Don Wallace continues his multi-part musings on Kakaako. Following the inaugural “Urban Hawaii” piece, he now looks at the players behind Kakaako’s transformation, and how some of their past developments inform what’s happening on Oahu.
As cold and impersonal as all this sounds, there is a tradition of highly competent social engineering through master-planned communities inside this tale. Basically, a couple of the country’s most successful waterfront revitalizations, and several of its original and largest start-from-scratch communities, like Summerlin, come from the General Growth Properties/Howard Hughes Corporation hui, which includes another, seminal developer, the Rouse Company.
If you’ve visited and liked Boston’s Faneuil Hall seafront and New York City’s South Street Seaport, then you’ve fallen under the spell of Rouse Company’s main innovation, the “festival marketplace.” Though Rouse was absorbed by GGP in 2004, we’re still living in its world of theme-park-like commercial spaces filled with niche boutiques, open-air kiosks, repurposed and historical elements, and stocked with approved buskers and entertainers. It’s safe to say you’ll encounter the look and feel, the vocabulary and grammar of Faneuil and South Street, in the new Kakaako.
Don Wallace is a long-time magazine editor and author, and was the literary and film editor for the Honolulu Weekly.
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Urban Hawaii: Who Is Remaking Kakaako? – Civil Beat