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  #201  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2008, 7:10 PM
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Hey urbanguy, first-thanks for all of the updates. I love seeing what is being built in hono. Second, do you have any info on transit projects in hawaii? I browsed through thebus website and didn't see anything. Are there any projects in the pipeline? Just wondering. I'll be over there in a year for school and am trying to catch up on what is going on over there

Found this: http://www.honolulutransit.org/

Last edited by pdxman; Feb 13, 2008 at 7:23 PM.
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  #202  
Old Posted May 12, 2008, 10:33 PM
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Are there any new projects that are coming up or on the drawing board in Honolulu ?
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  #203  
Old Posted May 16, 2008, 4:35 PM
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pdxman, i'm sorry it took so darn long to respond! Well, there's still debate going on about rail in Honolulu but so far it looks fairly good. If it does get the final approval it will be years before it will be completed. BTW what school are you planning on going to? Where are you planning on living?

An artist's drawing envisions a 16-story Kalakaua Avenue condominium, which will be built only if enough buyers commit first.


Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A San Francisco construction company has decided to move ahead with developing a moderate-priced condominium high-rise on Kalakaua Avenue in Pawa'a near the Hawai'i Convention Center.

An affiliate of SPE Construction Inc. plans to build the 16-story building with 120 units at 1723 Kalakaua Ave. later this year if it can obtain enough interest from buyers.

If construction proceeds smoothly, the condo is projected to be completed in early 2010.



-------------------------------------------------------

Here's another residential project proposal. It's really ugly and plain Jane, unfortunately.

220ft. - 176-unit condo planned by 2010

Half of the fee-simple condominiums will be designated affordable


Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

Developer THM Partners is proposing to build a new 176-unit residential condominium near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Beretania Street.

A rendering of Holomua, an upcoming residential condo. Completion date is scheduled for 2010.

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  #204  
Old Posted May 24, 2008, 5:05 PM
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Here's an update about Rail in Honolulu:

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

$350M rail route would link airport

The mayor says state funds could pay for the route; state officials say that is unlikely




The city is proposing to add a 2.1-mile segment to the proposed rail transit system, pushing the overall price tag over $4 billion, according to Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

The spur would connect Ala Moana Center and Honolulu Airport and would be separate from the 20-mile route planned from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center that goes through Salt Lake and bypasses the airport.

The spur would cost about $350 million and complement the $3.7 billion main rail route, Hannemann said yesterday.

The city said the new segment could be paid for through the 10 percent the state withholds for collecting the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge to fund mass transit, as well as the state Department of Transportation's airport fund. But state Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said use of the airport fund to fund rail transit is unlikely.

---------------------------------------

More information...

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

The city plans to start construction of the elevated commuter rail late next year, with the first segment from East Kapolei to Leeward Community College opening in 2012. Later segments would extend the system to West Kapolei to Manoa and Waikiki.

Hannemann also said yesterday that a trolley-bus system could facilitate transportation between Waikiki and the train's Ala Moana Center terminus station until the Waikiki spur is built.

An aerial view of Honolulu International Airport shows the proposed rail station would be built near the new parking structure.


The Ala Moana Center rail plan shows the transit station, a trolley stop and the proposed link to Waikiki and the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.
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  #205  
Old Posted May 25, 2008, 6:35 PM
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Here's more detail and proposals for a couple of the major stops.

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Hawaii rail transit will remake Waipahu

Mass-transit stations bring large-scale development plans


Honolulu's commuter train is expected to bring in more than just passengers when it pulls into Waipahu in 2012.

The planned $3.7 billion mass-transit system could also pump new life into the former plantation town and other communities along the 20-mile route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana.

The system's 19 stations, which will be capable of moving about 6,000 passengers an hour in each direction, could become hubs for housing, business and employment. That in turn could spur land values and real estate development.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann plans to start construction late next year, with the first segment beginning operation between East Kapolei to Leeward Community College in 2012. In Waipahu, which could be among the first communities to feel those impacts, expectations are high.

"It will make (Waipahu) into a big boom town," said Frederic Chun, who owns property adjacent to a planned train station near Mokuola Street. "It's going to increase the value considerably because that's a very important stop right there."

San Francisco-based architectural and urban design firm Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP seems to agree. The company predicts Waipahu could become a low-rise version of Downtown Honolulu during the next 20 years or so. Conceptual drawings recently released by the company show a massive redevelopment of Waipahu that includes buildings of 10 or more stories near a planned station at Leoku Street and Farrington Highway.

