David Chinaka, president of the Kaimuki Business and Professional Association, stands at the corner of 10th and Waialae Avenues.

Kaimuki business leader’s
mantra is ‘fix the parking’

David Chinaka

>> Firm: Chinaka, Siu & Co. CPAs

>> Community post: President of the Kaimuki Business & Professional Association

>> Other new officers: First Vice President Eric Wong, The Law Office of Eric Wong; Second Vice President Rene Tam Ho, Bank of Hawaii; Secretary Chris Yuen, Ohata Chun Yuen; and Immediate Past President Keven Matsuura, Central Pacific Bank.

What is the mission of the Kaimuki Business & Professional Association?

It is an association that primarily deals with business and professional issues. It's for networking. We do meetings with the Kahala Business Association every two months. For the community, we have the annual Christmas parade. We also have an Easter egg hunt and a Halloween contest. We have about a hundred members. The biggest issue on everybody's mind is parking, so we're on a task force to address parking issues. We act as a liaison between Kaimuki businesses and the city and state.

Is solving the parking situation your primary goal as president?

That's my hope. But this has been going on for a long, long time. We're also looking at how to continue the revitalization of business in Kaimuki. With the trolley running to Waikiki, we're trying to get people to come into Kaimuki from Waikiki and vice versa. And we're looking at Waialae Avenue in particular. Some of the buildings in the area need to be renovated, rented, rebuilt or something.

There were a lot of complaints about the work being doing on Waialae Avenue. Have those efforts to beautify the area paid off at all?

It depends on who you are talking to. For the pedestrians it's a lot nicer, for the restaurants it's nicer. But while the construction was going on, it made the parking situation harder and when it was finished there was less parking. I'm not sure whether the improvements have increased the traffic, but that is a possibility. We just had the second annual Kanikapila (neighborhood celebration) and from the looks of it, that was very successful. We want to see if we can build on some of the traffic solutions used for that event.

What were those solutions?

They had off-site parking at the schools and they had the trolley bring the people from those parking lots for free. There may be a way that we can make use of the parking lots in the schools, when they are not being used, but you still need to have some way to get people up to the restaurants and shops.

Kaimuki is a real mix of old and new businesses. Where do you see the commercial mix is headed?

Kaimuki has a lot of second- and third-generation businesses and I see more of those being fazed out, but they are being replaced by businesses of the same size, just not in the same families. You are not going to see the big boxes move in.

Why do you think the national chains haven't made more inroads in the area?

The feeling is the traffic is going to be at Kahala Mall and people are going to get on the freeway and bypass Kaimuki.

What sorts of untapped business opportunities exist in Kaimuki?

Probably retail. The thing with retail is there would need to be a better base of people coming in and that's the problem with the parking. That's also going to be true of office buildings. There's a premium on parking. There's a lot of vacant office space, but the lease rent advantage Kaimuki had five years ago has shrunk compared to downtown. Downtown rates have fallen while Kaimuki's stayed largely the same.

Finally, what's in store for the old Queen Theatre site?

We're going to meet with the landlords. I would like to see something done. We want to meet with them about revitalizing that whole block down to Larry's Auto Parts.

Inside Hawaii Inc. is a conversation with a member of the Hawaii business community who has changed jobs, been elected to a board or been recognized for accomplishments. Send questions and comments to


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