EXCLUSIVE: Ala Moana Building tenants in limbo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: Ala Moana Building tenants in limbo

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's best known for the revolving restaurant on top but the Ala Moana Building is headed for some big changes.

Owner General Growth Properties, which also owns the Ala Moana Center, has told dozens of its office building tenants that it won't renew leases beyond 2019, in a move that will displace dozens of doctors, dentists and small businesses.

"It's a terrible thing to do," said Dr. Edmund Cassella, who has operated his dental practice out of the Ala Moana Building since 1994.

"We need to do better for our community and our citizens and building a luxury high-rise at Ala Moana is not it."

GGP is keeping its plans close to the vest but real estate sources said the company is considering building high-end condos or even a hotel.

Critics say high-end construction only benefits off-shore investors, not local residents

"I don't think we need another hotel or more high-grade shops," said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen.

Sources say any new construction won't happen until after the next building cycle, which would be in about five years.

That also coincides with the completion of the rail transit system, whose final stop will be next to the Ala Moana Building.

GGP officials declined comment.

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