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

Honolulu’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf building torn down

The Fisherman's Wharf building in Honolulu, which stood for nearly seven decades, was torn down Thursday.

The Fisherman’s Wharf building in Honolulu, which stood for nearly seven decades, was torn down Thursday.

The iconic Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant building in Honolulu, which stood along Ala Moana Boulevard for nearly seven decades, was demolished on Thursday to make way for a redevelopment of the property.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the owner of the property, officially started preparations to take down the aging structure earlier this month.

PBN first reported that the building at 1011 Ala Moana Blvd. was coming down soon as a demolition permit had been pulled by LVI Environmental Services Inc., which merged with NCM Group Holdings LLC in April to form NorthStar Group Holdings LLC.

North Star Contracting Group Inc. in Waipio fenced off the dilapidated 10,000-square-feet, two-story building as part of the demolition project, which called for salvaging the two restaurant signs atop the roof of the building as well as a free-standing restaurant sign at ground level and incorporating them into future development at the site.

The land is part of 30 acres OHA has owned in Kakaako Makai since August 2012. The land, which was conveyed to OHA, resolved its claims to past-due revenue generated by the state’s use of public trust lands for the period Nov. 7, 1978 through June 20, 2012.

The land includes about 25 acres in Kakaako Makai, including the Fisherman’s Wharf property.

The demolition project is happening at a time when OHA is drawing up a master plan focused on fulfilling the potential for the properties in Kakaako Makai to generate revenue that could support the agency’s efforts to fund community-based programs aimed at improving conditions for Native Hawaiians.

The state agency has chosen a design team to develop a plan for the 30 acres in Kakaako Makai, including the Kuhikuhi Puuone Collaborative, a partnership of four Hawaiian firms, including Edith Kanakaole Foundation, DTL, PBR Hawaii and WCIT Architecture.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Honolulu’s Fisherman’s Wharf building to be demolished by end of year

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs said Wednesday that it started the process to demolish the shuttered Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant building.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs said Wednesday that it started the process to demolish the shuttered Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant building.

The Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant in Honolulu will be torn down by the end of this year, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said that it was officially starting preparations on Wednesday for the 67-year-old building’s demolition.

PBN first reported that the building at 1011 Ala Moana Blvd. was coming down soon as a demolition permit had been pulled by LVI Environmental Services Inc., which along with NCM Group Holdings LLC, two of the top providers of demolition and remediation services in the country, merged in April to form NorthStar Group Holdings LLC.

North Star Contracting Group Inc. in Waipio has started fencing off the dilapidated 10,000-square-feet, two-story building as part of the demolition project, which calls for salvaging the two restaurant signs atop the roof of the building as well as a free-standing restaurant sign at ground level and incorporating them into future development at the site.

The land is part of 30 acres OHA has owned in Kakaako Makai since August 2012, after the state and the agency officially reached a $200 million agreement to settle decades of disputes over ceded lands, the crown lands that were transferred to the Territory of Hawaii and later to the state. The land, which was conveyed to OHA, includes about 25 acres in Kakaako Makai, including the Fisherman’s Wharf property.

Private investors and others who had previously expressed interest in the property, but the building — which was built around 1940 — has become too cost-prohibitive to renovate, said OHA, which also noted that the demolition project is a direct response to health and safety concerns stemming from the building, which has become infested with termites and rats after sitting vacant for a few years.

The demolition project is happening at a time when OHA is drawing up a master plan focused on fulfilling the potential for the properties in Kakaako Makai to generate revenue that could support the agency’s efforts to fund community-based programs aimed at improving conditions for Native Hawaiians.

The state agency has chosen a design team to develop a plan for the 30 acres in Kakaako Makai, including the Kuhikuhi Puuone Collaborative, a partnership of four Hawaiian firms, including Edith Kanakaole Foundation, DTL, PBR Hawaii and WCIT Architecture .

“We expect to keep any inconvenience from the demolition to a minimum as this project allows us to address a serious health hazard and put us on a path to establish in the area a new presence that reflects a Hawaiian sense of place,” OHA CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe said in a statement.

The Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant has been closed since 2009. The owner of Pizza Bob’s in Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore once planned to open at the shuttered restaurant after winning a lease with the state for the space at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue in 2010.

In March, OHA sent out a request for proposals for the demolition of the Fisherman’s Wharf building.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Fisherman’s Wharf building in Honolulu closer to being demolished

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is planning to demolish the Fisherman's Wharf building in Honolulu, which is become an eyesore since the restaurant closed.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is planning to demolish the Fisherman’s Wharf building in Honolulu, which is become an eyesore since the restaurant closed.

The iconic 67-year-old Fisherman’s Wharf building at Kewalo Basin in Honolulu is getting closer to being demolished.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which owns the shuttered restaurant building at 1011 Ala Moana Blvd., was recently issued a permit to demolish the 7,441-square-foot, two-story building, which has become an eyesore over the years.

OHA has contracted New York-based LVI Environmental Services Inc. to do the demolition work, which is estimated to cost about $186,000, the permit said.

The Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant has been closed since 2009. The owner of Pizza Bob’s in Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore once planned to open at the shuttered restaurant after winning a lease with the state for the space at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue in 2010.

