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  #241  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2010, 5:57 AM
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A view of the construction of Disney's new resort at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina.
It's scheduled to open in fall 2011.
(photo: Walt Disney Co.)


Disney resort named 'Aulani'
Hiring for the West O'ahu complex is slated to start in the middle of next year

By Robbie Dingeman
Honolulu Advertiser
January 20, 2010

The new Disney resort being built in West O'ahu will be named "Aulani," officials with the company said yesterday. The first phase of the resort is scheduled to open in fall 2011. Disney officials said they expect to start filling most of about 1,000 jobs in the middle of next year. A handful of specialized job openings in Hawai'i already are posted at www.disneycareers.com. Disney officials said the new resort's name reflects "the company's deep commitment to celebrating the Islands' rich history and traditions." "We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. The name 'Aulani' expresses a connection to tradition and deep story-telling — and its roots are here in this land," said Joe Rohde, a senior vice president. The English translation of Aulani is "messenger of a chief," according to the Hawaiian Dictionary by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert.

Aulani will be located on 21 acres of oceanfront property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development. Plans for the resort call for 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom time-share units, as well as an 18,000-square-foot spa. The resort, built adjacent to a lagoon and a white-sand beach, is planned to include two restaurants, a 14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues. The plan is unusual for Disney in that it does not include a theme park.

Disney has launched a new Web site, www.DisneyAulani.com, to provide updates and background information on the resort now under construction. "We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Aulani to share the fun, immersive family vacation experiences Disney is known for, combined with the beauty and culture of Hawai'i," said Djuan Rivers, vice president of Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawai'i. "We are turning to the Hawaiian culture for inspiration in everything we are doing at Aulani, and we hope our guests will not only enjoy the Disney experience, but will also embrace the unique culture of Hawai'i and its diverse people."
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  #242  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2010, 8:52 PM
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A proposed 26-story beachfront tower for the Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki will face some opposition from the adjacent Hyatt hotel:





Hotels ready for extreme makeover
Last phase of $1B project will upgrade Kaiulani and revamp beachfront site

By Robbie Dingeman
Honolulu Advertiser
January 24, 2010

Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts — owner of such Waikīkī landmarks as The Royal Hawaiian and Moana hotels — is gearing up for the final phase of a $1 billion upgrade project that would build the first new oceanfront hotel along the fabled beach in more than 30 years. The aging Princess Kaiulani hotel also will gain a new tower, demolish two other hotel buildings and revamp an existing hotel tower in an extensive facelift. The resort company expects to file the final environmental impact statement for the project this week, according to Kyo-ya executive vice president Greg Dickhens. The new 26-story beachfront hotel would be built on the site now occupied by an eight-story hotel that is part of the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort. Dickhens said the new hotel would be managed as a separate entity. It's likely that Starwood Hotels would continue to manage the property, which could be run under a luxury hotel brand, such as St. Regis or W Hotel, he said.

The resort company has been talking publicly about the extensive renovation project for the past two years and has won the support of the Waikīkī Neighborhood Board. Dickhens said most of Waikīkī's hotels were built in the 1960s and 1970s. "It's tough to be competitive when your product is 30, 40, 100 years old." Since the makeover plans first emerged, the company has changed from including a timeshare component to a hotel/condo-hotel/residential mix that includes 61 residential units in the top part of the new Pikake Tower at the Princess Kaiulani site. The number of traditional hotel rooms would decline from a total of 1,140 to 937; the retail space would go from less than 25,000 square feet to 82,000; and the number of parking spaces will increase by 167.

This is the latest in a series of extensive renovations of the aging resort area, which anchors the state's No. 1 industry. Kyo-ya recently completed a makeover at the Sheraton Waikiki, and had previously done extensive renovations at The Royal Hawaiian and Moana. Other large-scale projects in recent years include Outrigger's Waikiki Beach Walk, developed at a cost of $535 million, and Kamehameha Schools' $115 million remake of the Royal Hawaiian Center. Other new construction included the Trump Tower and Hilton's Grand Waikikian timeshare resort.

After the final environmental study is reviewed, Dickhens estimates an 18-month process to get the necessary government review and permits. Waikīkī Neighborhood Board Chair Robert Finley said the project got approved by the citizen board because it proposes knocking down older buildings and simplifying traffic in a congested part of Waikīkī. "During the recession, it's nice to see them spending money," Finley said. And those who live and work in the area said they like the idea of reducing traffic congestion on busy Ka'iulani Avenue. He added that the buildings targeted for demolition won't win much support. He said the Princess Kaiulani redesign gets rid of older buildings and moves the hotel entry traffic onto the property.

