Local Connection: Kakaako Development

By: Rick Blangiardi

In the next five years, the population of Kakaako will increase from about 12,000 to 22,000 people or more.

There are five major projects planned in the near term but into the future, there will be 22 new condo towers, some 700 feet tall.

With water main breaks occurring almost weekly in Honolulu and an aging and creaky sewer system, can we really expect state and city government to step up and provide the infrastructure that will take care of such a surging population? What about the traffic that will be generated?

Over the next three to five years, some 4,500 new residential units will be completed. That's where the 10,000 in extra population comes from.

The Hawaii community development authority is the state agency that oversees development in Kakaako.

Officials there say the existing sewer and water systems can handle the needs of more than 30,000 residents and that more than $100 million in new roads and utilities have already been installed.

The transformation of Kakaako is very promising but managed growth is preferable to creating an urban mess.

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