State seeking tenants
for harbor lands

Terminals stand idle
since sugar shipments have stopped
and oil companies have
moved Ewa

By Jerry Tune
Star-Bulletin

Sugar is no longer shipped from Oahu. The local building slump means fewer bulk shipments of construction materials. Oil companies have been moving to Barbers Point Harbor.

With these economic realities as the backdrop, the state has found itself with plenty of vacancies at Honolulu Harbor and has started a marketing campaign to lease out space and get new revenue.

The harbors division at the state Department of Transportation is using newspaper advertising and will be doing a direct mail campaign to maritime and support businesses to publicize the effort.

There are nearly 900,000 square feet of space in Honolulu Harbor available now, the state says. That's more than double the size of Kahala Mall.

The space includes warehouses, sheds, open areas, and places like the conveyor belts and sugar gantry cranes at Pier 19 that will be removed soon since there are no longer any sugar operations on Oahu. The gantry cranes and conveyor belts will be sold to a buyer in Indonesia.

About half of the total space available is at Piers 36 and 37, which may become part of a new "fishing village" to include the fish auction now at Kewalo basin, and other services for fishing boats.

The Lanai Co. pineapple cargo operation left Pier 36 in 1991, and the Chevron USA fuel storage moved out of Pier 37 in 1993.

Another large portion of space is available at Pier 30, formerly used for petroleum storage by Petroterm Inc., a subsidiary of BHP Hawaii. Tanks have been removed and the company is now completing soil remediation work.

"It's constantly changing in the harbor," said Tom Fujikawa, harbors division chief.

With harbor fees going up and more bonds being used by the state for harbor construction, Fujikawa wants to maximize the use of harbor lands. "We felt we could do a better job," he said.

Under the current marketing efforts, the harbors division is using short-term leases for the vacant space. Fujikawa said this brings in revenue until the state can afford to carry out its long-term harbor plan.

Fujikawa is optimistic about the leasing efforts. "These are hard economic times, and we're competitively priced," he said. "We feel that we can help ourselves and others too."

The state is basing its charges on a fair market value of harbor land at $55 a square foot. Using an 8 percent rate of return that works out to 37 cents a square foot per month for open, unpaved, bare land; 42 cents a square foot for paved open areas and 70 cents a square foot for warehouse and shed space, according to the harbors division leasing office.




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