Finley said there are more questions and concerns about the new tower proposed along the shore near the Honolulu police station. "That old building is so nasty looking," he said. "Getting it gone would be nice." But Finley said people are watchful of whatever will be built beachfront and will be paying attention during the government approval process. "It's going to be right on the water, it's going to be taller than what's there now," Finley said. He said he could understand some concern from the nearby Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa. "It would block part of their ocean view much like the Hyatt blocked part of the PK's view," Finley said.

Hyatt General Manager David Lewin said his company does not oppose the plan at the Princess Kaiulani part of the project: "It would be a great addition to Waikīkī. While the new tower will impact our 'ewa views, it is a good use of the lot and an upgrade to Kalākaua." However, Lewin said Hyatt doesn't support the tower next to the Moana for two reasons. "It does not meet the design requirements of the special district. The height and setback are in direct violation, especially the height," he said. Dickhens said Kyo-ya is asking for approvals for variances for the project but proposing a taller, thinner design that includes a two-story, open-air entryway that it says will provide ocean views and other amenities that make it worthwhile and an improvement over the shorter "lot line to lot line" footprint of the old building.

Lewin said he thinks the tall tower won't win friends for the visitor industry. "If approved, it will be another poor reflection on the industry in the eyes of the public," he said. But Dickhens said the modern design, landscaped green space and increased areas accessible to the public make the overall project an improvement that is winning support. If approved, Dickhens said he expects the net number of unionized employees to remain about the same in the future because running a new separate high-end hotel will require more workers while the residential units would eliminate positions. Finley said Kyo-ya has been open to questions and concerns about the project and is proposing a plan that adds some elements that the community likes, including another public pedestrian access from Kalākaua Avenue to Waikīkī Beach; and a $500,000 contribution to the state's plan to replenish sand along the beach.

Dickhens said working with the community, including descendants of the Native Hawaiian families of the area, has been rewarding. And that's how the project has evolved. "You can't just draw up a lot of pretty pictures and get it approved," he said. Dickhens also highlighted the new public surfboard racks — about 100 — planned and the opening up of the view of the ocean views from Kalākaua.
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  #243  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 7:08 AM
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A large map of the Pacific region during World War II is part of the new
USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center at Pearl Harbor.
(photo: Bruce Asato)


Pearl Harbor opens new visitor center for the USS Arizona
Second phase of $58 million project to be done by Dec. 7

By Dan Nakaso
Honolulu Advertiser
February 17, 2010

PEARL HARBOR — Thousands of visitors today are expected to pour into the first phase of a new USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, designed to replace the old buildings that have sunk nearly three feet into the unsteady ground around Pearl Harbor. Herb Weatherwax, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched America into World War II, sat in a motorized wheelchair yesterday as he helped untie a maile lei to open the new visitor center at a ceremony for VIPs. At the age of "92 1/4," Weatherwax hopes to be around when the second — and final phase — of the center opens Dec. 7 on the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack. "I hope to live that long," said Weatherwax, who was an Army private stationed at Schofield Barracks during the attack.

Weatherwax looked around the new visitor center yesterday and proclaimed it "outstanding." It offers a new bookstore that's nearly twice the size of the old one, an education and research center, a snack bar, administrative offices and a centralized ticketing operation so visitors can more easily attend the other World War II-era attractions around what's commonly referred to as the USS Arizona Memorial: the USS Bowfin Museum, USS Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum-Pearl Harbor.

For Weatherwax, the critical part for tourists will be the addition of more and larger bathrooms. "That's very, very, very important," Weatherwax said. "The older place was so cramped up, and there's always a big line-up at the bathrooms." By congressional proclamation, the USS Arizona Memorial has been renamed the "World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument." Its land-based visitor center also will get a new name, but for now it's being called the "USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center replacement and expansion project."

2nd phase to start

As the new, unnamed center welcomes its first visitors today, construction will simultaneously begin on the second phase — on the grounds of the old center — for a total cost of $58 million. The actual memorial that straddles the remains of the USS Arizona was built in 1962. The original visitor center opened in 1980 on 11 acres of soil that had been dredged to expand the Halawa Basin area. When it opened, the center was designed to sink no more than 18 inches into the reclaimed soil, but instead it dropped more than 30 inches, causing water to seep into the basement and erode the concrete structure. It also was designed to accommodate only 2,000 visitors each day — not the 4,500 tourists and residents who actually show up at Hawai'i's No. 1 tourist attraction, which does not charge for admission.

