Construction company reserves coveted Waikiki parking spots

Construction company reserves coveted Waikiki parking spots
Revised Ordinances of Honolulu
Revised Ordinances of Honolulu

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you drive Paoakalani Avenue in Waikiki, you'll notice eight metered parking stalls with signs that read, "No Parking 24 Hours."

Like many others, Jevan Aaraitian can't figure out why the prime spots are empty at 4 p.m.

"You got to find parking elsewhere," Aaraitian said. "It makes it tricky and hard especially when it's busy as well."

So who's reserving the spots?

Hawaii News Now found out that since summer 2015, Lyle Hamasaki Construction paid the city for exclusive permission to use the spaces while it renovates Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa next door, even though the spaces are often unused.

"It's pretty frustrating," Brit Ausman said, who's visiting from the mainland.

"You know we come to the island to vacation and spend time with family, then we compete against the contractors for public parking."

The city Department of Transportation Services said Hamasaki Construction can renew the permit as many times as it wants.

It only costs $5 plus an additional $12 per meter each day, less than most parking garages in Waikiki.

"They just get out and they can put their sign over the meter and this slot is taken for the entire time they're here," Ausman said.

A city spokesperson acknowledged they've received past complaints about the existing law and that leaders are considering whether any changes are necessary.

Hamasaki Construction estimates work at the hotel will continue through June 2016.

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