The Howard Hughes Corp. moves forward with plans for Hawaii’s Kewalo Basin Harbor

About 100 community members and stakeholders gathered at the "Net Shed" in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako to talk about revitalizing the Kewalo Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management of the small boat harbor, which is between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, in September.

About 100 community members and stakeholders gathered at the “Net Shed” in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako to talk about revitalizing the Kewalo Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management of the small boat harbor, which is between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, in September.

The Howard Hughes Corp., which took over management of the Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu in September, is considering redevelopment options of the aging small boat harbor, including upgrading restrooms, adding food service and a convenience store for boaters, security and other improvements.

Late last week, executives from the Dallas, Texas-based developer gave PBN an update on the project.

The Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC), which has a pair of luxury high-rise condominiums under construction across Ala Moana Boulevard, with development rights for a total of 22 condos in its Ward Villages master plan, recently kicked off the public meetings process for the renovation of the harbor between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

About 100 people from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, environmentalists, Friends of Kewalos, surfers, University of Hawaii and other community members attended the recent talk-story session at Kupu’s Green Training Facility, known as the “Net Shed,” to gather information about where it was, where it is now and what it should become.

“Right now it’s a pretty lackluster experience,” David Striph, senior vice president of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN. “We need to make it more of a community center where people can gather.”

Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development in Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corp., told PBN that first off, it will begin replacing piers and the utilities at the small boat harbor.

“The basic things,” he said. “Then longer-term is the land side.”

Next year, it will start the in-the-water improvements.

The developer also will be holding additional public meetings regarding the harbor, although nothing has been scheduled just yet.

The Howard Hughes Corp. secured the lease for the harbor for up to 45 years in a public-private partnership aimed at revitalizing the small commercial boat harbor.

The developer and the HCDA, the state agency overseeing the redevelopment of the Kakaako neighborhood across the street from the harbor, recently traveled to the Mainland, including Texas and California, to conduct research that will help with the upgrade of the harbor.

Kewalo Basin currently has 144 boat slips in various states of disrepair and is in need of an overhaul, according to the HCDA, which assumed control of the harbor in 2009.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has committed to spending millions of dollars to improve the harbor with security upgrades and dock renovations, to benefit the charter boat businesses, fishermen and other harbor users.

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

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