Honolulu’s Kakaako gains first ‘parklets’ in front of Hank’s Haute Dogs

The trendy Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako, which is in the midst of gaining thousands of new residents in a bunch of high-rise ondominiumss being built in the area, is following a growing trend in Mainland cities such as San Francisco when it comes to public outdoor spaces.

Landowner Kamehameha Schools has unleashed a couple of custom-designed “parklets” on Coral Street in front of the popular Chicago-style hot dog eatery Hank’s Haute Dogs.

Parklets, which are basically public outdoor spaces created by extending a platform over curbside parking to create a user-friendly area for pedestrians to sit and relax, have been incorporated into other major cities such as Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

“Our new parklets are not only utilitarian, but with their unique design and features, they truly reflect the diversity and creative spirit of ‘Our Kakaako,’” Paul Kay, director of real estate development for Kamehameha Schools, said in a statement. “They enhance the neighborhood and inspire a sense of community. They also benefit surrounding local businesses by increasing foot traffic and providing a place for people to relax.”

Kamehameha Schools said that parklets are an integral part of its master plan for Our Kakaako, a mixed-use master plan for nine contiguous city blocks between South Street and Ward Avenue.

The private trust noted that it worked with the City and County of Honolulu’s transportation and planning departments on the parklets project.

If successful in Kakaako, the city may develop guidelines for expanding the project into other neighborhoods.

“All the cool and vibrant cities are doing these kinds of creative things,” said George Atta, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting. “The moribund cities are not. Honolulu is cool and vibrant.”

The Coral Street parklets were designed by Honolulu-based Ink Architects, and built by Honolulu-based Sunworks Construction and Honolulu’s PLS Builders.

The 9-foot by 22-foot parklets were built with re-purposed materials from the neighborhood.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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