Those drawings and other plans prepared by the firm will help tailor rules governing housing density, parking and pedestrian amenities near Waipahu's transit stations, both of which would be along Farrington Highway.

The city's goal is to foster transit lifestyles and higher-density developments near train stations, which could curb urban sprawl.

------------Here's a look at a couple of the major stops------------







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  #206  
Old Posted May 25, 2008, 7:28 PM
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Wow, so they're not just building a station, they're rebuilding several entire blocks with new development!
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  #207  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 6:53 PM
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^Oh yeah, it's going to spur massive redevelopment along the route once this thing gets going although the rise in construction costs might deter or delay it for a while. I just hope that everything goes as planned because there's so much potential for this city.


I'm not a fan of malls/lifestyle centers but this is going to be a huge project.

Deal finalized for West Oahu center
Ka Makana Ali'i is to be larger than Pearlridge and will include a hotel

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

The shopping center in East Kapolei is expected to open in late 2009 on 67 acres near the planned University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu campus and will have 1.6 million square feet of commercial space.


*It will be the 2nd largest shopping center in the metro area.

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser West O'ahu Writer

A final lease agreement has been signed that will bring O'ahu's largest shopping center west of Pearlridge between 'Ewa and Kapolei.

The agreement was announced yesterday by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Tampa, Fla.-based Hawai'i DeBartolo LLC.

At the key intersection of Kapolei Parkway and the upcoming North-South Road, the center, dubbed Ka Makana Ali'i, will have 1.6 million square feet of commercial space.

Size-wise, that's between the newly enlarged Ala Moana Center at 2.1 million acres and Pearlridge Center at 1.4 million acres.

Additionally, the agreement allows DeBartolo to put up to 300 hotel rooms in two towers and a third high-rise that will be an office building with up to 100,000 square feet of space.

The lease agreement is for 65 years, with DeBartolo expected to shell out $142 million over the first 25 years, starting with $4.7 million annually in lease rent the first 10 years and going as high as $7 million annually from the 21st to 25th years. The lease to be paid after that will be determined later.

DeBartolo estimates the project will help bring 4,000 jobs to West O'ahu. It is on Kapolei Parkway and the upcoming North-South Road and will have almost a straight shot with the H-1 Freeway-North-South Road interchange scheduled to open in 2010.

Kane said the additional jobs in the area will mean fewer cars on the road, providing traffic relief for long-suffering 'Ewa and Kapolei residents.

DeBartolo said it will invest more than $400 million on the site over the first 25 years.
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  #208  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2008, 6:42 AM
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Hey urbanguy, sorry it took ME so long to respond this time. I will most likely be going to UH at Manoa possibly by next spring but most likely the following fall. I'd be over there now if I could! I'll be living in Honolulu in the kahala area, so not far from Manoa.

Thanks for all the posts as well! Its good to keep up on all the goings-on in hawaii
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  #209  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2008, 7:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanguy View Post
^Oh yeah, it's going to spur massive redevelopment along the route once this thing gets going although the rise in construction costs might deter or delay it for a while. I just hope that everything goes as planned because there's so much potential for this city.
Especially so because that area is kind of run down. If there ever was a place that needed an infusion of funds and new development, this is it.
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  #210  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2008, 7:44 PM
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^Wahiawa as well.

Honolulu skyline expands with taller buildings

Proposed Makiki project is 70 feet above area allowance


Okay, I have to admit that the title is a little misleading because the height's that are being allowed in certain parts of the city aren't all that high but the good news is that the city council knows that its the smart thing to do especially because of the high construction costs and finite land available. So who know's we may see the city finally exceed the 500 ft. level in the near future as the demand for affordable housing continues to grow.



Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A proposed Makiki residential high-rise would exceed the height limit in the neighborhood by 70 feet, the latest of several projects to seek height exemptions in what experts say could be a trend as condominium developers counter rising construction costs by building higher.

The developers of Holomua, planned for 1315 Kalakaua Ave., say the high-rise project wouldn't make economic sense at 150 feet — the height limit for the neighborhood — so they are proposing to build to 220 feet and offer 51 percent of the for-sale units at affordable prices.

"It all boils down to economies of scale," said Serge Krivatsy of THM Partners, developer of the project. "The cost of land, especially in urban Honolulu, means the more units you can get on a parcel, the more you can reduce the selling price."

