8-story 'fire tower' goes up at Waikiki's International Marketpl - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

8-story 'fire tower' goes up at Waikiki's International Marketplace

Crews erected the "fire tower" at the International Marketplace on Monday. Construction at the site is more than half complete. Crews erected the "fire tower" at the International Marketplace on Monday. Construction at the site is more than half complete.
The new International Marketplace is slated for completion in August 2016. The new International Marketplace is slated for completion in August 2016.
The iconic banyan tree at the International Marketplace is thriving, say officials. The iconic banyan tree at the International Marketplace is thriving, say officials.
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The iconic banyan tree that was the hallmark of the old International Marketplace is still standing.

And it's getting a lot of attention these days.

"We think this is the healthiest banyan tree on the planet," said David Mark, marketing and sponsorship director for the marketplace.

"We've indexed down to the leaf. It's growing at an amazing rate these days."

While renovations to the marketplace continue around the tree, the 79-foot, 21,000-pound steel frame of the marketplace's future ‘fire tower’ was lifted into place Monday. The tower will glow with the aid of lanterns, said Michael Fenley, marketplace general manager.

"It will truly be a beacon," he said.

The "fire tower" signified two important steps in the process to overhaul the marketplace: First, it marked the completion of steel construction on the site; secondly, it represented the physical embodiment of a new calling-card for the commercial center.

Gone are the small kiosks selling trinkets and other small goods.

Instead, "we're going to have 75 world-class retailers, and of course the seven to 10 chef-driven restaurants" said Fenley.

There will be a 700-car garage on site, too.

The developer has a 65-year leasehold on the land through the Queen Emma Land Company.

In addition to the tax revenue it generates for the city and state, the market will also support the Queen's Medical Center. Construction has created 1,000 jobs, and once completed there will be around 2,500 retail jobs on site.

The new International Marketplace is set to open Aug. 25, 2016. 

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly