Category Archives: Updates

Kakaako Agora is Honolulu’s first indoor public park

Photo by Burt Lum/Bytemarks on Instagram

Kamehameha Schools and Interisland Terminal celebrated the opening of Kakaako Agora on Sunday , Honolulu’s first urban, indoor public park. The unique 3,225-square foot space located at 441 Cooke Street was designed by noted Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow.

“Kakaako Agora is a perfect fit for Our Kakaako,” noted Christian O’Connor, Senior Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools. “It will inspire artistic collaborations and continue to foster the kind of innovation and creativity that the community is known for.”

Once an empty warehouse, Kakaako Agora is now a free, publicly accessible, shaded community gathering spot that includes a 687-square feet mezzanine. The space was built over the course of two months by several local organizations including Collab Studios, Sunworks Construction, Heavy Metal Hawaii, Hui Kū Maoli Ola.

From June 9 – 28, Kakaako Agora will house June Kaboom, nightly performances, speakers and film screenings hosted by Kumu Kahua Theatre, Hawaii Opera Theatre, POW! WOW! Hawai‘i, ii Gallery, ‘Ōiwi TV, Taiko Center of the Pacific and others. The space is available for the public to use from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday.

Atelier Bow-Wow was founded in 1992 by architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. The firm has designed and built houses, public and commercial buildings as well as innovative public spaces around the globe. The duo, who are married, are best known for their surprising, idiosyncratic, yet functional residential projects in dense urban environments. They coined the term “pet architecture” to describe the odd but functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo.

For more information about Kakaako Agora, visit

Photos by Burt Lum/Bytemarks on Instagram.

‘SALT’ Project Construction to Begin

Construction of Kamehameha Schools’ 76,000-square foot retail and restaurant project, SALT, will begin later this month, and the neighborhood’s beloved restaurants and boutiques will remain open during construction.


SALT is located on the block bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and Coral, Keawe and Auahi streets. The construction of SALT involves the adaptive reuse of four structures, as well as the new construction of a 267-stall parking structure along Keawe Street and a 4,500-square foot building on Coral Street. Existing surface parking will be converted to an open plaza with a splash-and-play water feature, as well as recreation and seating areas.


Reusing the Quonset roofs and steel frames from the original buildings preserves the area’s mercantile culture and reduces construction debris headed for local landfills. Visitors to SALT will feel a familiarity with the architecture as they explore an interesting and updated place.

“The challenge to reuse these older warehouses and their materials creates an opportunity to build a beautifully gritty shopping and dining experience that can only exist in urban Honolulu,” said Christian O’Connor, Kamehameha’s senior asset manager who is in charge of leasing and management of SALT. “This project is uniquely Hawai‘i. It isn’t a cookie-cutter mall that could be imported or transplanted from somewhere else.”

Hawaiian Dredging is the project’s general contractor and expects to complete construction by the end of 2015. Hawai‘i-owned INK Architects is the lead architect.

“Construction on the buildings is being carefully staged, which means less disruption for tenants and customers,” noted O’Connor. “Keeping Auahi Street open during the construction of SALT allows visitors to continue to enjoy Kakaako while experiencing the amazing transformation of this unique area.”

Tenants Cocina, LIMB, Quince and PAD HI will be moving from their current locations to vacant spaces along Auahi Street to make way for construction. Auahi Street tenants Bevy, Paiko, Insomnia Café and ZenBanx will remain open in their current locations.

INK Architects and Jasper Wong of POW! WOW! Hawaii will be giving the Auahi storefronts an artistic touch-up during the construction period. Outdoor seating and wall plants by Paiko will be added to create an approachable space.

Other businesses on the SALT block, including Hank’s Haute Dogs on Coral Street, the Kakaako Information Center on Keawe Street, as well as Sprint, Starbucks, Lanikai Juice, Illest, The Collection sales office and Highway Inn will also remain open during construction.

“We are excited about being able to grow with the community,” said Marissa Selders, owner of Quince, a home accessories store that will be moving into the former R/D space. “We see the vision that Kamehameha Schools has for the area and look forward to being a part of it.”

Kamehameha Schools has already renovated the Ala Moana Boulevard-fronting portion of the block with the 2012 adaptive reuse and redevelopment of Six Eighty Ala Moana, a 54-unit income-restricted, rental apartment building with ground floor commercial.

Kamehameha Schools is working on phase one of its nine-block, 15-year Kakaako master plan and has announced residential apartments for rent and for sale with guest developers. Kamehameha Schools also launched free, high-speed neighborhood Wi-Fi in March that is available throughout the nine-block area.