Though Holomua won't be the only high-rise towering over the area — the nearby Banyan Tree Plaza on Punahou Street soars to 350 feet and another nearby project hits 220 feet — dozens of Makiki residents oppose the 176-unit project, saying its height exemption translates into more people, more cars and more problems.

"The density factor would greatly increase," said Francis Soon, board president of One Kalakaua, a nearby condominium for seniors.

Height Fights

The tension isn't unique to Makiki. Communities around the island are grappling with height limits as developers and planners try to find a balance between keeping housing development on pace with the growth of the population and preserving the feel, view planes and skylines of neighborhoods.

In recent years, residents have come out against height exemptions or zoning changes for high- and mid-rise projects in Waipahu, Wai'anae, Nanakuli and Hawai'i Kai. All of those exemptions or zoning changes were approved, including a 10-story luxury condo in Hawai'i Kai and the twin 105-foot Plantation Town Apartments in Waipahu.

Experts expect more high-rises to push the height limits in the coming years.

"The cost of construction has gone up 50 percent in the last year alone with fuel charges and just getting material over here, and the cost of land has almost doubled in the last three years," said Stephany Sofos, a real estate analyst. "What the developers are doing is they want more density. The way to get more density is go higher."

Allen Leong, of KC Rainbow Development, which built the Moana Pacific towers in Kaka'ako, added that more people are looking for deals in the housing market. And some high-rise developments just don't pencil out at set height limits.

"I think the whole issue is the market and what the market is willing to pay," he said. "Lately, we have seen a trend of developers trying to lower their square foot costs. I believe they're reacting to market demand."

And especially for affordable projects, building higher has become one way developers are able to make a return.

Reasonable Concerns

Of the eight development projects since 2006 filed under a state law that allows certain exemptions in exchange for affordability, four projects have gone over the height limits in their areas. The projects include the Plantation Town Apartments in Waipahu; Hale Wai Vista in Wai'anae, which exceeded the height limit by 20 feet to go to 60 feet; and Mokuloa Vista in Waipahu, which went to 73 feet, exceeding the limit by 25 feet.

Holomua is also applying under the state law, and plans to keep 51 percent of its units affordable for a decade. Residents at One Kalakaua, a 138-foot high-rise, and others who live nearby say they see the need for affordable housing, but question why the project should be granted an exemption and then not be required to retain affordability for more than 10 years.

"After 10 years, it doesn't have to be affordable anymore," said Dee Robinson, administrator for One Kalakaua, across the street from Holomua.

More than 40 people have written letters against the project, and 30 more turned out to oppose the project at a Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board meeting this month. The board has not yet taken a position on the project, but board chairman John Steelquist said he understands where both sides are coming from.

"The neighbors are understandably concerned," Steelquist said last week.

Developers hope to start construction on Holomua in December and open its doors in June 2010.

Opposition to the project comes as planners and policymakers have expressed support for building higher.

In January, the City Council approved an urban plan for Kapolei that would allow developers to build to 150 feet on 13 city blocks in downtown Kapolei, and to 120 feet on an additional 10 blocks. Previously, only six blocks in the area were allowed to go as high as 150 feet. Though no residential high-rises are under way in the area, several office and retail high-rises are. And developers say it won't be long until condos move in.

Council Supportive

The City Council, which must approve height exemptions, has largely supported projects going over height limits — within reason. Last year, the council passed a resolution urging the city Planning Department to recommend the "maximum appropriate height limit for all future zone changes" in Honolulu and Kapolei.

City Councilman Charles Djou, whose district stretches from Waikiki to Hawai'i Kai, introduced the resolution in hopes of preventing another urban problem — sprawl.

"We have a very clear finite amount of land," he said. "People don't want to see paradise paved over. So what my resolution seeks to do is encourage the department to look at allowing buildings to go even higher."

He said taller high-rises are more efficient, more environmentally sustainable and, if built correctly, can be aesthetically pleasing for neighborhoods.

And he pointed out that compared to other cities, Honolulu has very low height limits.

Height limits in urban Honolulu vary widely, from 400 feet in Kaka'ako to 150 feet in areas such as Makiki to 45 feet in the Sheridan Street area, where there are mostly residential homes and low-rises. Over the past few years, Honolulu residents have seen a flurry of residential high-rises going up. Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana, the Ko'olani, the Moana Pacific towers and Keola La'i are all about 400 feet — right to the limit — in Kaka'ako.

