Think About It: Skyline Redo - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

May 27, 2013

Think About It: Skyline Redo

Every time you look up these days, someone is making plans for a new high rise in the Kakaako corridor. From mixed purpose buildings to condos to a Cineplex and a new concert facility, plans are grand at this stage. And with those plans come many questions. And what of the effects on infrastructure, parking, density, traffic, and the commercial/residential mix? All questions that need to be thoroughly vetted and worked out for these projects to come to fruition and provide a quality experience for residents, shoppers, and passersby.

One of the big questions is just that- how big is too big? A height variance to allow buildings to go up to 700 feet is being proposed. Our downtown looks stunted to some, based on the old rules about height limits. Might Kakaako become the beacon in the sky as the area with the tallest buildings in Hawaii? Could be if the variances allowing for building height changes are approved. By the time the work is done- if everything comes to fruition- it would mean about two dozen new buildings in the Kakaako area would have been built over a period of about 30-years.

As the population base on Oahu has spread westward and eastward over the past 30-years, apparently real estate entrepreneurs see now as the time to not only grow in the core of Honolulu, but also to grow up Honolulu by constructing buildings almost double the size of most our existing tall buildings. The citizens, legal eagles, and environmentalists will have their say, and then the business interests will really decide if all of these announced projects make sense. But big change is a-coming to Kakaako over the next decade or so; that much is for sure. Think about it…

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