For more information on SALT, visit

Press release and images courtesy Kamehameha Schools.

Kakaako to get fast Wi-Fi


Kamehameha Schools today announced the activation of a free, public WiFi network in Our Kaka‘ako that is one of the fastest and most powerful of its kind in the nation. The network, launched March 1, is accessible on any wireless device throughout the Our Kaka‘ako neighborhood, a nine-block area bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and South, Halekauwila and Cooke streets.

Hawaii Dialogix Telecom (HDT), a leading provider of WiFi networks, designed the robust and flexible WiFi network and will also provide the services to connect it to the Internet. Local firm Boss Communication Technologies provided the electrical and cabling services to get the system installed. More than twenty wireless access points were placed throughout Our Kaka‘ako, enabling WiFi users to enjoy seamless roaming throughout the neighborhood without being kicked off the network when traveling between blocks. The system is also designed to accommodate a large number of simultaneous users.

“Our community WiFi will not only increase wireless access for everyone who works and visits the neighborhood, but it will further enhance the innovation and creativity that Our Kaka‘ako is known for,” noted Erin Kinney, development manager for Kamehameha Schools. “We’ll be able to strengthen our community in so many positive ways through greater connectivity.”

The WiFi will be noticeably faster than an average LTE network or free WiFi found in some coffee shops or shopping malls. Upload and download speeds will be symmetrical, and will transfer data up to 10 times faster than most home Internet connections. Users will be able to enjoy the high-speed WiFi over the nine-blocks seamlessly. The system will be protected by a Next Generation Firewall Solution to ensure the privacy and safety of its users.

“HDT is proud to participate in the redevelopment and revitalization of the Kaka‘ako region by working with Kamehameha Schools to provide free WiFi to tenants, their clientele, residents and visitors of this community,” said Stephen Hon, co-president of Hawaii Dialogix Telecom. “Internet access is vital to social and economic productivity in this digital age, and we believe this service will help Kamehameha Schools achieve its long-term goal of cultivating innovation, technology, education and economic opportunity for Our Kaka‘ako.”

To accommodate the changes that are occurring in Our Kaka‘ako, HDT has designed the network with resilience and scalability features to ensure the WiFi service will be able to adequately provide coverage as different stages of Kamehameha Schools’ master plan are implemented. This will allow for network capacity to be dynamically allocated to the places where the densest user activity will be occurring, as in the case of the thriving Honolulu Night Market or Eat the Street events.

Over the next few months, Our Kaka‘ako will host a series of events that showcase the capabilities and strength of the WiFi network.

For more information about Kamehameha Schools’ Our Kaka‘ako master plan and a list of WiFi related events, visit

About Hawaii Dialogix Telecom

HDT is a privately held Internet Service Provider and licensed facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier with offices headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. HDT holds a Certificate of Authority from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and is a provider of fast, flexible, and affordable broadband and voice solutions to thousands of businesses, building owners, wholesale providers and residential customers in the state of Hawaii. In business since 2002, HDT provides services over a carrier-class network that employs the use of fiber and FCC licensed spectrum to deliver gigabit broadband in metropolitan areas.

About Our Kaka’ako

Our Kaka‘ako is a mixed-use, urban-island community by Kamehameha Schools on nine contiguous city blocks in the heart of Honolulu, between South Street and Ward Avenue. The community, which is currently in the beginning stages of a multi-year redevelopment, will contain a mixture of low-rise and high-rise structures, a range of housing types, open spaces, a central gathering place, and a neighborhood supportive of commercial and industrial uses. Part of the vision for Our Kaka‘ako is that it will continue to grow as a progressive catalyst for innovation and become the epicenter of urban-island culture, and the lifestyle that it represents. To learn more, please visit

About Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i and 30 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,400 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States. Income generated from its Hawai`i real estate, as well as diverse investments, fund the Schools’ educational mission almost entirely. For more information, please visit

Ward Village Foundation announced

MayorThe Howard Hughes Corporation, developers of Ward Village, Honolulu’s urban master-planned community, today launched the Ward Village Foundation with an initial commitment of $1 million. The foundation has been established to support local non-profits and programs that align with the company’s vision and the foundation’s core initiatives of culture, community and environment.

The Ward Village Foundation will serve as a permanent non-profit corporation connected to the company’s efforts to build a bright and vibrant future in Honolulu. The foundation will initially distribute $1 million to worthy non-profits and projects over the next two years.