The growth has angered some residents.

Partly because of that community opposition, the Hawai'i Community Development Authority is proposing in its new Kaka'ako mauka plan to lower height limits from 400 to 200 feet along a section of Ala Moana boulevard.

The plan comes as HCDA is also reviewing the 20-year Ward Neighborhood master plan, which proposes constructing as many as nine residential high-rises — including five on Ala Moana opposite Kewalo harbor. Some of the condos are proposed to hit 400 feet.

Anthony Ching, HCDA director, said he can understand why residents don't want to see more tall buildings going up and he added skylines shouldn't be uniform, but show off a variety of heights. But he said space is a premium, and building higher sometimes makes sense.

"It's all a balancing act," he said. "We need housing. We need neighborhoods to be developed. At the same time, you don't want it to be too congested."

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  #211  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Urbanguy View Post
^Wahiawa as well.
That's a good kind of run down. Gives the tourists a bit more excitement on the trip to the north shore
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  #212  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 4:46 AM
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You guys want to do one final update for me? I leave here Tuesday to move there. I imagine I'll print out this whole thread and do a full blown block by block walking/photo tour of the whole city. Get myself good and oriented, get to know every project, and make the best of my unemployment
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  #213  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 8:26 PM
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^Wahiawa as well.

Honolulu skyline expands with taller buildings

Proposed Makiki project is 70 feet above area allowance


Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A proposed Makiki residential high-rise would exceed the height limit in the neighborhood by 70 feet, the latest of several projects to seek height exemptions in what experts say could be a trend as condominium developers counter rising construction costs by building higher.

The developers of Holomua, planned for 1315 Kalakaua Ave., say the high-rise project wouldn't make economic sense at 150 feet — the height limit for the neighborhood — so they are proposing to build to 220 feet and offer 51 percent of the for-sale units at affordable prices.

"It all boils down to economies of scale," said Serge Krivatsy of THM Partners, developer of the project. "The cost of land, especially in urban Honolulu, means the more units you can get on a parcel, the more you can reduce the selling price."

Though Holomua won't be the only high-rise towering over the area — the nearby Banyan Tree Plaza on Punahou Street soars to 350 feet and another nearby project hits 220 feet — dozens of Makiki residents oppose the 176-unit project, saying its height exemption translates into more people, more cars and more problems.

"The density factor would greatly increase," said Francis Soon, board president of One Kalakaua, a nearby condominium for seniors.

Height Fights

The tension isn't unique to Makiki. Communities around the island are grappling with height limits as developers and planners try to find a balance between keeping housing development on pace with the growth of the population and preserving the feel, view planes and skylines of neighborhoods.

In recent years, residents have come out against height exemptions or zoning changes for high- and mid-rise projects in Waipahu, Wai'anae, Nanakuli and Hawai'i Kai. All of those exemptions or zoning changes were approved, including a 10-story luxury condo in Hawai'i Kai and the twin 105-foot Plantation Town Apartments in Waipahu.

Experts expect more high-rises to push the height limits in the coming years.

"The cost of construction has gone up 50 percent in the last year alone with fuel charges and just getting material over here, and the cost of land has almost doubled in the last three years," said Stephany Sofos, a real estate analyst. "What the developers are doing is they want more density. The way to get more density is go higher."

Allen Leong, of KC Rainbow Development, which built the Moana Pacific towers in Kaka'ako, added that more people are looking for deals in the housing market. And some high-rise developments just don't pencil out at set height limits.

"I think the whole issue is the market and what the market is willing to pay," he said. "Lately, we have seen a trend of developers trying to lower their square foot costs. I believe they're reacting to market demand."

And especially for affordable projects, building higher has become one way developers are able to make a return.

Reasonable Concerns

Of the eight development projects since 2006 filed under a state law that allows certain exemptions in exchange for affordability, four projects have gone over the height limits in their areas. The projects include the Plantation Town Apartments in Waipahu; Hale Wai Vista in Wai'anae, which exceeded the height limit by 20 feet to go to 60 feet; and Mokuloa Vista in Waipahu, which went to 73 feet, exceeding the limit by 25 feet.

Holomua is also applying under the state law, and plans to keep 51 percent of its units affordable for a decade. Residents at One Kalakaua, a 138-foot high-rise, and others who live nearby say they see the need for affordable housing, but question why the project should be granted an exemption and then not be required to retain affordability for more than 10 years.

