Congratulations are due for everyone involved in the opening of the new shopping mall in Kapolei – Ka Makana Alii.
The developer has made a substantial investment in West Oahu, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands will benefit from having a major commercial tenant generating revenue for homestead development.
But the new mall also reminds us that so much of the promise of the second city has failed to materialize. After three decades…Kapolei still NOT a second city…it's basically a suburb. Most working residents still must get into a car or a bus and join the traffic jam into Honolulu. Most of the jobs in West Oahu are still in retail…resort and services to the area residents.
It's easy to blame economic factors – but when the government decided to push development westward it promised to create incentives and opportunities for white collar…industrial and manufacturing jobs. That hasn't happened…while large tracts of land remain undeveloped.
The failure to seize this great opportunity is a sad example of how our government has no idea how to build a healthy business environment. It's time for our political leaders to open their doors to the business community …take their advice seriously…and use it to nurture true prosperity for our state.