Aloha Tower revitalization project on schedule to launch in fall

HPU revitalization (6:30a)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - This fall, Hawaii Pacific University will celebrate its 50th anniversary with brand new housing, shops and eateries when a revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace officially opens to the public.

As of February, the $50 million project is within budget and on schedule for its target launch date of August, project coordinators said. Even though it is primarily aimed at the HPU community, the public can also enjoy shops, diners and even a small theater. The plan includes a total of 20 spaces.

Scott Hayashi, Aloha Tower Marketplace project manager, could not confirm which specific tenants have signed on other than Barnes and Noble -- which will serve as a bookstore for students -- but he assured that many businesses are eager to join in.

“The level of interest has been fantastic,” Hayashi said. “You can tell the excitement's increasing by the amount of contacts I've been having by potential interested parties and brokers.”

Perhaps one of the most prominent features will be a new dorm, with 80 units, offered to 300 HPU students.

“It's going to be upper-class apartments, living residential communities, so we're really excited, and our students are thrilled about it,” said Marites McKee, dean of students at HPU. McKee said HPU will accept applications for new transfer, graduate and first-year students.

Students will be able to move in as early as August 24.

HPU President Dr. Geoffrey Bannister touted the project, saying this is a good way to bring more life to the school.

“We've been committed to Fort Street for all 50 years of our existence, and we just couldn't stand the thought that this wouldn't succeed,” he said.

Approximately 6,500 students attend HPU.

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