"After 10 years, it doesn't have to be affordable anymore," said Dee Robinson, administrator for One Kalakaua, across the street from Holomua.

More than 40 people have written letters against the project, and 30 more turned out to oppose the project at a Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board meeting this month. The board has not yet taken a position on the project, but board chairman John Steelquist said he understands where both sides are coming from.

"The neighbors are understandably concerned," Steelquist said last week.

Developers hope to start construction on Holomua in December and open its doors in June 2010.

Opposition to the project comes as planners and policymakers have expressed support for building higher.

In January, the City Council approved an urban plan for Kapolei that would allow developers to build to 150 feet on 13 city blocks in downtown Kapolei, and to 120 feet on an additional 10 blocks. Previously, only six blocks in the area were allowed to go as high as 150 feet. Though no residential high-rises are under way in the area, several office and retail high-rises are. And developers say it won't be long until condos move in.

Council Supportive

The City Council, which must approve height exemptions, has largely supported projects going over height limits — within reason. Last year, the council passed a resolution urging the city Planning Department to recommend the "maximum appropriate height limit for all future zone changes" in Honolulu and Kapolei.

City Councilman Charles Djou, whose district stretches from Waikiki to Hawai'i Kai, introduced the resolution in hopes of preventing another urban problem — sprawl.

"We have a very clear finite amount of land," he said. "People don't want to see paradise paved over. So what my resolution seeks to do is encourage the department to look at allowing buildings to go even higher."

He said taller high-rises are more efficient, more environmentally sustainable and, if built correctly, can be aesthetically pleasing for neighborhoods.

And he pointed out that compared to other cities, Honolulu has very low height limits.

Height limits in urban Honolulu vary widely, from 400 feet in Kaka'ako to 150 feet in areas such as Makiki to 45 feet in the Sheridan Street area, where there are mostly residential homes and low-rises. Over the past few years, Honolulu residents have seen a flurry of residential high-rises going up. Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana, the Ko'olani, the Moana Pacific towers and Keola La'i are all about 400 feet — right to the limit — in Kaka'ako.

The growth has angered some residents.

Partly because of that community opposition, the Hawai'i Community Development Authority is proposing in its new Kaka'ako mauka plan to lower height limits from 400 to 200 feet along a section of Ala Moana boulevard.

The plan comes as HCDA is also reviewing the 20-year Ward Neighborhood master plan, which proposes constructing as many as nine residential high-rises — including five on Ala Moana opposite Kewalo harbor. Some of the condos are proposed to hit 400 feet.

Anthony Ching, HCDA director, said he can understand why residents don't want to see more tall buildings going up and he added skylines shouldn't be uniform, but show off a variety of heights. But he said space is a premium, and building higher sometimes makes sense.

"It's all a balancing act," he said. "We need housing. We need neighborhoods to be developed. At the same time, you don't want it to be too congested."

Okay, so I walked by this site yesterday, and I just don't see what the problem is. This building isn't all that tall, and the stuff around it is already pretty dense (and the stuff that isn't tall isn't all that nice). I'm pretty confident this project will get the green light, especially with the affordable concessions.
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  #214  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2008, 4:59 PM
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^it's one ugly building.

BTW where did you move from?

Here are some updates:

Keehi Lagoon future could include adding an industrial island

Plans could include big man-made island with an industrial park

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Picture a man-made, triangle-shaped island more than double the size of Ala Moana Beach Park in the middle of Ke'ehi Lagoon. Throw in 600 to 1,000 new boat slips along Lagoon Drive, dozens of moorings for larger, multimillion-dollar yachts and a light industrial park as the island's showcase development.

Sound far-fetched?

That's one of several ideas Gov. Linda Lingle's administration is looking into as part of its long-term redevelopment of the Ke'ehi Lagoon and Sand Island area.

Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the Department of Transportation said they recently formed an informal group to study development potential of the Ke'ehi area.

While state officials stress that they have no firm development plans, the study could set the stage for the selection of a private developer to finance and build the large-scale undertaking.

Proponents say the development is long overdue, given the rundown state of the harbor facilities and festering crime problems in the area.

But critics say the redevelopment could displace local boating residents, alter an ocean ecosystem that houses O'ahu's only remaining traditional fishing village and disrupt a popular venue for paddlers.