“We are proud to introduce the Ward Village Foundation, furthering our commitment to improving the quality of life in our community,” said David Striph, Senior Vice President of Hawai‘i for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “The Ward Village Foundation will focus on forward-thinking initiatives that honor Hawai‘i’s rich history by fostering the community that will help make Ward Village an ideal neighborhood to live, work, learn, shop and play.”

The foundation also announced its first grant recipient, pledging $100,000 to locally-based non-profit Kupu towards the construction of the Kupu Green Jobs Training Center. Through its partnerships with more than 80 public and private organizations, Kupu provides experiential education and life skills development opportunities to help youth and young adults succeed in life and create lifelong community servants. From this facility, Kupu will develop the next generation of local talent to take the helm of the new “green” industries moving in Hawai‘i.

“On behalf of Kupu, I would like to commend The Howard Hughes Corporation and Ward Village for making a concerted effort to better the local community,” said John Leong, Executive Director of Kupu. “The establishment of the Ward Village Foundation will make a significant impact on our long-term efforts to equip our youth with the direction and skills to lead our state towards a more sustainable future.”

“Kupu is an outstanding example of an organization that aligns with our foundation’s core values, promoting culture, community and environment through their work training and educating Hawai‘i’s youth in sustainable job fields with an emphasis on promoting traditional Hawaiian values,” said Nick Vanderboom, Senior Vice President, Development for The Howard Hughes Corporation.

For more information on the Ward Village Foundation, please visit the website at

Giant CheckAbout Ward Village

Over the next decade, Ward Village will transform into a mixed-use community, offering unique retail experiences and exceptional residences set among dynamic public open spaces and walkable streets. Environmental stewardship is forefront in the Ward Village Master Plan, which was recently awarded LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Platinum Certification, the highest certification possible, making it the largest LEED-ND Platinum-Certified project in the country and the only one in Hawai‘i. An information center and residential sales gallery for Ward Village at the newly renovated, iconic IBM Building will open in early 2014. Sales at Ward Village’s first two mixed-use residential projects – Waiea, at 1118 Ala Moana Boulevard, and Anaha, at 1108 Auahi Street – will also begin in early 2014.

About The Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 16 states from New York to Hawaii. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC and is headquartered in Dallas, TX. For additional information about HHC, visit

About Kupu

Kupu was founded in 2007 because of a heart to serve. Kupu in Hawaiian means “to sprout, grow, germinate, or increase” and like the kupukupu fern (which is one of the first plants bring life back to the land after a devastating lava flow), Kupu’s heart is to bring life back to the people, land, and ocean while restoring the larger community for a better tomorrow.

Impact Hub Coworking Location Coming to Hawaii

Kakaako Street

Stephanie Silverstein at Pacific Business News reports:

A co-working space for the sustainable business community called the Impact Hub is planned to open in the Kakaako neighborhood in Honolulu next year. Hawaii Angels and Blue Startups Managing Director Chenoa Farnsworth and Smart Sustainability Consulting President Shanah Trevenna co-founded the Impact Hub in Honolulu, which will join a network of 30 Impact Hub locations around the world, on five continents.

Exploring the Impact of Development in Kakaako

Via PBS Hawaii‘s weekly “Insights” roundtable hosted by Dan Boylan:

What is the impact of development in Honolulu’s urban core? Governor Neil Abercrombie has his sights set on developing Kakaako as Oahu’s “Third City.” The longtime warehouse district is already home to a vibrant up-and-coming arts community. Future plans would transform Kakaako into a live-work-play neighborhood of cafes, lofts, parks, businesses and a mix of upscale and affordable urban housing. Guests will discuss the master plan for Kakaako, and whether it will support a population increase or further encourage urban blight.

Dan Boylan hosts a discussion with the following scheduled guests: Anthony Ching, Executive Director of Hawaii Community Development Authority; Christian O’Connor, Senior Asset Manager, Kamehameha’s Kakaako properties; Ralph Portmore, Urban Planner at Group 70; and John Prime, Co-Director of 808 Urban.

Complete Streets Demonstration on Sunday

Cyclovia Hawaii Complete Streets Kakaako

From Cycle On Hawaii:

Tired of unfriendly streets for your kids to ride bikes and play in? Looking for a fun spot to exercise? Join us for a no-stress Mother’s Day in Kaka`ako with the streets open for play! Come join Cyclovia Hawaii for Hele On Kaka`ako!

From Complete Streets Kakaako:

The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) is a State agency that was established to supplement traditional community renewal methods by promoting and coordinating public and private sector community development. The HCDA is activelly planning to implement Complete Street policies in Kakaako.

