Howard Hughes Corp. makes pitch for Kewalo Basin upgrades - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Howard Hughes Corp. makes pitch for Kewalo Basin upgrades

Efforts are underway to transform Kewalo Basin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons Efforts are underway to transform Kewalo Basin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
KEWALO BASIN, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Howard Hughes Corporation has made its "best and final" offer to the Hawaii Community Development Authority for renovations to three areas of land surrounding Kewalo Basin small boat harbor.

The $6 million plan stress user friendliness, officials said.

The first area to be tackled in the plan is the rundown warehouse near the mouth of the harbor.

"We'll add almost 100 additional parking stalls, then renovate the building so we can house lifeguards, the harbormaster and potential other services," said Race Randle, of HHC. The warehouse would also be a public gathering place that users could rent for special occasions.

Another building to be refurbished would be the charter building fronting Ala Moana Boulevard.

"Our proposal is to renovate that building, re-open it, bring back some great convenience store operations. We've heard loud and clear from the boaters who operate there, over 70 small businesses. They need something that helps them with their business," Randle said.

The last lot is the area between the boat harbor and Ala Moana Beach Park.

Improvements there would include bathroom upgrades, picnic tables, benches and possible barbecue areas.

The other final bid, presented by a pair of Japanese firms, calls for construction of four buildings in the same area with a price tag around $40 million.

Randle said HHC's plan is "the lowest cost option, which means it can get done quickly."

"It also does not require significant infrastructure, and it also doesn't affect traffic patterns," he said.

A decision on whether to move forward with the HHC plan is expected Wednesday.

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