Mike Formby, director of the DOT's harbors division, said the group's studies are in early stages of collecting data. He said the study group is looking at a number of past development plans, including a late 1980s effort to build a ocean recreation complex within the Ke'ehi and Sand Island area.

That proposal, which was spearheaded by Gov. John Waihee, was part of a failed effort to attract the America's Cup yacht race to Hawai'i in 1991. A 450-page environmental impact statement conducted in 1990 called for a massive dredging of the lagoon and the use of nearly 3.8 million cubic yards of landfill to create a 250-acre island.

"It's something we considered in the past," Formby said. "Now the working group will revisit the ideas."

Here's an aerial view of what it looks like today.



Here's the proposal.



Kyo-ya plan to reshape heart of Waikiki

Source: Pacific Business News

Kyo-ya plans to demolish the eight-story, 140-room beachfront tower Diamond Head of the Moana Surfrider Hotel and replace it with a new 23-story, 200-room hotel that would open a narrow corridor providing ocean views from Kalakaua Avenue, according to plans created by WCIT Architecture, which also designed the renovations currently being done at Kyo-ya’s Sheraton Waikiki and The Royal Hawaiian hotels.

The new hotel would be physically separate from the Moana, which recently came under the Westin flag, and its top five floors would contain 25 residential condominiums.

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  #215  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2008, 9:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanguy View Post
Keehi Lagoon future could include adding an industrial island

Plans could include big man-made island with an industrial park

Source: Honolulu Advertiser
It's probably necessary, but would be a pity. Lagoon Dr. is an awesome place to run, and plus there are some great views toward downtown:


edit- plus, what will happen to all the seaplanes?
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Last edited by Jai; Sep 3, 2008 at 9:23 PM.
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  #216  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2008, 9:08 AM
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Oh thanks for the aerial, I was wondering what the middle of the lagoon looked like today. I moved from Denver... got my bus pass, and I've spent the last couple weeks wandering around checking out the city (ah, the joys of being an unemployed planner geek )
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Old Posted Sep 23, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jai View Post
It's probably necessary, but would be a pity. Lagoon Dr. is an awesome place to run, and plus there are some great views toward downtown:


edit- plus, what will happen to all the seaplanes?
aww man!! this view is AWESOME!!
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 5:25 PM
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I wonder how the possible changes to the lagoon may affect the people that live on the little islets in the lagoon? One of my dad's good friend's and family lives out on one of those little islands.

bunt_q, how's life going for you so far? BTW, don't miss Halloween in Waikiki--it's a blast and goes all night long to the break of dawn.

Plan to cool downtown by sea water advances

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

With an eye toward laying a pipe to deep water offshore, Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning has contracted with Fugro Seafloor Surveys for detailed data using this autonomous underwater vehicle, shown off Honolulu with Koko Head in the distance.



Plans are moving forward on a project that intends to help the state take a huge step forward in its ambitious goal of energy independence.

Under the renewable energy project being developed by Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, dozens of downtown buildings would be cooled by chilled deep-ocean water pumped to the surface and circulated throughout their cooling systems.

Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, which has secured a commitment of $10.75 million in investments from about two dozen Hawaii companies, plans to break ground in June, and filed the draft environmental impact statement for the project last week.

"That is a huge milestone," said William Mahlum, the company's president and chief executive officer.

The draft EIS means processing now can begin on the project's various permits to move the plans forward.

State officials are keeping a close eye on how the project proceeds.

The deep sea water cooling system is one of the "top projects" being watched by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which is charged with implementing the state's energy strategy.

"I am truly looking forward to them proving this concept in Honolulu," said Ted Liu, director of the department. "There are several other dense, urban areas that I think are extraordinarily appropriate for us to roll out this technology.

"In particular, I'm thinking Waikiki."

The concept is nothing new.

Chilled deep water has been used for two decades to cool buildings at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii at Keahole Point on the Big Island. Other systems have been in place for years at other areas - including Cornell University, Toronto and Scandinavia - where the location provides a deep-water source.

The Honolulu project - estimated at about $152 million - is perhaps one of the most ambitious.

Local investors include Makai Ocean Engineering, Yogi Kwong Engineers LLC, Ace Land Surveying, Lyon Associates Inc., InSynergy Engineering Inc. and The Environmental Co. Inc., among others, according to Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning. An additional $100 million is coming from tax-exempt bonds authorized by the state Legislature, and $22 million is taxable debt, with the balance to be covered by construction equity.