Then in 2012, the state of Hawaii and OHA officially reached a $200 million agreement to settle decades of disputes over ceded lands.

The land, which was conveyed to the state agency, includes about 25 acres in Kakaako Makai, including the Fisherman’s Wharf property.

In March, OHA sent out a request for proposals for the demolition of the Fisherman’s Wharf building.

An OHA spokesman on Monday told PBN there is no deadline to tear down the building.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

OHA seeks approval to turn Kakaako land into residential area.

OHA seeks approval to turn Kakaako land into residential area. by Andrew Gomes@staradgomes

Graphic by Bryant Fukutomi at Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Graphic by Bryant Fukutomi at Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Condominium towers could sprout in Kakaako just makai of Ala Moana Boulevard if a bill sought by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs is approved by the Legislature.

OHA is seeking the legislation to increase the value of 25 acres between Kewalo Basin and Honolulu Harbor that it received two years ago in a historic settlement with the state for deferred ceded land revenue valued at $200 million.

The measure, Senate Bill 3122, comes eight years after the Legislature prohibited residential development in the same area known as Kakaako Makai after public protests against a plan by local developer Alexander &Baldwin Inc. to build three condo towers on what is now one of the OHAparcels.

The bill is expected to rekindle the fierce debate over whether high-density housing is an appropriate use in the area.

“We’ve said it over and over and over again — commercial development doesn’t belong down there,”said Michael Kliks, a Manoa resident and founding member of the Hawaii State Bodysurfing Association who has a close connection to Kakaako’s waterfront that includes the Point Panic bodysurfing break. “It doesn’t make a difference who owns the land. It’s the same thing.”

Kliks, along with others — including the community group Save Our Kakaako — fought to preserve undeveloped sites surrounding Kakaako Waterfront Park from housing and other commercial development by A&Bthat they feared would crowd out public use of the waterfront.

One difference now is that the land on which A&B intended to build was owned by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a state agency, for the benefit of the general public. OHA’s mission is to use the land to benefit Native Hawaiians.

Under the bill, OHA is required to hold a public hearing on any residential project but still would need approval from HCDA, which regulates development in all of Kakaako.

Kawika Burgess, chief operating officer of OHA, said Wednesday that a recently completed analysis showed it would be “very difficult” to achieve the $200 million value of the land under existing zoning, but residential development would make it possible. “We are looking to achieve returns consistent with the $200 million valuation,” Burgess said.

The bill is a broader version of one introduced in 2012, Senate Bill 682, that sought to allow residential development on two of OHA’s nine Kakaako Makai parcels. The two parcels that were identified front AlaMoana and not the water.

Six other OHA parcels have water frontages, mostly along the Ewa edge of the Kewalo Basin small boat harbor.

Sen. Clayton Hee, a former OHAtrustee and co-sponsor of the recent bill, said his view is that OHAshould have gotten more in its settlement with the state. His preference, though, is that only OHA’s land fronting Ala Moana should be approved for condo development.

“The highest revenue generation, as evidenced by what’s going on in Kakaako, is condominiums,” said Hee (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua). “It would provide a tremendous revenue-generating income for Hawaiians.”

Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria (D, Kakaako-McCully-Waikiki) said he shares the view that OHA didn’t get enough in its settlement, accepting the land appraised at roughly $200 million.

“(The bill)is designed to give them what they need,”he said, adding that he doesn’t anticipate that residential use will be granted for all of OHA’s Kakaako land.

Other senators who introduced the bill at OHA’s request are Donovan Dela Cruz (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore-Mililani Mauka), Gilbert Kahele (D, Hilo), Michelle Kidani (D, Mililani-Waikele-Kunia) and Malama Solomon (D, Kaupulehu-Waimea-North Hilo).

Six other senators have signed on to the bill. Galuteria, Hee, Kahele, Kidani and Solomon are members of the Senate’s Hawaiian Caucus.

The 2012 bill was introduced by Dela Cruz and advanced out of several Senate and House committees but stalled without a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

SB682 drew support from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who as a U.S. congressman in 2005 criticized the A&Bplan and HCDA, also lent his support to the new bill. “The Governor stands alongside OHA to find approaches and solutions that will help OHA help its beneficiaries,”his office said in written testimony on the bill.

Opposition to the 2012 bill was heavy from Save Our Kaka’ako members and others. In testimony submitted to the House Judiciary Committee in March 2012, 56 people submitted written testimony against the bill.

Ron Iwami, president of the group Friends of Kewalos, said allowing residential development in the area would set a “bad precedent for future exceptions to the law and will ultimately open the door for more residential high-rise development in (Kakaako Makai).”

Stuart Coleman with the Surfrider Foundation shared Iwami’s fear of a precedent.

“I was part of the Save Kakaako Alliance that helped stop luxury condos and residential units from being built on this last bit of public oceanfront land in Honolulu,”he said in written testimony. “The Legislature did the right thing in passing a law to ban residential development in this area, and it seems senseless to go against your own rules and make exemptions now.”

The new bill has been referred to a joint Senate committee of Hawaiian Affairs/Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing followed by the Judiciary and Labor Committee. An initial hearing has yet to be scheduled.

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