Friday, February 12, 1999

owners offer new
parking solution

Suggest a 500-stall parking
structure on Irwin Park

By Jerry Tune


The owners of Aloha Tower Marketplace want to build a 500-stall parking garage in Irwin Park in front of the shopping and restaurant complex.

Trinity Investments Trust LLC's plan, presented this week to the state House economic development committee, calls for one floor of underground parking and one floor of above-ground parking, However, the entire garage then would be covered with grass and landscaping, similar to the municipal parking lot at Alapai and South Beretania streets.

The 500 stalls of parking would be used by shoppers at the marketplace, and replace the 118 stalls of existing parking at Irwin Park. About 350 of the stalls would be below ground, and 150 stalls above ground. Trinity expects construction to cost between $7 million to $9 million.

Fronting Nimitz Highway, Irwin Park is owned by the state and includes a small portion given to the territory of Hawaii by the William B. Irwin charity foundation. The 22,876-square-feet portion equals 24 percent of the 2.2 acre site.

The original gift in 1931 includes a clause that the land would return to foundation ownership if not used for a park. The state will talk to the family descendants about the new plan but, if necessary, House Bill 1028 would allow for the state to condemn the land under eminent domain, according to a state spokeswoman.

HB 1028 is an administration-sponsored bill from the state Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism and the Aloha Tower Development Corp.

By putting the much-needed parking in Irwin Park, Trinity avoids using the Piers 10-11 area, which would have affected the cruise ship terminal.

That plan called for 450-stalls in four stories at a cost between $10 million and $15 million. But developers said that would be 30 to 40 percent more than a conventional parking garage because of the complicated construction to dovetail with the cruise ship terminal.

Aloha Tower Marketplace now has 587 parking spaces.

The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii supports the new parking solution.

"Much more of the land area will be utilized as a park than in the current configuration," said Clint Taylor, chairman of the Chamber's maritime committee. "The plan both solves the need for parking and provides for an improved people place."

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