The system would draw water from the ocean floor four miles off the Kakaako coast at a depth of 1,600 feet, where water temperature is 45 degrees year-round.

That water would be sucked up to a 25,000-square-foot pumping station, to be located near the Gold Bond Building in Kakaako, where it then would be distributed to the air-conditioning systems of public and private buildings in an area roughly bounded by Nuuanu Avenue, Vineyard Boulevard and Ward Avenue along the Kakaako shoreline.

Water is then pumped back out to sea to a warmer, shallower depth.

About 40 clients have stated an interest in converting to the sea water cooling system, officials say. Service would begin in November 2010.

The company estimates that converting to the renewable energy system could cut electrical use by as much as 75 percent.

"It's a very attractive thing to convert your building," Mahlum said. "Under our current presentation to customers, all customers save money the first year. They leave the electricity-intensive project, and they join our system and they save money."

The amount saved depends on the size and type of structure and its existing efficiency standards, he said.

Mahlum said the Public Utilities Commission recently approved a request by Hawaiian Electric Co. to provide a rebate of $300 per ton to help customers convert buildings to accommodate the system. For example, a 1,000-ton building would receive $300,000 to make renovations and improvements to handle the sea water system.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona recently toured one such sea water air cooling station, during a break from activities at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., last month. Aiona toured the Ever-Green Energy cooling station that provides service to utility company District Energy St. Paul. Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning is an affiliate of District Energy.

"It's an impressive use of technology, very efficient, so I'm excited," Aiona said after touring the plant. "To think that it will be online, hopefully within a couple years, is even more exciting."

[]<< Updates to some of the city's projects >>[/b]

High rises, low sales

It's not good news obviously but it's to be expected in this economic downturn.

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Some highlights

Two years ago, a planned residential tower makai of McKinley High School was virtually sold out after experiencing a rush of demand that included a lottery where buyers far outnumbered available units. But today, with tower construction nearing the halfway point, fewer than half the units still have committed buyers.

The market turmoil, which over the last few weeks has become uglier and uglier, is icing sales at nearly a half-dozen major Honolulu condo projects — planned, under construction or complete — with significant inventories to sell.

One high-rise planned in Kaka'ako between Pi'ikoi and Kamake'e streets has been put on hold, and analysts say it has become more difficult for any new plans to get out of the ground.

Moana Vista, a planned 492-unit condo at 1009 Kapi'olani Blvd. makai of McKinley, appeared it would be among the batch of Honolulu's home-run high-rise projects. Two years ago, 466 prospective buyers entered a lottery to buy 192 units reserved at Moana Vista for owner-occupants. Strong investor interest resulted in the balance of units being nearly sold out, save 126 units being kept as rentals under an affordable housing requirement.

But today, only 160 nonbinding reservations remain for the 366 for-sale units. That's 44 percent of the inventory before buyers are asked later this year to sign binding purchase contracts requiring a 10 percent deposit.

Projects in Limbo

1. A California company that bought 5.2 acres in Kaka'ako nearly two years ago said last September it intended to begin building a 295-unit tower between existing luxury high-rises Hawaiki and Ko'olani just 'ewa of Ala Moana Center by the end of this year.

But that project has been put on hold, according to D. Scott MacKinnon, a Honolulu attorney representing landowner Woodridge Capital LLC.

"Credit is basically unavailable," he said. "There are no plans right now to proceed."

2. Another previously announced project, a 120-unit condo at 1700 Kalakaua Ave. in Pawa'a, was called off earlier this year after the developer sold the land in February.

3. A third potential project is a luxury condo up to 250 feet high envisioned by Sam House Development LLC, which bought a lot on Kapi'olani fronting Ala Moana Center in June 2007, though no timetable for proceeding has been announced.

Moving forward

1. 1723 Kalakaua, a 120-unit condo in Pawa'a near the Hawai'i Convention Center planned by a San Francisco construction company.

2. 176-unit high-rise at 1315 Kalakaua Ave. in Pawa'a. That project, called Holomua, is trying to obtain county approval to exceed the area's building height in return for offering 51 percent of the units at affordable prices to buyers with low to moderate incomes.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 5:26 PM
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Oops double post.

