Friday, November 27, 2015         


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Aiming for evolution

Commercial and real estate development is poised to refashion Turtle Bay Resort and Haleiwa town

By Dan Nakaso


Scaled-back plans for the future of Turtle Bay Resort are under development while Kamehameha Schools plans to overhaul a historic block on the opposite end of the North Shore.

The owners of Turtle Bay Resort have amended a previous plan that called for five new oceanfront hotels with 3,500 rooms and condominium units, reducing the number of units to 2,345.

Even with fewer units, North Shore residents continue to express concerns about traffic, beach access, possible effects on Native Hawaiian burials and other environmental issues.

At a community meeting in May, Gov. Neil Abercrombie told North Shore conservationists that he would take an active role in the debate over the future of Turtle Bay Resort and said any plans to further develop Turtle Bay should include work-force housing.

"Do we want our children and grandchildren here with jobs and futures and careers and families and the satisfaction of the North Shore?" Abercrombie asked the group. "Where are they going to work? And where are they going to live?"

The consultant who will prepare the environmental review previously said the goal is to have a draft completed by the end of the year with the final version delivered to the city in early 2012.

In historic Haleiwa town, landowner Kamehameha Schools has far more modest plans to overhaul a 4.2-acre site that houses the popular Matsumoto and Aoki's shave ice stores.

Kamehameha Schools wants to demolish buildings including Aoki's and Iwa Gallery while retaining four historic buildings, including Matsumoto Shave Ice, Matsumoto office and storage space, and two Yoshida buildings.

UNDER the plan, Kamehameha Schools wants to keep the rural look of the buildings and provide space for products made and grown in Hawaii — while increasing the amount of leasing space by nearly 100 percent to about 30,000 square feet.

There would also be a rear parking lot with 110 parking spaces, including a bus loading area.

Matsumoto Shave Ice customers would continue to enter through the existing entrance, but new interior space would allow more customers to line up inside the store, Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said.

Customers would then leave Matsumoto's from the side porch area instead of the front entrance, Paulsen said.

By the end of the year, Kamehameha Schools plans to submit an application for a B-1 business zoning change, Paulsen said. Kamehameha Schools continues to discuss leases with tenants, he said.

In January, Kamehameha Schools won a national award from the American Planning Association for its plans involving 26,000 acres of agricultural, conservation, residential and commercial property it owns.

Kamehameha Schools won the award for its proposed Haleiwa town improvements, restoring the Loko Ea fishpond, agriculture water system improvements, alternative energy development and residential development.

It was the first time since 1997 that a Hawaii organization won an APA national award, Kamehameha Schools said.

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