A New Community Center Will Give New Life to 114-Year-Old Kakaako Pumping Station

HN1014-dc-8256-EditPACIFIC GATEWAY CENTER HOPES TO OPEN COMMUNITY CENTER BY NEXT SUMMER.

After decades spent closed and dusty, the historic stone Kakaako pumping station on Ala Moana Boulevard began preparations this week for a new role as a community center run by the the Pacific Gateway Center.

State lawmakers and Gov. Neil Abercrombie allocated $1 million for the renovation of the long-closed sewage pumping station on Ala Moana Boulevard across from the former CompUSA store. Built in 1900, the striking stone building has remained empty for years eluding various plans to develop it into a restaurant, museum or a host of other concepts.

State Senate president Donna Mercado Kim praised supporters of the project for finding a purpose for the structure. “We are giving it a second life. This center will be a place of learning, bringing senior citizens and youth together,” Kim said.

An environmental assessment began last month and must be completed before renovations can take place, according to Lindsey Doi, public information officer for the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which is the state landowner of the property.

The community center will be leased by and run by the Pacific Gateway Center, Doi said. “It fits in with the overall vision of Kakaako.” Pacific Gateway Center executive director Myaing Thein envisions a community center that hosts nearby members of the senior citizen community at Na Kupuna Makamae, as well as music and dance programs that welcome young and old.

The center also expects to offer low-cost legal assistance through a partnership with the University of Hawaii’s law school, Thein said. She estimates that the environmental report will take nine months and hopes that construction can begin as early as May 2015.

She said the renovations include fixing the roof, updating the antiquated electrical systems and plumbing and she hopes that could be complete in time to open a year from now, in September 2015.

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/September-2014/A-New-Community-Center-Will-Give-New-Life-to-114-Year-Old-Kakaako-Pumping-Station/

Hawaii architect Vernon Inoshita offers his take on Kakaako

Vernon Inoshita, the head of Honolulu-based Design Partners Inc., one of Hawaii’s largest architecture firms, feels that the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako is fairly well planned.

After all, he’s well qualified to know this after living in one of the existing condominium high-rises in the area, and being involved in planned housing projects there, including Alexander & Baldwin’s The Collection.

“I’ve seen all of the action,” Inoshita told PBN. “If we can put in a little more park [spaces] in the mix, that would help with the livability.”

Inoshita noted that high-rises are just a way of urban living. Kakaako stands to gain thousands of new residents in at least 10 new high-rises to be built in the area in the next decade.

“Our density is nothing compared to the Mainland,” Inoshita, who lives in the Hokua condominium, which was developed by the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group, said. “People are afraid and usually equate height with degraded quality of life, but that’s certainly not the case.”

The University of Southern California alumnus, who has a degree in architecture, is the owner and founder of his 35-year-old firm, the third largest firm on Oahu after Group 70 International Inc. and Architects Hawaii Ltd., according to PBN research.

Inoshita, who is the only original partner still at the firm, said that Design Partners could get bigger, but keeping it mid-sized, with 55 employees, is just fine. The firm’s 8,000-square-foot office is located at the Kapiolani Business Plaza at 1580 Makaloa St., near Ala Moana Center.

“We could get bigger, but it’s a different type of office once you do that,” he said.

In terms of where the economy is headed, Inoshita said that Hawaii is coming to the bottom third of a seven-year cycle.

“We envision, that in two years, we will get to the bottom of the market,” he said. “I just can tell from the projects that we work on. It’s not like the heyday two years ago.”

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Hawaii agency moves ahead with affordable housing project in Kakaako

This vacant lot at 630 Cooke St. in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako could be developed into affordable housing.

This vacant lot at 630 Cooke St. in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako could be developed into affordable housing.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency overseeing the redevelopment of the growing Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, has given its executive director unanimous approved to send out a request for proposals to developers wanting to build an affordable housing project on land owned by the agency.

Lindsey Doi, spokeswoman for the HCDA, confirmed to PBN that the decision was made at HCDA’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday. She said that HCDA could begin soliciting bids and choose a developer by Feb. 2015.

The vacant industrial parcel at 630 Cooke St., which consists of about 10,400 square feet and is located between Sunshine Scuba and Baby Emporium, is currently being used as a surface parking lot.

“We acquired the parcel of land in the 1990s through the Cooke Street realignment improvement district project,” Doi previously told PBN via email. “We always hoped it could help supplement Kakaako’s housing supply, and we’re looking for a different type of housing unit that might be a better fit for qualified income groups.”

She noted that microunits are an option, since these types of units might create smaller rental units for lower prices.

The property has an estimated value of about $1.9 million, and is owned by the HCDA, according to tax records. No building permit has been filed for the property since 1991.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Korean developer may build mostly affordable condo tower behind Ala Moana Center

A South Korean developer that once proposed to build a luxury high-rise condominium behind Ala Moana Center in Honolulu on land it bought in 2007 is deliberating on what would be the best thing to do with the site, including switching it to a mostly affordable project, the local consultant for the developer told PBN on Tuesday.

