KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Kakaako's transformation will continue with the Hawaii Community Development Authority's approval of two new projects on Tuesday. Ward Village Gateway features nearly 20,000 square feet of retail space as well as two residential towers with approximately 236 units. The project by the Howard Hughes Corporation also includes a one-acre public park that will be the start of a four-acre open space.
"The really exciting transformation is this project creates the opportunity to begin creating a central open space that will connect from Kewalo Harbor across Ala Moana Boulevard, Auahi Street and mauka to the future rail station," explained Nick Vanderboom, senior vice president of development of Ward Village.
"I think this is a chance for us to move ahead and improve the area, the community, for our people. It would offer a lot of jobs for the community, living spaces," said Kaanohi Kaleikini, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner.
"Instead of building one big building that could be a wall across of Ala Moana, they instead chose to build two slender buildings and create a great plaza," said Anthony Ching, HCDA's executive director.
The company hasn't set a start date for construction on the current Ward Warehouse site. About 50 merchants will have to move.
"Our operations team has kept in constant contact with our merchants. Several of them were here testifying in support of the project today. We're already working to relocate them within other areas of Ward Village," said Vanderboom.
The HCDA also gave the green light to Vida at 888 Ala Moana which will go up on land currently used by the Cutter Mazda car dealership. The 39-story luxury condo is part of a master-planned community by Kamehameha Schools. Vida will feature about 265 two and three-bedroom units. The development will also include commercial tenants along the street.