Planning & Zoning:
Waterfront Plan Presented
League's Planning and Zoning Committee enjoyed a welcomed change of pace on September 27 with a special program on the Waterfront Plan. Don Orodenker, the project's director showed a video on the Aloha Tower area and adjacent development and led a lively discussion of the Plan's history, contents and implementation. He assured us that Irwin Park would remain.
The discussion was especially timely since the formal "blessing" had taken place on July 8, and workers are already removing asbestos and preparing existing buildings for demolition.
The first phase to be developed is the Aloha Tower Marketplace at Piers 7 through the makai end of Pier 10. It is slated to be completed in late 1994. It will feature 200 shops, restaurants and vendors, including a two-level 700-seat food court with panoramic views of Aloha Tower and the harbor beyond. More than 50 tenants of the 190,000 sq. ft. specialty retail center have already signed letters of intent to lease.
The total waterfront planning area stretches along six miles of the south shore of Oahu, including over 1,550 acres (2 1/2 square miles) of land from Ala Moana Beach park to the airport. About 75% of the planning area is owned by the State. Barbers Point Harbor on Oahu's south west shore is also included in the plan.
Over-all, the comprehensive long-range plan is the first of its kind in the State. It integrates economic development, recreation, maritime activities, and transportation in an imaginative and innovative program to plan our unique waterfront so as to utilize its vast unrealized potential. Divided into two phases -- a short-range 5-to10 year plan and a second phase to the year 2010 and beyond, it recognizes the importance of the Port of Honolulu as the life line of the state-wide commerce and at the same time seeks to provide for the recreational, cultural and economic needs of the growing population.
The purpose of the Plan is three-fold:
- To develop a long-range vision for the waterfront that is financially feasible but also innovative, challenging and responsive to the current and future needs of Hawaii's residents.
- To assure a logical, orderly and achievable phasing of improvement projects so as to minimize social, environmental and economic disruption.
- To maximize public benefits associated with the significant State-owned lands in the planning area.
The plan envisions total combined public and private investment in waterfront improvements at close to 2 billion dollars. Of this, public investment would be about $710 million to fund major maritime, recreation and infrastructure improvements (not including an estimated $265 million for the proposed Sand Island bypass highway). The ground rents generated from public lands leased for private development could be used to finance public improvements. It is estimated that the net State revenue from the recommended improvements could pay back the capital investment within 20 or 25 years.
Chair, Planning & Zoning Committee