The new center was built on top of 180 pilings driven 200 feet into the soil; the pilings are designed to keep the new facility stable, said Tom Fake, regional project director for the National Park Service, which runs the USS Arizona Memorial. When the second phase is finished, the 23,600-square-foot visitor center will be almost twice as large as the old one and will sit on 6 additional acres, for a total area of 17.4 acres. The second phase will include exhibits aimed at looking beyond the Japanese attack, with titles such as "Road to War," "O'ahu 1941," and "Attack and Aftermath." It's intended to open in time for the annual anniversary commemorating the Japanese attack, which has been held at Pearl Harbor's Kilo Pier. This year, the ceremony will return to the visitor center's back lawn, which will be three times larger.

What's in store

Until the visitor center is complete, tourists who begin arriving today will view a 23-minute movie about the Pearl Harbor attack outdoors instead of in the old theater, which will be renovated and upgraded with digital equipment. An undulating roof design that's part of the first phase is intended to improve the air flow outside for visitors, who will look beyond an outdoor exhibit of the Arizona's anchor out toward Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. "We designed it with comfort in mind for the visitors," Fake said. "We provided lots of shade, lots of seating areas.' U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, was instrumental in securing both federal and private money for the new visitor center and attended yesterday's ceremony. "We've been waiting for this a long time — a building that we hope will never sink," Inouye told The Advertiser after the ceremony. "More importantly, this building will bring all the forces together — not just the Arizona, but the Missouri, the Bowfin, all the heroes. That's the way it should be."

Before the start of yesterday's ceremony, Inouye — a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in World War II — greeted survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, many of whom will continue to greet visitors and share their individual stories. "I'm glad I'm here to witness this event," Inouye said. "It's a day we won't forget."
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  #244  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 8:35 AM
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Hawaii to get $24.5M to repair, expand Pier 29
Honolulu Advertiser
February 17, 2010

The state Department of Transportation will get $24.5 million in federal stimulus funds to repair and expand Pier 29, the federal government announced today. About 80 percent of all commercial goods in Hawai'i are imported and 98 percent of these goods go through the port.

The Pier 29 container yard at Honolulu Harbor suffered structural failures in 2008 that displaced an international freight carrier. Stimulus funds will be used to reconstruct Pier 29 and add about 12 acres of upgraded cargo yard. The improvements also are aimed at increasing efficiency and safety in Honolulu Harbor. Overall, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $1.5 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery awards today.
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  #245  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 7:20 PM
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Honolulu rail-transit schedule slips again
City doesn't expect groundbreaking until late this year

By Michael Tsai
Honolulu Advertiser
February 21, 2010

Hope that recent delays in the timeline of the city's proposed rail project would quickly be resolved are giving way to the realization that construction probably won't begin anytime soon. City officials have acknowledged in recent weeks that release of the project's final environmental impact study and groundbreaking have been delayed indefinitely, but new dates posted on the city's Web site for the project are the first recognition that it may take longer than even they had anticipated.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday that the rail transit project has fallen behind schedule due to a prolonged environmental impact study process but said that he still hopes to have construction under way sometime this year. The projected schedule for rail transit posted at www.honolulutransit.org indicates that groundbreaking and start of construction are now expected late this year. That would put the project as much as a year behind schedule. Groundbreaking, originally planned for December 2009, had to be put off when federal review of the project's environmental study took longer than expected. As recently as January, city officials were saying that federal approval of the final environmental review was expected in February, with groundbreaking to start soon thereafter. A draft of the EIS is under review by the Federal Transit Administration. Wayne Yoshioka, director of the city Department of Transportation, said the report is "99.5 percent done," although concerns regarding the protection of historical sites near Pearl Harbor and the system's alignment are still being addressed.

The project ultimately requires the governor's approval, and once the FTA releases the study it will be up to Gov. Linda Lingle whether to accept it. And therein lies the concern, according to Hannemann. The governor, who was given an administrative draft of the study, said she intends to conduct a thorough review to make sure the study meets all of its legal requirements. Lingle also said she plans to conduct an independent analysis of the city tax revenue forecasts that are the basis of the project's financial plan. Calls to Lingle's representatives were not immediately returned. Lingle is in Washington, D.C., for the meeting of the National Governors Association. She is also expected to meet with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Hawai'i transportation issues.

