Thursday, October 18, 2001

Estate looks at
new tech complex

Kamehameha Schools
is considering building a
$100 million center in Kakaako

By Rick Daysog

The Kamehameha Schools is looking at building a $100 million high-tech office complex in Kakaako, in an effort to jump-start its long-stalled 20-year, multibillion dollar redevelopment of its Honolulu waterfront properties.

The $6 billion charitable trust, the state's largest private landowner, said it is holding discussions with local developer Marshall Hung to develop a 500,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art center geared for high-tech manufacturers and research and development companies.

The project, tentatively dubbed the Kakaako Tech Park, will be the first of its kind in Hawaii and will be built in two phases, said John Peterson, senior asset manager at the trust.

The first phase, which will contain 230,000 square feet of commercial space, will be located at the current site of the Honolulu Ford car dealership along Ala Moana. A second, 255,000-square-foot building will be located at the current site of the Plueger Honda and Cutter car dealerships nearby.

The estate could break ground on the first phase in the first quarter of 2003 and complete it in 12 to 18 months, Peterson said.

The plan is contingent upon the University of Hawaii's plans to build a $300 million biomedical complex on nearby state land. If the Legislature doesn't approve funding for the UH complex, the estate will likely shelve its plans.

"If the UH medical facility doesn't happen, this probably won't happen," Peterson said.

Peterson said the project requires approval from Hawaii Community Development Authority, which regulates land use in Kakaako. It also hinges on an agreement with Honolulu Ford, which leases its car lot property from the trust.

Peterson said the trust is working with the car dealership to relocate it to a vacant trust-owned parcel in Kalihi, across from Farrington High School.

The proposed development will go a long way in reviving the trust's long-stalled Pauahi Park master planned community project, which the trust initiated in the mid-1990s.

Then, the trust envisioned developing a series of high-rise condominiums and office towers on the 50 acres it owns in Kakaako over the next few decades.

Peterson said he has held discussions with several high-tech companies, who expressed an interest in leasing space in the new complex.

Hung, who could not be reached for immediate comment, has developed similar types of projects on the mainland.

Here in Hawaii, Hung has played a role in developing several high-rise condominiums and apartment complexes.

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