Last edited by Urbanguy; Oct 13, 2008 at 5:49 PM. Reason: double post
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  #220  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2008, 5:10 PM
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$2.5B estimate for Kobayashi's mass-transit plan
Quote:
Mayor Hannemann's campaign criticizes it as badly thought-out

Mayoral candidate Ann Kobayashi unveiled her new mass-transit plan yesterday to build elevated three-lane highways for zipper lanes and buses that she says would be 62.5 percent of the cost of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's proposed rail transit system.

Kobayashi has been working with Panos Prevedouros and says their project costs 60 percent less than the mayors steel on steel plan.



Her plan would cost $2.5 billion, as opposed to Hannemann's projected cost of $4 billion, to build a 15-mile elevated highway beginning at the H-1 and H-2 freeway merge in Waipio to downtown Honolulu.

"It's realistic, it's practical, it's sensible," Kobayashi said. "There's no irresponsible spending."

She said construction could start right away if she is elected, but had no estimate of a completion date.

Kobayashi's proposal comes three weeks before the Nov. 4 general election in a mayoral race that has focused primarily on Hannemann's planned rail transit system from Kapolei to Ala Moana.

Kobayashi clashed primarily with Hannemann on the technology of the system, with him favoring a "steel wheel on steel rail" system while she pushed for "rubber-tire bus on concrete" - basically, a sleeker-looking express bus.

Kobayashi pushed for the bus technology but came up with this plan after receiving the endorsement of former mayoral candidate Panos Prevedouros two weeks ago. She rejected claims yesterday that this was political maneuvering to capture Prevedouros' supporters, though many of them did attend her news conference yesterday.

The major part of Kobayashi's elevated "guideway" would have two zipper lanes for carpoolers and one lane for buses, which would be reversible depending on the traffic flow. Her plan also calls for:

» Bus-only lanes for expanded shoulders into Ewa Beach.

» "Bus Rapid Transit" system for buses to run on King and Beretania streets to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

» Downtown "underpasses," or mini-tunnels, on Alakea and Halekauwila streets in downtown Honolulu for buses.

The only way for Kobayashi's plan to be implemented is if she wins as mayor and if Oahu voters reject a proposed City Charter amendment to build Hannemann's system on the November ballot.

"We have three weeks," said Kobayashi's campaign manager, City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz. "We want to make sure that the voters know the alternatives."

Kobayashi boasted that this system would alleviate traffic congestion and cut drive times significantly. For example, she estimated that a drive from Ewa Beach to Honolulu would take 33 minutes and from Mililani to Honolulu would take 26 minutes during rush hour. Typically during rush hour, those drives can take more than 90 minutes and 60 minutes, respectively.

Hannemann's campaign was quick to criticize Kobayashi's proposal, calling it unrealistic. Pro-rail advocates, including Hannemann ally state Rep. Kirk Caldwell, called it an "11th-hour, half-baked" idea and a "flip-flop," part of her "inconsistent" voting record.

"This so-called blueprint is one of the worst and least well-thought-out ideas to come down the pike in a long time," Hannemann campaign manager A.J. Halagao said in a statement. "It's BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) all over again, something Councilmember Kobayashi strenuously opposed and with good reason. It's hard to believe that she changed her position once again."

The campaign is referring to a 2004 proposal by then-Mayor Jeremy Harris for a 12.8-mile Bus Rapid Transit system that would have used existing lanes for hybrid buses. Kobayashi rejected the plan, which was later scrapped completely, but said her new proposal is nothing like Harris' project.

"The reason I voted against BRT previously is that it would have gone along Dillingham (Boulevard) and Kapiolani (Boulevard)," she said. "In this plan, it uses the parking lanes of King and Beretania during rush hour and that's all. This is elevated. The other wasn't. There's a big difference."

Kobayashi has repeatedly criticized Hannemann for his confidence in receiving up to $900 million in federal funding for his project, as promised by ranking U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar last year. She said because of the declining economy, the federal government wouldn't have those kinds of funds to disperse.

With her plan, however, she said there is more likelihood of receiving nonlocal funding because it is eligible for money from the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration. Kobayashi said she hopes to receive up to $1.2 billion from each agency.

The Hannemann campaign viewed it differently, questioning whether the plan would be eligible to receive local funding from a half-percent increase in the state general excise tax that says the money can't be used to build or fix highways.

"The plan will not qualify to use the GET, and with no local funding mechanism, it will also fail to qualify for FTA funds," Halagao said.
Here's a link to the video presentation
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