Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Kakaako agency cuts
hotels from plan

But the HCDA moves ahead
with its plan to extend
Ward Avenue

By Jerry Tune

The Hawaii Community Development Authority has approved spending $2.5 million to demolish two buildings to make way for the Ward Avenue extension makai of Ala Moana.

But in a change of vision, state planners for Kakaako see no hotels for the makai lands. Instead, the plans call for commercial buildings no more than 200 feet tall to be serviced by the Ward Avenue extension along Ilalo Street.

Last fall, in a workshop session with authority board members, there was an informal discussion about possible hotels at two locations: at the ewa end of the makai area and near Kewalo basin.

However, this concept did not follow the state's resort plan, which calls for putting new hotels in other parts of Oahu such as Ko Olina, said Jan Yokota, executive director of the HCDA, the state agency in charge of Kakaako redevelopment.

The board last week approved demolition costs for two buildings, formerly part of the Hawaiian Tuna Packers operation, a short distance from Ala Moana and Ward Avenue. Demolition means that ice making for commercial fishermen must be moved to a temporary location on the other side of the property, Yokota said.

Demolition will begin this summer and be done in two phases, at a cost of $1.9 million and $600,000, according to the HCDA.

The state land had been leased to the WRAF Corp., which last year dropped plans for a retail project on the site, next to the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant.

The overall makai-area plan now goes to the state Office of Environmental Quality Control and to a public hearing in August.

The Ward Avenue extension will be funded by $36 million in general obligation bonds.

By the year 2002, motorists will be able to drive on a five-lane roadway through the makai area from Ward Avenue, along Ilalo Street to Punchbowl Street.

The state owns 202 of the 217 acres in the makai area. Leasing much of this land to developers will provide revenues to the HCDA revolving fund for use in Kakaako. This could be used to improve parks, roadways or for development by the state, Yokota said.

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