Protest held against traffic from Advertiser Building project - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Protest held against traffic from Advertiser Building redevelopment

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A group of Kakaako residents waved signs during the afternoon rush hour to protest the traffic they say will be caused by a new 46-story tower in the area.

The protest was staged along Kapiolani Boulevard between South Street and Cooke Street, with the bulk of the signs along Kapiolani fronting the old Honolulu Advertiser Building.

That's where the project, known as 801 South Street, is already under construction, with a 46-story tower along with parking.

Some who live and work in the neighborhood voiced their opposition to a second tower and parking garage at the site. The two parking structures would have a total of more than 1,700 stalls.

Protesters contend that the traffic in that block is already above capacity at rush hour, and that the proposed development will make it much worse.

"It seems as though the plans are piecemeal together for this Kakaako growth," said Jesse Allen of the group Kakaako Cares. "We're not anti-development. We want development, but we want it wisely done. So a comprehensive traffic study is essential."

"We are doing a traffic study," said Ryan Harada, a principal with developer Downtown Capital LLC. "The traffic study is in process. The traffic study will be subject to approval by the HCDA, and also to the City and County and whatnot. So we're going to follow the recommendations of the traffic study."

Allen said he would prefer an overall traffic study of Kakaako. "I work in Kakaako. I live in Kailua. The traffic is an issue to me," he said.

The second tower has also faced opposition from historic preservationists who are concerned about saving the Advertiser Building. But the developer points to the fact that there has been overwhelming demand for the affordable units they have offered in 801 South Street.

The second tower still needs approval from the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which will hold a final hearing December 4. 

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