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Hawaiian Dredging may buy historic News Building

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:28 a.m. HST, Jul 2, 2013

One of Hawaii’s oldest construction companies has set its eye on the historic News Building in Kakaako as a potential new headquarters.

Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co. has signed a letter of intent to buy the former home of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin newspapers on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and South Street.

A roughly 35,000-square-foot piece of the building — the original structure that was completed in 1929 and later expanded with additions that are being demolished to make way for a condominium tower, would become Hawaiian Dredging’s headquarters if the tentative deal results in a sale.

Hawaiian Dredging is the general contractor for the condominium project 801 South St., which is being developed by Downtown Capital LLC led by veteran local affordable housing developer Marshall Hung.

Hawaiian Dredging, which was founded in 1902 and has been owned since 2002 by the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Kajima Corp., leases office space downtown in the City Financial Tower at 201 Merchant St.

The News Building was built in 1929 with a red-tile roof and Renaissance Revival decorative architecture as the headquarters for the Advertiser, and later also became the home of the Star-Bulletin.

After the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser merged in 2010, the building was vacated and leased to the producer of “Hawaii Five-O.”

Downtown Capital bought the 3.7-acre property last year for $22 million from former Advertiser owner Gannett Co.

The developer plans two affordable-housing condo towers on the site, and recently started demolishing mainly warehouse structures on the site to make way for the first tower. Production of “Hawaii Five-O” was relocated to the Hawaii Film Studio.

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