks)
» Kapolei Industrial Court (warehouse condo)
» Kapolei Spectrum Business Park (industrial)
» Kapolei Commons (regional mall)
» Original Ray's Steak & Seafood
» Mehana, 1,100 single- and multi-family homes
» Hoopili, 10,000 to 15,000 homes
» University of Hawaii's West Oahu campus
Add in a drive-through Starbucks, a new regional mall, offices, residential developments and a new university campus, and the "second city" is fast becoming a reality.
Chuck Hill, vice president of sales and leasing for Kapolei Property Development LLC, an arm of Campbell Estate, said the city has reached a tipping point.
Hill projected that Kapolei would offer 7.6 million square feet of commercial space in the next 20 years, comparable to downtown Honolulu's 8.4 million square feet.
On the drawing board are more than a dozen projects -- offering more retail, office and residential, along with a school, restaurant and courthouse.
The City of Kapolei estimates its working population of about 25,000 will grow to 65,000 in 2025.
"People are recognizing it is more urban, and there is more of a critical mass," said estate spokes-woman Theresia McMurdo. "And it's happening within a short period."
Private developers with projects in the works include: the MacNaughton Group, MW Group, Low Archibald Real Estate Group and Hunt Building Co.
D.R. Horton, Schuler Division, is planning a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood for Mehana, an in-fill project in Kapolei where residents from multifamily homes would live within walking distance of the area's elementary school or shops.
Schuler's other residential master plan, Hoopili, is expected to offer between 10,000 to 15,000 homes on 1,600 acres, bridging Kapolei to Waipahu.
Hunt, meanwhile, envisions 174 acres for the University of Hawaii's West Oahu campus, along with a 15-acre University Village, 212 acres of residential developments and 66 acres of roads, parks and schools.
Hunt is negotiating how the deal will be structured with the university.