Ferris wheel in Waikiki? Some residents say ‘it’s a totally stupid idea’

The idea is modeled after Seattle’s Pier 57.
Updated: Nov. 13, 2018 at 10:31 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Canadian company is looking to build a ferris wheel and motion theater at the Ala Wai Harbor.

But the project is already getting resistance from area residents, who are concerned that it will increase traffic congestion and block views of the ocean.

“I actually was shocked when I just heard it because it’s a totally stupid idea,” said Waikiki resident Antje Gruenewald.

Lyn Silva, who lives at the Ala Wai Harbor agreed, saying, “It will be noisy, it will be just traffic, lights. People trying to park everywhere," she said. “It’s asinine.”

The proposal comes nearly two decades after developer and politician Andy Anderson proposed a similar shoreline Ferris wheel near Kewalo Basin. But back then, the state agency managing Kakaako rejected the idea as too risky.

Patterned after Seattle’s Pier 57 development, the project would be built at the end of the harbor’s second pier, which previously housed a fueling dock.

The developer, Dynamic Attractions, recently told state Sen. Sharon Moriwaki that it plans to reduce traffic by busing in visitors. It also says it won’t operate lights beyond 10 p.m., she said.

“Of course, (residents) don’t want a ferris wheel," she said.

Moriwaki said she wants to know if there’s more public support for the motion theater concept. The company has built similar theaters in Seattle and Disneyland, which give customers a sense of soaring over scenic areas and landmarks.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has been looking for private business partners for the Ala Wai Harbor but has not yet issued a request for proposals.

Dynamic Attractions had no immediate comment but plans to hold public meetings later this month.

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