The future for the Blaisdell complex

The future for the Blaisdell complex
Published: Mar. 8, 2014 at 5:25 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "How do we take what the Blaisdell set in the ground in 1964, 50 years ago, and take it for the next 50 or 100 years?" Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell asked that question to the Urban Land Institute Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership.

The panel presented its recommendations Friday morning to the mayor in an open forum at the Mission Memorial Auditorium.

The overarching theme was to turn the current Blaisdell Center Complex into a hub for culture and the arts, while still retaining practical use.

"We do need a place where we can still do events, whether it be Bruno Mars, MMA, a dog show or wrestling for our state championships" said Mayor Caldwell.  "For me, I'd like to build something that does become iconic".

The ULI came forward with multiple possible renovation ideas for the complex, including rebuilding the Arena, moving it to the current expo center area, or preserving it.

Thomas Square Park was also a topic of conversation, as the group and mayor want to revitalize it.

"How do we remove barriers, not just the planters, but also the hedges around it?  Perhaps there's another way to bring people into the park" Mayor Caldwell asked.

None of the plans presented are set in stone.  The City has yet to review them, and the mayor stressed the need for public input before any designs are put into action.  He also said that paying for such a massive project would most likely be accomplished through a public/private partnership.

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