September 1989 Home   Newsletters

October 1989

November-December 1989

Scouting for Food
President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Contested Case Hearings: What are they and when must they be held? (Carol Whitesell)
Honolulu Convention Center (Astrid Monson)
Vote Count
General Membership Meeting (Betty Rogers)
LWV Presents (Linda Chinn)
League Roster
Membership Anniversary Dates

Honolulu Convention Center


League scored a "scoop" on September 25 when about 30 of our members were given a premiere showing of the developer's plans and proposals for a Convention Center, an 800-room hotel, retail shops, 800 condo units, and an office building on the 10-acre Aloha Motors site at the edge of Waikiki. We were the first community organization to view the video and other materials prepared for this public presentation.

With a full complement of "presenters" -- public relations, architects, engineers, planners and other staff plus representatives of the head of First Development, Inc., League's Planning and Zoning Committee and the general membership received a comprehensive and detailed description of the proposal and had ample time to ask questions about the many issues -design, economic, environmental, etc. involved.

A few of the highlights of the proposal are:

  1. The plan will require a 100% increase in the floor area the present zoning permits, and a 43% increase in maximum zoned height to 500 feet. (No other building on the island is higher than 400 feet.

  2. If these concessions are not granted;, the developer will give up the idea of building a Convention Center and will develop the site as ;zoned, which allows mixed residential and commercial development.

  3. The Center will be built and operated at no direct cost to the City. (The costs of increases in in sewerage capacity, water supply, streets, etc. indirectly necessitated by the complex are not included.)

  4. About three-fourths of the 10-acre site will be covered by an 80-ft. high building containing the Convention Center, meeting halls, exhibit rooms, etc. On top of this base are the 52-story hotel tower and the two condo towers. The total floor area, excluding the parking and loading facilities, is 3,050,000 square feet, compared with a zoned maximum of 1,472,000 square feet.

  5. The 94,800 square feet of the 420,540 square feet site not covered by the base will be. landscaped and available as public open space and for park dedication.

  6. Certain streets adjoining the

    site and adjacent intersections will be widened and improved at the developer's expense. Other traffic impacts are alleged to be minor.

  7. Parking for 2,000 cars will be provided on-site and for 1,000 offsite. For the Convention Center itself (capacity 10,000 to 12,000 and with projected 200 employees), 197 visitor and 60 employee parking spaces will be provided on-site,

    with another 498 and 60 respectively, off-site. The 2,000 employees in the complex will be assigned 160 onsite and 252 off-site stalls.

  8. The developer estimates that he will benefit by $87.4 million dollars from the height and density increases, if granted by the City as a trade-off for the Convention Center's $126.3 million construction cost, giving the City a net benefit of $38.9 million.

  9. The developer estimates that by 1997 the Center will attract 54 events a year, consisting of 15 national conventions and meetings, 17 national exhibitions and trade shows, 12 international conventions and meetings, and 10 local events.

Average attendance is projected at 5,200 with an annual total of 280,000. Some of these would, of course, be accommodated in existing facilities, he granted, even if the Center were not built. (At present, over 7,000,000 visitors per year come to Oahu.)

League has prepared a comprehensive commentary on the developer's "Plan Review Use Application" which was requested by the City's Department of Land Utilization. By November 17, D.L.U. is to make its report and recommendations on the PRO application to the City Council, which has 60 days to hold one or more public hearings and take action, which can include approval, modification, or rejection. The applicant can ask for an extension by writing the City Council at least-two weeks before expiration of the 60 days. Otherwise, if the Council fails to take action by the end of 60 days, the application is deemed denied.

You can be assured that League will be very visible during the public hearings, with questions that we feel must be answered.

Astrid Monson
Chair, Planning & Zoning

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