‘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 www.ourkakaako.com/salt.

Press release and images courtesy Kamehameha Schools.

Kakaako the Focus of Civil Cafe

Kamehameha Schools’ plans for Kakaako were the focus of the latest “Civil Cafe,” a periodic discussion series hosted by Civil Beat.

“The state’s largest private landowner has big plans to transform Kakaako from a warehouse district into a vibrant community, and has been working to gain support from a community that is suspicious of the outsized development projects taking place in Honolulu’s urban core,” notes Civil Beat. “Kamehameha Schools, which is a charitable trust that also operates as an educational institution, uses 98 percent of returns from its $10 billion endowment to succeed in its mission to educate Native Hawaiians. The trust owns 52 acres in Kakaako, a neighborhood that is expected to grow from 20,000 residents in 2010 to 30,000 residents in 2030.”

Read the write up and social media stream here, or watch the entire panel discussion and Q&A on YouTube:

Skip to 23 minutes and 20 seconds of the upload, as it includes several minutes of setup.

Photos by P.F. Bentley/Civil Beat and Mike Webb/@gmikewebb.

‘Out Of The Office’ pop-up coworking on Friday

#OOTOOahu business professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and others looking for a change in corporate scenery are invited to bring their laptops and notebooks to Kakaako this Friday, March 14, for the first #OOTO (Out of the Office) co-working event.

While collaborating in a unique shared space that inspires creativity and productivity, participants can try out the new Kakaako area WiFi, offering download speeds and upload speeds several times faster than most business and residential internet service.

The Pinch of Salt warehouse will be outfitted with individual work spaces, quite zones, community spaces, and a “playground” area for creative stimulation. And Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi’s Pili Group will serve up lunch, treats, and array of caffeinated drinks to promote high-productivity for office escapees.

Event Highlights:

  • Creative and comfortable working spaces
  • Playground area will feature TVs, foosball table, and team building games
  • Pili Group featuring Mark Noguchi will be selling food, coffee, tea, lemonade and smoothies
  • #OOTO workers are invited to enjoy pau hana at the neighborhood watering hole, Bevy


  • When: Friday, March 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Pinch of Salt Warehouse on Auahi Street (Behind Starbucks on Ala Moana Boulevard)

Street parking is available, with limited parking also available at the former CompUSA lot.

Photos courtesy Our Kakaako.

Save Our Kakaako Protests Makai Development


Rally protests OHA development in Kakaako (HawaiiNewsNow)

More than a hundred people, many of them wearing red T-shirts, lined Ala Moana Boulevard Saturday to protest against possible development in Kakaako Makai. They were members of several groups that came together for the latest “Save Our Kakaako” rally to hold signs opposing residential development in the area makai of Ala Moana.

Save Our Kakaako coalition rallies against proposed development (KHON)

Protesters don’t want OHA to change the landscape of this section of town. They say they are fighting for a law that was passed barring residential construction on this area. “The coalition is not against OHA. We are not against the native Hawaiians. We are rallying on principle. The principle we are rallying on is, we want to keep the law intact.” Save Our Kakaako member Ron Iwami said.

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 www.OurKakaako.com.

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 www.OurKakaako.com.

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 www.ksbe.edu.

Kakaako murals getting a reboot

Kakaako murals getting a fresh start

Pow Wow Hawaii teams and volunteers are hitting the streets of Kakaako taking what used to be colorful, vibrant, and contemporary murals and making the walls dull again.

“Getting some paint and covering it up, making it look like it was never there,” Pow Wow Hawaii Music Director Christa Wittmier said.

The 5th annual 10-day art, music, and mural painting event is about to get underway on Saturday, Feb. 8, launching with an art exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art. One hundred featured artists from around the globe will gather on Oahu to collaborate, paint, and beautify public spaces following the art show.

“We are already getting comments about it from passersby. They are like ‘Why are you doing that?’ We are pretty excited to tell them there is more to come. Just wait a couple of weeks and we will have everybody here painting and it will be all new,” Wittmier said.

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 www.wardvillagefoundation.org.

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 www.howardhughes.com.

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.

Kakaako Eyed for Obama Presidential Center


Supporters push for Obama presidential library in Hawaii
Hawaii News Now

In Kakaako, just behind the parking lot for the Point Panic bodysurfing spot, there are two sites that supporters say could be the future home for the presidential library of Barack Obama. The land is made up of two vacant lots, and offers a tantalizing view of Diamond Head and the ocean.

DSLR Video Workshop by Hawaii Shoots

HDSLR Workshop by Hawaii ShootsTime to unwrap those brand new DSLR cameras received as presents over the holidays and put it to good use! Cinematographer Jeremy Snell and Brad Watanabe of Berad Studio will be teaching an introductory workshop to get you started, get you motivated, and get you shooting.

The event, “HDSLR Workshop – Learn How to Shoot Video With Your DSLR Camera,” is organized by Hawaii Shoots, Watanabe’s collaborative and community entity. The workshop will teach beginners and amateurs alike about how to utilize a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera to shoot creative videos and share amazing stories.

Instructors Snell and Watanabe are Hawaii-based professionals who have extensive experience in the video production industry. Snell is a portrait, commercial and humanitarian cinematographer who often travels the world working for nonprofits aspiring to educate and help people through his portraiture work. Watanabe is owner and director of Berad Studio, a video production company. His blog, Hawaii Shoots, explores and features work shot and produced in Hawaii and serves as a community site that encourages collaboration and dialogue among video production professionals in all disciplines.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Box Jelly in Kaka‘ako. The price to attend is $15. For more information go to www.hawaiishoots.com or call 808-469-2371.

Eventbrite Registration

Via Kaia Consulting.

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.

Crossroads of Honolulu