Hannemann will be in Washington next week for a regularly scheduled meeting with the FTA. "We wanted to (break ground) ... in December 2009 but everything right now is being held up by the EIS," Hannemann said. "The goal is still to break ground this year. The problem is that all (Lingle's) messages have been very negative regarding her timely acceptance of" the EIS. Hannemann chafed at Lingle's public assessment of the project's financial plan as "shaky," and he cited the FTA's recent commitment of $1.55 billion toward the $5.3 billion system. "That's even before we go into final design or release the EIS," he said. "This is a great position for us, and for the governor to continue to put up roadblocks when she has no other job stimulus projects that will create jobs now nor any project that will bring about traffic relief is dumbfounding. "Her assessment of our financial plan being shaky goes against what the FTA told her, which is that they review us every step along the way. The final EIS is not at her desk, but 13 state agencies have already reviewed this and nobody is raising major concerns that this is not going to be done." Hannemann has previously said that delaying the rail project could cost taxpayers an additional $200 million per year. The project calls for an elevated rail line that will run 20 miles from East Kapolei to Ala Moana.

City Council chairman Todd Apo said the delays are not a reflection of problems with the project itself. "Overall, the project is not starting as soon as we would have liked, but this does not show that there is a problem with the project itself," Apo said. "The FTA has already committed $1.55 billion to it. They have a draft of the EIS and they consider it a good project. "Obviously we don't want it delayed, but the governor has a role and an independent look at it can be helpful as long as it's done in a timely manner. Obviously there is some back and forth between the mayor and the governor, but hopefully that won't get in the way of the process."

City Councilman Charles Djou, an outspoken opponent of the rail plan, said that the delay in breaking ground is a result of complications arising from Hannemann's "my way or the railway" approach to pushing the project. "After the vote in 2008, what he should have done was build consensus in the community and reach out to opponents," Djou said. "He continued to refuse to hold public hearings, and as a consequence there is a lack of public confidence. These are self-inflicted wounds. "This is bad for everyone. His bullheaded style is unhealthy. Even though I opposed rail, the voters voted to do it. So if we're going to do it, let's do it right and not waste the taxpayers' money."
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  #246  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 11:23 AM
Onieros Onieros is offline
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I love how they plan to tax the workers to create a transit system so the workers can get to work in order to continue paying taxes.
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  #247  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 8:55 PM
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Mahalo Kaneui for all the updates! I've been a total slacker for the past several months or more! Well, ever since moving back to Honolulu! Been so busy but i'm glad that someone has been posting.
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  #248  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 8:57 PM
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I should ask my buddy what he thinks about the proposals for Waikiki--he's one of the board member's there.
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  #249  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2010, 5:36 AM
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The two-tower expansion won't reduce the amount of green space in the area, since the
structures will be built on existing lots. The project will also add retail space and swimming pools.
(render: Honolulu Advertiser)


Hilton commits 2-tower expansion to timeshares
By Alan Yonan Jr.
Honolulu Advertiser
April 1, 2010

Hilton has seen the future, and it is timeshares. The global resort company said yesterday its planned two-tower, 550-room expansion at the Hilton Hawaiian Village will be devoted entirely to timeshare units, a fast-growing sector of the lodging industry. Hilton officials cited the success of the company's Grand Waikikian Tower, a timeshare project completed in late 2008 on the 22-acre campus of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The tower, operated by Hilton Grand Vacation Club, recently eclipsed $1 billion in sales, and the company said it is looking to get more supply in the pipeline while demand is strong. "This expansion will give us enough product to sell well into the next decade," said Ted Middleton, Hilton's senior vice president of development, the Americas. "It's very important to have new inventory to dovetail into the growing demand," he said at a news conference to announce the project.

Construction on the first tower, a 37-story, 300-unit building to be built on the site of a bus-loading area along Kalia Road, is expected to start sometime in 2013 and be completed in 2015. Construction on the second tower, a 25-story, 250-room building, is projected to start five years later on the site of the current Rainbow Bazaar shopping area next to the resort's parking garage. The project also will include additional swimming pools and retail space. The project meets all current zoning and density requirements, but will have to undergo an environmental review, said Jerry Gibson, area vice president and managing director for Hilton Hawaii. When completed, the expansion will result in 700 new jobs at the hotel, Gibson said. It also will generate an undetermined number of construction jobs as it is being built.

