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HCDA board unanimously votes to transfer Kakaako parks to city

  • JAMM AQUINO/JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A sign was seen along Ohe Street, Monday, in Kakaako. The Hawaii Community Development Authority’s board of directors voted unanimously this morning to transfer Kakaako Waterfront Park, its sister parks and other smaller state-owned properties in Kakaako to the city.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority’s board of directors voted unanimously this morning to transfer Kakaako Waterfront Park, its sister parks and other smaller state-owned properties in Kakaako to the city.

When exactly the fee-simple title of the approximately 41 acres of land will transfer from the state to the city is unknown, said Garrett Kamemoto, the HCDA’s interim executive director.

“The lawyers still need to work out a number of details,” Kamemoto said. “We’re hoping to do it quickly. At this point, the board has given us our direction. Now it’s a matter of working out all the legalities.”

The HCDA board voted 7-to-0, with two absences, to approve the land transfer.

The board previously approved continuing to fund $600,000 in maintenance and security contracts through June 30, 2019, at the city’s request, Kamemoto said.

HCDA last week granted the city “right of entry” to the state-owned parks in order to conduct the city’s first-ever sweep of the parks and surrounding city sidewalks.

Much of the sweep focused on Ilalo Street and Kakaako Mauka Gateway Park, which lines Ala Moana Boulevard, where dozens of chronically homeless people had been living illegally.

Six people — including a family of four — agreed to move into shelters.

But several others have since set up camp mauka of Kakaako in and around the city’s Mother Waldron Park, including Pohukaina, Cooke and Keawe streets — and along Nimitz Highway toward Iwilei.

Kakaako Mauka Gateway Park, however, remained clear of homeless activity this morning, Kamemoto said.

“Gateway was clear,” he said. “I didn’t see any evidence of anybody there.”

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