South Korea’s SamKoo Development is looking into whether a mostly affordable project would work or not, but no decision has been made just yet, according to Lowell Chun, the consultant for the developer.

“They are running the numbers,” he told PBN.

Chun, who said SamKoo Development is not ready yet to submit its plan to the City and County of Honolulu just yet, noted that a decision to scrap the project altogether, which also is on the table, also has not been made yet.

The site also sits along the city’s planned rail station line.

“I think it would be nice to have something there,” he said. “It’s got to make business as well as aesthetic and community sense. [SamKoo’s] chairman really likes Hawaii.”

The sale of the 1.43-acre car lot formerly owned by Motor Supply Co. at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd. for $26 million was the 13th largest transaction in 2007.

The $417 per square foot SamKoo paid for the lot set a record at that time.

In February, SamKoo Hawaii filed a building permit with the City and County of Honolulu for a new $190 million condominium building at the site at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Ala Moana and Kakaako Market Update – JUNE 2014

ALA MOANA AND KAKAAKO AREA MARKET UPDATE
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Hawaii State Federal Credit Union buys Kakaako property for new flagship branch

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, which recently bought Acme Fender & Paint Shop's property in Kakaako, plans to build a new flagship branch on that property.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, which recently bought Acme Fender & Paint Shop’s property in Kakaako, plans to build a new flagship branch on that property.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, the second-largest credit union in the state, recently purchased the former Acme Fender & Paint Shop property in Kakaako, where it plans to build its new flagship branch not too far away from its current Honolulu location, the head of the company told PBN.

Andrew Rosen, president and CEO of Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, whose main branch is located at 560 Halekauwila St., said that the new facility will house its retail functions.

The new branch will be located on a ground level with two floors of parking above it.

“With the population growing in Kakaako, we will have a lot of new users using our branch,” he told PBN. “A rail transit station will be nearby, so there will be a lot of foot traffic as well. We want to make sure we have a modern branch that addresses our own growth as well as the areas growth.”

The plan is to keep its existing five-story building for administrative functions with the new facility helping to deal with the expansion of the company.

“We have expanded in some new business lines,” Rosen said. “We’re back in the mortgage business and now we’re doing more financial advisory and investment services. In the last year, we’ve hired 20 new employees.”

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union paid $3.85 million for the property, according to public records and the broker who handled the deal, Kevin Nishikawa, vice president and Realtor for Honolulu-based Marcus & Associates Inc.

Rosen said that Acme Fender & Paint Shop, which remains open, will continue to lease the property from Hawaii State Federal Credit Union until construction on the new building begins.

He said that it is still working on the final plans on the new facility, but hopes to start construction sometime next year.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union trails only HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, in terms of most members and highest amount of assets in the state.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, which currently has eight branches across the state and more than 50 shared-branch locations in Hawaii and Las Vegas, has 231 employees and about 80,000 members, according to a corporate fact sheet as of March 31. It was established in 1936 and has $1.3 billion in assets.

PBN first reported that Acme Fender & Paint Shop’s owner, Dwayne Nasu, had put his Kakaako property for sale with plans to close the business when it sold.

The asking price for the four 3,000-square-foot parcels at 585 Halekauwila St. was $5 million.

Nasu along with other small landowners in Kakaako were featured in a PBN cover story last year, discussing the quandary they face, either to sell or stay as the area adds thousands of residents and a slew of high-rises in a redevelopment of Oahu’s “Third City.”

He is part of the second generation of the family business, which started when he was just 3 years old.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Fence surrounds Mother Waldron Park during repairs

Mother Waldron Park

Mother Waldron Park

An Oahu park is closed but it’s for a good reason.

Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako is fenced off because it’s undergoing a big facelift.

The basketball courts will be resurfaced.

There will also be new playground equipment and new trees.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority says the project is being taken on by local developer Stanford Carr.

The improvements will cost about $500,000, and could take about six months to complete.

Fence surrounds Mother Waldron Park during repairs

Former Kaneohe Ranch CEO D’Olier turns attention to Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood

Former Kaneohe Ranch CEO Mitch D'Olier was the keynote speaker Monday at the 11th Annual NAIOP Hawaii Real Estate Symposium at the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki.

Former Kaneohe Ranch CEO Mitch D’Olier was the keynote speaker Monday at the 11th Annual NAIOP Hawaii Real Estate Symposium at the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki.

Former Kaneohe Ranch CEO D’Olier turns attention to Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Former Kaneohe Ranch CEO Mitch D’Olier has turned his attention from the Windward side of Oahu to Honolulu, with his take on the island’s so called “Third City” of Kakaako.

D’Olier, who stepped down from his position as president and CEO of both Kaneohe Ranch and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation — which sold their Hawaii commercial real estate assets that included a majority of Kailua town for $373 million to Alexander & Baldwin — is now the chairman of both boards.

He said that while he does not mind tall buildings in Kakaako, he feels that the area could be planned out better.