Rising popularity
Hotel companies have been shifting their room mix to include a larger share of timeshare units in recent years. Because they are prepaid, timeshare memberships provide hotels with higher occupancy rates and a more steady stream of revenue, even during times when the visitor industry is slumping. The Disney resort being built at the Ko Olina Resort will have a mix of 480 timeshare units and 350 traditional hotel rooms. And Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts says its redevelopment of the Princess Kaiulani hotel in Waikīkī will include a timeshare component.

The growth trajectory of Hawai'i's timeshare sector over the past decade has been steep. The number of timeshares has risen sharply from about 4,815 units in 2002 to more than 8,000 units today. "Timeshare obviously is one of the growth areas for the state," said Joseph Toy, president and chief executive officer of Hospitality Advisors LLC, a local visitor industry consulting firm. "Previously most of the timeshare inventory had been concentrated in Kaua'i, and indeed we're now seeing the expansion of the timeshare market to the other islands." Toy said the the trend is healthy for the industry and the overall economy because it "diversifies our product base for the growing diverse demand from the visitor market." The project will cost in the "hundreds of millions of dollars," Middleton said, but he did not provide a specific amount.

There will be no net loss of green space because the new towers will be built on existing developed areas, said Norman G.Y. Hong, chief executive officer of Group 70, the firm that is designing the project.

Latest upgrade
The new rooms will be added to the resort's current inventory of 3,627 rooms. Existing floor space will increase to 3.8 million square feet from 3.2 million square feet. The density will increase, but will not exceed limits under Waikīkī Special Design District rules, Hong said. Hilton executives are scheduled to make a presentation on May 11 to the Waikīkī Neighborhood Board. "I'm very pleased it will be creating 700 new jobs," said Bob Finley, Waikīkī Neighborhood Board chairman. "I'm very pleased that the labor unions will have work for the next 10 years. I'm very pleased that we will be expanding the tax base. People are finally beginning to understand that Waikīkī businesses contribute so much to our vital services."

The Hilton facelift is the latest in a series of large-scale upgrades in Waikīkī over the past five years, including Outrigger's Beachwalk project along Lewers Street, Kyo-ya's renovation of the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki hotels, and the Royal Hawaiian Center. Additionally, Kyo-ya is preparing to launch a $700 million overhaul of its Princess Kaiulani complex that will include a new beachfront hotel.
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  #250  
Old Posted May 23, 2010, 9:04 PM
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Illustrations of new Mauka Concourse expansion for interisland flights at Honolulu International Airport.
(renders: HDOT)


Expansion takes flight
Honolulu airport's old commuter terminal will be replaced in modernization plan

Honolulu Advertiser
May 23, 2010

The state is set to begin preliminary work next month on a major expansion of the Interisland Terminal at the Honolulu International Airport, the first significant piece of a $2.3 billion statewide airport modernization plan. The Mauka Concourse, a 220,000-square-foot L-shaped structure with 12 gates, will replace the old commuter terminal currently used by go! Mokulele, Island Air and other smaller carriers. The new concourse, which will be able to accommodate the new Airbus widebody jets that Hawaiian Airlines is adding to its fleet, is scheduled to be completed by 2013. The concourse will have five new security screening lanes, two restrooms each for men and women, four family restrooms, restaurants, information kiosks and a premier club.

Island Air and go! Mokulele will move into the Interisland Terminal this summer to make way for demolition of the commuter terminal. "This relocation will be a tremendous benefit for the traveling public because of the convenience of accessible parking and check-in, as well as having many more passenger amenities in the IIT," said Brian Sekiguchi, the state Department of Transportation's deputy director of the airports division. "In addition, passengers connecting to or from Mainland flights will have significantly less walking distance and do not have to undergo additional security screening as they do now at the remote commuter terminal," he said. The Mauka Concourse is the first of several major upgrades at Honolulu International Airport expected to total $1.7 billion through 2021. The plans also call for replacing the 'Ewa and Diamond Head concourses and renovating the main concourse, all of which are in the main terminal. The DOT website calls the project a "multi-year effort to transform Honolulu International Airport into a distinctive, functional airport, worthy of a first-class visitor destination, to meet the growing needs of residents and visitors alike."

