New downtown satellite city hall adds services and staff
City officials Monday formally opened the new Downtown Satellite City Hall at the Chinatown Gateway Plaza, a location that will provide twice the space and some added services unavailable at the old site in an underground Fort Street Mall space two blocks away.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
City officials Monday
formally opened the new Downtown Satellite City Hall at the Chinatown
Gateway Plaza, a location that will provide twice the space and some added
services unavailable at the old site in an underground Fort Street Mall space two blocks away.
The 2,905-square-foot space, at the site of a
onetime Wendy’s Restaurant on the Nuuanu Avenue-Hotel Street side of
the Chinatown Gateway complex, also provides
access than the previous
It is expected to serve
an average of 300 customers a day in need of basic government services
such as motor vehicle and moped registration, bus pass sales, dog licensing and vehicle junking services. Like other satellite city halls, it also processes disability parking placards, accepts Board of Water
Supply and property tax
bill payments, and offers limited driver license (no new licenses) and state ID transactions.
At some point, vehicle dealer licensing window services will be available
at the new location, something that wasn’t in the
old site, said Customer
Services Director Sherilyn Kajiwara.
The facility will be staffed by seven employees, one more than the Department of Customer Services
had at its previous location.
The location opened for business Aug. 12, and at noontime Monday it was bustling with more than
20 people in line.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Appointments for driver’s license and state ID renewals are available online at alohaq.org. About 80 public parking stalls — charging city rates — are available underground and accessible through the Bethel Street garage entrance.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell
said the underground Fort Street location was “not a pleasant place to go, but it served the community of downtown very well for many, many decades.”
But the demand for city services has outpaced the facility’s capabilities, he said.
The old space is being leased for a nominal fee
to the Fort Street Business Improvement District, which will house its
staff offices and overnight
there, said city Land Management Director Sandy Pfund.
The $377,000 in improvements for the location
came out of the reserve fund for the Chinatown Gateway tenants’ improvement fund, Caldwell said.
The idea to use the long-vacant space for the new satellite city hall actually came from the U.S.
Department of Housing
and Urban Development. Chinatown Gateway was a city development, and
the city was warned in
October by a HUD official that it needed to make use of the vacant spaces in the tower complex or risk losing $7.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds that were used for the building.
HUD had suggested a
satellite city hall as one possible use for the vacant space.