From Nonstop Honolulu:

Come on out on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for Hele On Kaka`ako. Along with many family-friendly activities, the event will feature an international movement called Cyclovia and also a first-time Complete Street Demonstration Project on Cooke Street. The event includes a 5K run, a Mother’s Day brunch at Taste, live music, bicycle education courses, pop-up shopping at Pinch of Salt, dance classes, aerobics and much more to promote healthy living and sustainability.

From Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

On Sunday, as part of a daylong event promoting more pedestrian and bicycle travel, a stretch of Cooke Street will become what organizers hope could be the future of traffic on Oahu. Using tubular barriers for curbs, special striping tape for lanes, benches, 40 large trees, hundreds of plants and other temporary materials, Cooke between Hale­kau­wila and Auahi streets will morph into what transportation planners call a “complete street.” The road there will be redesigned to show how motorists, cyclists and pedestrians could all better coexist.

Complete Streets Kakaako from R3IMAGE on Vimeo.

Go-Kart Amusement Park Proposed for Kakaako

Go-kart by Yelp on Flickr

In October, Alii International Enterprises proposed building a recreational facility in Kakaako. The proposal included a Go-kart track, miniature golf course, wave pool, skate park and other amusement rides at 222 Ahui Street. The Hawaii Community Development Authority yesterday held a public hearing on the proposal.

Developer hopes to open Kakaako amusement park before start of summer (KITV)

It’s an ambitious plan, turning a blighted city block in the heart of Kakaako into an amusement park complete with go-cart racing, a rock wall, a skate park, a miniature golf course, a sky dive tower, and a wave machine. Billy Balding of Alii International Enterprises, LLC envisions the park as a place where both visitors and tourists alike can unwind. He plans on investing as much as $10 million, and hopes to open by May 31.

Mini amusement park could be coming to Kakaako (KHON)

Imagine a place in Kakaako that features go-kart racing, wave pool surfing, amusement rides, and other activities for the family. “It’s not going to be like a ride facility that you go and get on carnival rides. There are a few, but most of it is things that a lot of us like to enjoy in the open air,” local businessman Billy Balding said.

$10M amusement park proposed for Kakaako (HawaiiNewsNow)

Go kart racing, an indoor skydiving chamber and a wave pool are all part of a proposed $10 million amusement park planned for Kakaako. Alii Enterprises unveiled its plans for the new park at the site of the long vacant lot on Ala Moana during a meeting held by the Hawaii Community Development Authority today. Billy Balding, Alii’s owner, said the project will create 35 to 45 jobs.

Kakaako fairgrounds developer presents plan (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

The developer of a planned year-round fairgrounds in Kakaako made his first public presentation of the project today to Hawaii Community Development Authority, offering new details and answering questions about the $10 million proposal. Besides a go-kart track, surfing wave pool, skateboard park, miniature golf course and kiddie amusement rides, the planned fairgrounds would include a zip-line, indoor skydiving tower and a bungee jump.

Creative Commons licensed photo courtesy on Flickr.

Interisland Terminal R&D Refresh on Feb. 5

R&D Refresh

Interisland Terminal is celebrating the grand re-opening of its R&D space in Kakaako with a private, ticketed-only event from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on February 5, 2013. Tickets cost $80, but $40 of that is tax deductible.

The event includes:

  • Hangar One cocktails from Imbibe Hawaii.
  • Food from Kaka‘ako eateries, including Whole Ox, Hank’s Haute Dogs, and Pig & The Lady.
  • A special lion dance performance by Wah Ngai.
  • A preview of 2013 programs for Interisland Terminal, R&D and ii Gallery (next door to R&D).
  • A preview of the “Lines in Time” artshow by Marques Marzan in ii Gallery.

Tickets are being sold online here:

Chai Studio Moving to Ward Warehouse

Furniture and lifestyle boutique Chai Studio will be leaving its current location at 675 Auahi Street to a new location in Ward Warehouse. In an emailed announcement, the company says it will be holding a moving sale on Oct. 25, 26 and 27.

“We’re moving and we can’t take it all with us, so come and save 20%-40% on all furniture,” the announcement reads. “Armoires, beds, benches, dining table, cafe tables, dining chairs, coffee tables, trunks, side tables, book shelves, mirrors and more!”

After the moving sale, the store will be closed from Oct. 28 through Halloween, and will open at its new location near Menchie’s on Nov. 1.

For more information, call (808) 536-4543, or visit