The state wants to redevelop the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. That’s got boaters worried

Published: Apr. 20, 2019 at 9:10 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the largest and most controversial redevelopment projects in Waikiki is moving forward.

Tuesday is the deadline for private developers to submit notices of intent to develop more than 11 acres at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

And the project has boaters worried.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resource’s request for proposals calls for the highest and best use of the property.

Some are concerned that that means highrises will be built and slip fees will soar.

“If they do that, kiss goodbye to this whole harbor. There will be no harbor in Oahu," said Howard Smith, who has lived at the Ala Wai for 20 years.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case says what the project will look like will depend on what developers propose.

“We’re just trying to be creative and keep a sense of place. It’s the gateway to Waikiki and we want it to be a welcoming place for residents and tourists," she said.

In its request for proposal, the DLNR identified four parcels for redevelopment. The private developer will pay for the construction and will lease and manage the harbor for 55 years.

The parcels include the former site of the Waikiki Landing project, which was canceled after its developer filed for bankruptcy.

The largest parcel, lot A, is a 3.4-acre parking lot. Boaters say redeveloping it will take away much-needed parking and boat storage space.

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