Honolulu’s Kakaako to get help from feds on boosting healthy food production

Hawaii is one of 22 states to be chosen for a federal partnership to boost economic opportunities for local farmers and other businesses promoting childhood wellness via access to healthy local food in the Honolulu area of Kakaako Makai, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

The “Local Foods, Local Places” initiative involves six federal agencies and the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako, which will focus on identifying food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the area, enhancing local food production, integrating food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning and reducing stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants. Each Local Foods, Local Places community will work with a team of experts who will help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtown areas and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

The initiative, launched in 2014, is a partnership among the EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News

First Look: Ferraro Choi shares renderings of Honolulu’s ‘Kakaako Innovation Block’

choiHonolulu architecture firm Ferraro Choi and Associates Ltd. has been tapped to design a part of the 5.5-acre “Kakaako Makai Innovation Block,” a partnership between the Hawaii Community Development Authority and the High Technology Development Corp.

Ferraro Choi, which is designing the “Entrepreneur’s Sandbox” and is in the planning phase for the “Innovation Hale,” has revealed renderings for the 360,000-square-foot project.

The first phase would be the Entrepreneur’s Sandbox, a collaboration space for technology and enterprise, and the Innovation Hale, which would house technology and enterprise resources.

The hale would include a stand-alone commercial office and retail mall and ike, formerly DataHouse Holdings Corp., one of the biggest information technology firms in Hawaii, as well as Fisher Hawaii, one of the largest home and office product supply warehouse and retail stores in the state.

Other potential tenants could come from health care, technology, education and data services.

The second phase would consist of the Kewalo Incubation Center, a place for the High Technology Development Corp. facilities and a regional parking facility that would increase parking in the area from 400 stalls at grade to 600 to 900 stalls in a parking structure.

The center would cater to start-ups, with space rents backloaded and customized for flexibility.

The third phase includes a learning center with up to 150,000 square feet of facilities and the “Keawe Courtyard,” an outdoor gathering place.

Duane Shimogawa
Pacific Business News

Office of Hawaiian Affairs looks for short-term users in Kakaako Makai

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is seeking short-term uses for several parcels in Kakaako Makai, where the agency acquired some 30 acres three years ago from the state of Hawaii in a deal meant to resolve a decades-long dispute.

Peter Apo, a trustee for OHA, told attendees at a recent Hawaii Society of Business Professionals event in Honolulu that it is looking for ideas from developers for about six lots in Kakaako Makai.

On Monday, OHA said it secured a lease with Street Grindz, the company that does Eat the Street, Honolulu Night Market and Art After Dark, at the former Fisherman’s Wharf site for “daily activities.”

“Now that we are landowners, we are on the hot seat,” Apo said at the event, which focused on the area. “We have to do something that people will feel good about. It’s a tricky navigation [process].”

He noted that OHA recently completed its first round of statewide meetings, with more on the way.

“It was a very intensive two-and-a-half weeks of direct engagement with communities across the state,” Apo said.

OHA awarded a nearly $3 million contract to a partnership of four Hawaiian firms, including Edith Kanakaole Foundation, DTL, PBR Hawaii and WCIT Architecture.

The contract, which requires its leadership team to actively get input from the Hawaiian community during the master planning for Kakaako Makai, is expected to take two years to fulfill.

The 30 acres in Honolulu that OHA acquired from the state are valued at an estimated $200 million.

Apo pointed out that all the major landowners in Kakaako, including The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) and Kamehameha Schools need to work together.

“We will never have an opportunity where you have only three landowners,” he said. “One proposal we had put out there was the three landowners putting Hawaiian plants in Kakaako, and maybe do botanical tours for children.”

Apo said the end result for Kakaako, if all three landowners are on the same page, would be developing a world-class destination for locals and visitors.

OHA’s proposal to build residential high-rises in the area was shot down by state lawmakers last year.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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