Deal keeps Kapahulu lot as parking
What ever happened to the state's plan for a commercial lease on an empty lot that was used for parking on Kapahulu Avenue?
Answer: The state compromised with area residents on July 11 and agreed to keep the 24,000-square-foot property as a public parking lot.
The compromise was reached after Prudential Locations, whose headquarters is at 614 Kapahulu Ave., offered to lease the property next door at 548 Kapahulu Ave. for $80,000 a year and keep it a parking lot.
The offer was accepted, even though the state felt it could make about $100,000 more per year with its original plan, said Morris Atta, director of the Land Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The deal, however, was more than the state estimated it could make by running a pay-parking lot, Atta said.
Prudential offered to lease the lot because some of its employees use it, and it wanted to be a supportive community member, state and company officials said.
Prudential will still need to bid on the lease when the state announces a public bidding process in a few months and could charge drivers to park at the lot.
Since 2003, DLNR, which owns the land, has been working on a plan to generate income from the property and proposed a 65-year commercial lease.
In February, residents opposed the plan, saying a fast-food restaurant would take over and eliminate needed parking.
The property, which can hold about 50 vehicles, was once the site of a health center that burned down in 1995, then was leased for storage until 2006. Since then it sat empty, and people began using it for parking.
Atta said the state made a difficult decision to accept a smaller profit to appease residents, considering the declining economy and the governor's 4 percent spending cuts for state departments.
"The deciding factor was we were receiving a lot of very strong concerns ... both by area legislators and groups" for parking, he said.
This update was written Robert Shikina.
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