“We need to urbanize the city, from Kaimuki to Pearl City,” he said to a group of more than 100 Hawaii commercial real estate stakeholders at the 11th Annual NAIOP Hawaii Real Estate Symposium held Monday at the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki, where D’Olier was the keynote speaker. “Think about the rail [transit] lines and take advantage of rail stops.”

He noted that the state’s Hawaii Community Development Authority, which is overseeing the redevelopment of Kakaako, should do pedestrian planning, much like the project he helped oversee in Kailua.

D’Olier, who worked in Kakaako when he was CEO of Victoria Ward Ltd., also said that he’d like to see a family-use plan in Kakaako, as well as a bike plan that utilizes government stream rights of way as bikeways rights of ways.

“Where are the kiddie parks?” he asked. “There needs to be coffee shops, soccer and basketball fields, gyms, need places for people to do recreational things.”

The former Hawaiian Airlines and Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel executive, who is known to have a funny bone or two, started off his speech with the song “Reflections” by the Supremes on his iPhone, which he used to describe his current state.

“I have been blessed to have four great jobs,” D’Olier said. “But I managed to do it with the help of my teams. I stood on their shoulders.”

Fast, free WiFi coming to big piece of Kakaako

Fast, free WiFi coming to big piece of Kakaako
By Andrew Gomes

The evolving Our Kaka’ako neighborhood in urban Honolulu is going to have some super-fast free WiFi.

Kamehameha Schools, which is adding new retail and residential rental and condominium buildings on nine blocks in Kakaako under a master plan called Our Kaka’ako, announced Tuesday that it is building a free wireless network for public use throughout the area.

“It is free, it is fast and it is available to anyone who wants to use it,” said Erin Kinney, a Kamehameha Schools development manager.

The network is being built by Hawaii Dialogix Telecom. Some coverage in the area became active Saturday, though it will take two weeks to finish the “Our Kaka’ako” network.

Kamehameha Schools and Hawaii Dialogix said the network will be the biggest, fastest, free system in the state.

The landowner and telecom firm said data transfer speeds will typically be at least five times faster for downloads and 50 times faster for uploads compared with most home and coffee shop networks.

In a demonstration in a Cooke Street warehouse, the Our Kaka’ako WiFi connection performed a speed test registering a 138-megabit-per-second download speed and a 103 Mbps upload speed compared with a paid 4G LTE wireless service registering 5 Mbps upload speed and a 12 Mbps download speed.

The nine blocks of Our Kaka’ako span 29 acres and are generally bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and South, Halekauwila and Cooke streets.

“It will be seamless,” Kinney said. “You’re not going to get cut off when you walk block to block in the master plan.”

POSTED: 11:29 a.m. HST, Mar 04, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Mar 04, 2014

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20140304_Fast_free_WiFi_coming_to_big_piece_of_Kakaako.html?id=248433481

Honolulu public space project ‘Kakaako Agora’ designed by Japan’s Atelier Bow-Wow

Feb 4, 2014, 2:19pm HST
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Wei Fang, principal of Interisland Terminal, poses for a photo by a model of the "Kakaako Agora," a public space in Kakaako that will be located in a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street. Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, known for building and designing public and commercial buildings, is the architect on the project.

Wei Fang, principal of Interisland Terminal, poses for a photo by a model of the “Kakaako Agora,” a public space in Kakaako that will be located in a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street. Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, known for building and designing public and commercial buildings, is the architect on the project.

Kamehameha Schools and Interisland Terminal, a Honolulu-based collective that presents international exhibitions and programs in contemporary art, design and film, unveiled plans on Tuesday for the “Kakaako Agora,” a public space in the Honolulu neighborhood designed by famous Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow.

Kakaako Agora, which is scheduled to be completed in early June, has a scheduled public hearing set for Wednesday with the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Located inside a 3,225-square-foot warehouse on Cooke Street, the project includes transforming the vacant space into a free, open to the public, community gathering spot with a mezzanine level that will add 687 square feet to the space.

Landowner Kamehameha Schools and Interisland Terminal said they will work together to seek out creative partnerships that ensure the space is being utilized to its full potential.

“We are extremely excited that the founders of Atelier Bow-Wow will be bringing their unique architectural approach to Our Kakaako,” Kamehameha Schools Senior Asset Manager Christian O’Connor said in a statement. “Creating an engaging public space for Our Kakaako will generate opportunities for people to collaborate and to continue to foster creativity within the community.”

Founded in 1992 by architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow has designed and built houses, public and commercial buildings as well as innovative public spaces around the globe.

The married couple is best known for their idiosyncratic yet functional residential projects in dense urban environments and coined the term “pet architecture” to describe the odd but functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo.

“Through our relationship with Interisland Terminal, the Kakaako Agora project will able to show an alternative way to create a public space in an industrial area,” Tsukamoto said in a statement. “Gradually, small visions and conversations are turning into real projects and real buildings. It is also exciting that this is an opportunity to take traditional architectural work in a whole new direction.”

Atelier Bow-Wow will be working with several local organizations on the project, including Collab Studios, Sunworks Construction, Heavy Metal Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii School of Architecture.

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