The Department of Transportation estimates that the statewide modernization effort will generate 40,000 jobs over the life of the project. Pasadena, Calif.-based Parsons Aviation is the program manager for the airport project. Parsons has managed dozens of airport projects in recent years, including ones in Abu Dhabi, Athens, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles. Some smaller elements of the airport modernization program are already underway. The DOT last fall completed the first section of an enclosed, air-conditioned corridor with a moving walkway for international arrivals. The first phase of the project serves gates 26 to 30 in the 'Ewa Concourse, where Japan Airlines lands most of its jets. When the $37 million project is completed later this year, it will have three sections of moving walkways totaling 2,100 feet, and result in a reduction of Wiki Wiki buses to eight from 13. In preparation for construction of the Mauka Concourse, the DOT next month will begin renovating the Interisland Terminal to accommodate the commuter airlines that will move there. Work will include new ticket counters, baggage claim offices and signage for the commuter airlines, according to a newsletter from the DOT's Airports Division.

Airport modernization projects are also moving forward on the Neighbor Islands. At Kahului Airport, installation of an explosive detection system is expected to be completed this summer. A new baggage carousel was recently installed at Kona International Airport's South Terminal. And work is continuing on a new $30 million cargo building at the Hilo International Airport. The 60,000-square-foot building will include cargo space for 10 tenants, office space, laboratory and inspection facilities, climate-controlled areas and an animal quarantine area. It is expected to be finished by the end of 2011.
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  #251  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2010, 3:47 AM
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In Kailua town on O'ahu's windward side, landowner Kaneohe Ranch is currently constructing Phase III of Kailua Town Center, which will feature a 31,000 sq.ft. Whole Foods Market and 12,000 sq.ft. of additional retail, scheduled to open in 2011:



Kailua Town Center, Phase III - rendering and site plan
(courtesy: Kaneohe Ranch)


For more info.: http://www.kaneoheranch.com/projects...own-center.cfm
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  #252  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2010, 2:03 AM
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That doesn't look too bad. Kaneohe is a nice town, definitely my favourite place in Hawai'i.
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  #253  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2010, 2:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big T View Post
That doesn't look too bad. Kaneohe is a nice town, definitely my favourite place in Hawai'i.
Although owned by Kaneohe Ranch, Kailua Town Center is actually in Kailua, next to Kaneohe. Although the two towns are adjacent to each other and about the same size (50,000 each), Kailua and Kaneohe definitely have their own distinct look and feel.
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  #254  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2010, 4:50 AM
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Owner Kyo-ya now has the support of the local neighborhood association and numerous Waikiki business groups to replace an aging 8-story hotel wing fronting Waikiki Beach with a new 26-story tower, although it will require variances from height, building setback, and shoreline encroachment laws established in 1976:



The Moana Surfrider Hotel's Diamond Head wing slated for demolition.
(photo: Shelly Bonoan)


Ka halekui o Waikiki
A beachfront landmark wants to raise the roof with its new addition

by Curt Sanburn
Honolulu Weekly
July 7, 2010

Perhaps you’ve seen those sleek and ubiquitous commericals airing during local TV newscasts lately? The ads trumpet Waikiki’s future while showing marvelous architectural drawings, then vaguely asking for your support. What those ads are about: plans are afoot to demolish an eight-story hotel on the beach at Waikiki and replace it with a 26-story condo/hotel tower. This summer, the project’s sponsors are asking the Honolulu City Council to grant four different exemptions to the law regarding building height, density and shoreline setback.

The stakes are high. The beach tower is a relatively small but important part of hotel owner Kyo-ya’s $700 million redevelopment plan for its Princess Kaiulani and Moana Surfrider properties in the heart of Waikiki. Located at the spot where Kalakaua Ave.’s canyon of high-rises opens up to Kuhio Beach Park, the redevelopment site has been dubbed “Ka Piko Waikiki” by Kyo-ya, the longtime hotel owner and leaseholder of several former royal properties owned by Kamehameha Schools. Since 2004, Kyo-ya has been controlled by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management, one of the world’s largest private investment firms.

The Diamond Head Tower, as it’s called, would be squeezed into the last private lot along the beach, the narrow lot adjacent to Kuhio Beach Park currently occupied by the 52-year-old, 141-room Diamond Head wing of the Moana Surfrider Hotel. The lot is so narrow, in fact, that Kyo-ya is asking for a variance to the state’s 40-foot waterfront setback law in order to accommodate a beachfront pool. About 40 private residences would occupy the higher floors in the tower, stacked atop 185 hotel rooms that reportedly might be marketed and managed as a W Hotel. There’s only one catch: The tower is a direct challenge to well-established city law...


