Board of Water Supply starts new push to redevelop downtown parcel

The agency wants to lease part of its Beretania Street property.
The Board of Water Supply hopes to raise money by offering part of its Beretania Street...
The Board of Water Supply hopes to raise money by offering part of its Beretania Street headquarters for redevelopment.(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Nov. 26, 2018 at 8:05 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Board of Water Supply is taking a second shot at generating additional revenue by pursuing the redevelopment of part of its Beretania Street site.

The goal is to offset some of the costs for the agency’s operations and capital improvement program through a maximum 65-year lease.

The project area covers three acres of land currently used for employee and fleet parking lots.

On part of the property, the agency wants a new 10-story office building for its employees.

“We want to ramp up and increase and accelerate our capital improvement program, and in order to do that we need to expand our current staffing requirements,” said Kathleen Pahinui, BWS information officer.

The agency will evaluate three possible concepts for the rest of the site: an assisted-living facility and a commercial parking structure, rental apartments for seniors and a commercial parking structure, or just a large parking structure.

All of the scenarios feature 10-story buildings that meet current zoning requirements.

“I would really love to see affordable housing, especially since many of us are aging and we have many, many more people coming to need assisted living,” said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, chair of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board.

The BWS' main office and engineering building will not be altered.

In 2013, the utility offered up most of its 6.3-acre site for redevelopment, but only received one proposal from The Queen's Medical Center. The bid was later withdrawn, according to BWS officials.

“We realized after that effort that it seemed probably risky to a lot of developers because it was kind of open-ended. There were no guidelines,” said Pahinui.

The BWS hopes to issue a draft Environmental Impact Statement in June and the final EIS next November.

The agency expects to put out a request for development proposals in 2020.

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