Kamehameha unveils
new plan for Kakaako

Kamehameha Schools has sketched a vision for some of its prime Kakaako lands in which Cooke Street serves as the "spine" of a shady corridor of research-oriented, residential and commercial developments straddling Ala Moana.

The estate showed the concept yesterday to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees development in Kakaako, in an update on the estate's plans for its holdings.

The $6 billion trust recently revealed a new strategy for a life sciences-based redevelopment of its Kakaako land, designed to complement the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine.

The estate has yet to put out requests for redevelopment proposals but said yesterday that something similar to the village-like Cooke Street concept would constitute the best "live-work-play" use of its key lands in the area, which are contiguous and lie on both sides of Ala Moana.

"We're not looking for piecemeal developments. The developments in the area must work together," said Bob Oda, project manager with the estate's commercial real estate division.

A vision for Kakaako

The Kamehameha Schools' plans for redeveloping its lands in Kakaako entail:

>> Focusing development in a north-south corridor that runs along Cooke Street and straddles Ala Moana.

>> Developing research-oriented facilities makai of Ala Moana and residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings on the mauka side.

The estate wants any Cooke Street corridor redevelopment to include research-oriented facilities on the makai side of Ala Moana that would feed off the science-based community expected to sprout up around the medical center.

On the mauka side, the estate envisions a possible mix of low-rise commercial facilities topped by residential towers. The two sides would be linked by a landscaped and beautified Cooke Street, now a gritty and treeless procession of warehouses.

The estate plans to put out requests within a couple of months for a pair of catalyst projects, one on each side of Ala Moana, and hopes to decide on those by the time the medical center opens next spring.

The estate, which uses the income from its commercial holdings to fund the education of Hawaiian children at its schools, also asked the authority to terminate the estate's 1994 master plan for Kakaako.

The Pauahi Place Master Plan placed conditions on the development of Kamehameha Schools land in Kakaako, such as assessing impact fees on new developments. Those fees came in the form of land or cash that the authority was to use for public facilities, such as parks. Other restrictions encouraged development on the mauka side of Ala Moana before the makai side.

Some of those conditions were advantageous for the estate at the time. But the authority has since loosened development rules for the rest of Kakaako.

Kamehameha Schools now says scrapping the plan would give it a freer hand to initiate redevelopments based purely on market demand.

Susan Todani, director of investments for Kamehameha Schools, said the trust has watched the success of Chicago-based General Growth Properties, the owner of Ala Moana Shopping Center and wants to emulate that.

Unencumbered by a master plan, General Growth recently announced plans for a redevelopment of the Ward Village Shops and two nearby warehouses that would add 160,000 square feet of retail space, 218 residential rental apartments, and a garage structure.

"We're not asking for special treatment," Todani said. "We'd just like to play by the same rules that everybody else is playing by now."

Kamehameha Schools



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