To read more: http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2010...kui-o-waikiki/
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  #255  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 10:06 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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The former Ilikai Yacht Harbor Tower has been transformed into the 353-room Waikiki Edition, the first hotel in Marriott's new boutique brand:



The pool at the Waikiki Edition is dubbed Sunset Beach
and is surrounded by 100 tons of sand from the neighbor
islands to give guests that beach feeling.
(photo: Cindy Ellen Russell)


Waikiki Edition opens
By Allison Schaefers
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
October 5, 2010

The Waikiki Edition, the first hotel in Marriott International's long-awaited boutique brand, is open for business after three years in development. Guests began arriving last Tuesday to fill the hotel's 353 rooms and suites. It's so new that pictures of the property have not been posted on the company's website, and there has been worldwide clamoring for a look at what Marriott expects will become an iconic hotel and brand.

The Waikiki Edition, which was created by boutique hotel maven Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International, has transformed the former Ilikai Yacht Harbor Tower into a private oasis. There's no sign of the Ilikai's famous aqua exterior on the former annex, and the interior has morphed from tired '80s into something more reminiscent of a private beachfront home owned by someone young, posh and modern. "People do not want something derivative. They want the real thing and this is the whole idea behind Edition," Schrager said in a statement. He is expected to be at the property's Oct. 15 grand opening along with Arne Sorenson, Marriott International's president and chief operating officer.

Conceived in collaboration with architects George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg and landscape designer Deborah Nevins, the Waikiki Edition is high-energy yet relaxing. "It was refreshing. It felt like an extension of a luxury residence," said Myra Brandt, principal broker at Kahala Associates, who attended a party at the Edition on Friday night. Guests who book rooms by Oct. 15 can stay in city-view rooms for $195 nightly, said Mark Aldridge, the Waikiki Edition's director of sales and marketing. Later, rates will range from $345 for a city-view room to $9,995 for a 1,400-square-foot penthouse with a 1,500-square-foot lanai, he said.

Guests will delight in the property's exclusive Sunset Beach, which comes complete with its own lagoon surrounded by 100 tons of neighbor island sand. The lobby, which is surfer chic by day, transforms into an elegant bar by night with the slide of a bookshelf. The hotel's Surf and Bikini Boot Camps offer customized physical fitness, health and weight loss packages. There's a full-service spa, a Crazybox nightclub and a signature restaurant developed by television's famous "Iron Chef" Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Notable amenities include 24-hour room service, twice-daily housekeeping and an outdoor movie theater, which will play first-run movies on Thursday nights. The second Edition will open in Istanbul, Turkey, later this year. The concept is coming soon to Mexico City; Barcelona, Spain; Bangkok; and Miami's South Beach.
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  #256  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2010, 12:51 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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After two years of construction, the second phase of the new $56M Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is now complete, with the dedication held on today's anniversary:



(render: www.pearlharbortour.com)


Pearl Harbor Honors Survivors With New Center
Hundreds Attend Ceremony Marking Attack
KITV.com
December 7, 2010

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Tuesday was the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. About 2,500 people attended the ceremony. It was a time to honor those who died and those who survived. Speeches were laden with tales of heroics. A moment of silence was held at the exact time the attack started, followed by a missing man flyover. After the commemoration ceremony, the National Parks Service held a dedication of the new $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and museum.

The survivors, other veterans and their families took part in a walk of honor with members of all branches of the military, with the National Parks Service saluting as the walked by. That group was the first to officially experience the new interactive exhibits. "It creates a new opportunity for understanding that day of infamy, because we have multiple voices, multiple perspectives. We're not just telling one side of the story. We're telling a broader story," Pearl Harbor historian Daniel Martinez said.

The park service built the new center because the old one, which was built on reclaimed land in 1980, was sinking into the ground. The old facility was also overwhelmed by its popularity: It received about 1.6 million visitors each year, about twice as many as it was designed for. People often had to squeeze by one another to view the photos and maps in its small exhibit hall. In comparison, the new center has two spacious exhibition halls with room for more people, as well as large maps and artifacts such as anti-aircraft guns.

"I was right in here, between torrent 3 and the main one," USS Arizona survivor Lou Contor said, pointing at a picture. Of the 2,300 sailors killed that day, half were on the Arizona. "I think the most dramatic was the men were coming out of the fire," Contor said. "We had to grab them, hand them, any way lay them down, and their skin was burned and it would come off in your hands. That was probably the worst part of that." Contor said the museum is well done. "It's open and you can walk around and you're not cramped anywhere, and you can look at all of the things and different points of view," Contor said. Many of the survivors took the time to check out a new point of view of the date that continues to live in infamy. "Long after the last veteran of the war in the Pacific is gone, we will still be here telling their story and honoring their dedication and sacrifice," National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis told about 120 survivors who traveled to Hawaii from around the country for the event.


