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Judge halts Kakaako condo tower construction

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 6:41 p.m. HST, May 30, 2014

A state judge has halted construction of a recently sold-out planned Kakaako condominium tower after finding that two state agencies failed to follow state law protecting historic places and burials.

The ruling by Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto on Friday stops work on 801 South Street's second phase known as Building B.

The ruling also exposes another failure of the State Historic Preservation Division, an agency that is responsible for enforcing state historic preservation law but has not followed its rules in recent cases involving the city's rail line and redevelopment at Kawaiaha'o Church.

Sakamoto issued a preliminary injunction that halts construction primarily because he said an archeological inventory survey should have been done on the tower site but was not.

The judge made his decision in response to a lawsuit filed in March by owners of a neighboring tower, Royal Capitol Plaza, against the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

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