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Public invited to give input on state Kewalo Basin land

Thursday's meeting will likely be the last for the community to help with a plan for the property

By Andrew Gomes


More public input is being sought to help determine future use for 36.5 acres of mostly vacant state land next to Kewalo Basin in Kakaako.

The state agency guiding redevelopment in the former industrial area has scheduled a public workshop Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at the Hawai'i Convention Center to help shape a master plan for the site.


A public workshop for planning the future of Kakaako Makai:

» Date: Thursday, 4-8 p.m.

» Site: Hawai'i Convention Center, Room 311

» Cost: $5 flat rate parking available

» Feedback: Public comments are also being accepted online at hcda-public-consultation.org/portal.

» Web: Information on the Kakaako Makai Community Planning Advisory Council is at hcdaweb.org/kaka-ako-makai-advisory-working-group.

Source: Hawaii Community Development Authority

The meeting follows a similar event sponsored by the Hawaii Community Development Authority in February that attracted about 100 people.

Thursday's meeting likely will be the last opportunity for the public to collaborate as a group to help draft a master plan for the property, which has been the subject of several failed plans over past decades.

Deepak Neupane, director of planning and development for HCDA, said he hopes for a strong turnout that contributes to a consensus on a broad framework for how the land should be used.

"This is not about what goes where," he said. "This is a very big-picture kind of thing - a master-planning framework."

Ron Iwami, who established the Friends of Kewalo Basin Park Association and is part of the 50-member Kakaako Makai Community Planning Advisory Council working with HCDA on the master plan, said the February meeting produced some new ideas. But he also said the turnout was relatively light among people not already connected with the advisory group or the agency.

"We want to reach out to the broader public," he said.

The master-planning effort follows the 2006 cancellation of an ambitious yet controversial plan from Alexander & Baldwin Inc. to redevelop, at the request of HCDA, much of the Kakaako peninsula with a mix of high-rise condominiums, retail and public attractions.

Last year, HCDA approved spending $600,000 to create a master plan for the land. Planning firm MVE Pacific was retained to help produce the plan using information from the public workshops, the advisory council and HCDA.

The advisory council produced a set of guiding principles for the area that include expanding shoreline parks, preserving open view planes, establishing a shoreline promenade and including cultural facilities such as museums and a community center.

Some restaurants, cafes and small shops are also part of the group's vision to complement public facilities.

A third public workshop is likely later this year to discuss the results of the planning effort. A completed master plan is expected by the end of the year.

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