For more info.: http://pearlharbortour.com/
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  #257  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2010, 9:50 PM
Lipani Lipani is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
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Glad to see the rail system moving forward. When I lived in Makiki, the H-1 was always packed. Hopefully this will help alleviate some of that:

Quote:
Abercrombie's EIS approval green-lights rail construction
By Star-Advertiser Staff
POSTED: 06:28 p.m. HST, Dec 16, 2010

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has approved an environmental impact statement for Oahu’s rail transit project, a step that will allow construction of the $5.5 billion project to begin.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye had said the state could lose a promised $1.55 billion in federal funds if construction doesn't begin soon on the 20-mile, east Kapolei to Ala Moana elevated rail line.

Abercrombie’s predecessor, Gov. Linda Linge, had declined to sign off on the EIS until an independent financial review was performed.

That review was released two weeks ago. It said the project could cost $1.7 billion more than projected and that tax revenues and ridership could fall short of expectations.

But Abercrombie and new Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said they believe the project remains on sound footing. Abercrombie signed off on the EIS and forwarded it to the mayor’s office, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said.

Abercrombie issued this statement:

“The role of the state in this step of approving the environmental impact statement for Honolulu’s rail transit system is to ensure that all economic, social and environmental risks have been properly addressed under law. After a thorough review by and consulting with the state Office of Environmental Quality Control, I conclude the City and County of Honolulu has met these obligations.

“I continue to support a transit system in Oahu. Projects associated with it will be central to Oahu’s future development.

“Now is our opportunity to strengthen our commitment to ensuring that the project is done right, without delay, and with a vision of Oahu’s future clearly in mind. Unresolved issues will need to be addressed with dispatch.

“The City and County has the lead responsibility in the implementation of this project. I pledge continuing open communication at the state level with the city authorities and communities across Oahu and all the islands.”
http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/b...112045384.html
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  #258  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2011, 8:14 PM
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Mike K. Mike K. is offline
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Could I ask for some assistance with the Honolulu Skyscraper Map?
http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/maps/?cityID=421

Only several proposals remain to be marked on the map.

If anyone knows the "exact" positioning of the towers, it would be much appreciated.

In a Google map to select the "exact" position of a tower, right click on the map, then select "Center map here." Then, in the top-right of the map, click the "Link" button which displays a URL. Editors use this URL to insert into the Skyscraper Map system to indicate the exact location of a building on the Skyscraper Map.

The buildings that we require coordinates for are:

2121 Kuhio
Na Hale Kai Tower I
Na Hale Kai Tower II
Na Hale Kai Tower III
Iwelei Elderly Housing

Also, if anyone notices any highrise proposals that are not listed on the map and therefore missing from our database, please confirm.

Your help is much appreciated!

Map: http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/maps/?cityID=421
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  #259  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 6:28 PM
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Urbanguy Urbanguy is offline
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Sorry for not updating this thread for a while but here's a major update.

The Kakaako 'urban villages' plan approved in 11-0 vote:

Streets and skylines will evolve much differently in Kakaako over the next few decades under new development rules approved Wednesday by a state agency regulating development in a 450-acre portion of the urban Honolulu area.

An artist’s illustration shows how future redevelopment in Kakaako might look under new state rules, with low-rise buildings lining streets and taller buildings set back deeper on street blocks. Streets also would be made more inviting to pedestrians with medians or wide sidewalks and lots of trees.


MEDIAN GROWTH
Ward Avenue and Auahi streets would be divided by a median planted with trees under planning guidelines for Kakaako. The median on Ala Moana Boulevard, above, also would be extended ewa of Ward Avenue.


TREE CANOPY
Five wide streets — Punchbowl, South, Piikoi, Pensacola and King — would be lined with monkeypod or shower trees on opposing sidewalks to create green canopies similar to what exists on Kapiolani Boulevard, above.









Sources: Honolulu Star Advertiser, Hawaii Community Development Authority or HCDA & Johnson Fain

There are other proposals & updates for the city so I'll try to add more in the near future!
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  #260  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2011, 7:03 PM
Lipani Lipani is offline
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Wow! That looks very impressive -- and much better planned than the recent developments in Ala Moana.
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