Around 150 people got a look Wednesday evening at what the neighborhood around Ala Moana Center could look like years into the future, as Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting showcased its rail-inspired transit oriented development plan for the neighborhood.
Speaking to the crowd at Washington Middle School. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that he likes to refer to the plans as “transit enhanced development,” and said that input on the plans from residents around the 21 stations on the city’s 20-mile rail transit route is crucial.
“It needs to to be organic,” he said. “It needs to be from the ground up.”
The Department of Planning and Permitting is creating TOD plans for most of the neighborhoods surrounding the 21 stations along the route of the $5.16 billion rail project, slated for completion in 2019.
Ala Moana Center will be the first or the last stop on the route.
The plan divides the Ala Moana area into six districts — Ala Moana Center, Kapiolani Corridor, the Hawaii Convention Center Keeaumoku, Kaheka and Atkinson. The plan features open space, a community pool, community gardens, wider sidewalks, bike paths, and a mix of commercial and residential space, including a stipulation that would require residential developers to designate a certain number of apartments as affordable housing.
“The plan is intended as both an overall framework for growth and a guide for local decision making around the station,” the DPP says. “It is conceptual in nature, showing possible improvements on both public and private property. To ensure positive change in the station area, it is essential that stakeholders work together on future projects.”
Next up — the Honolulu City Council needs to adopt the plan as well as special district zoning regulars. The department then wants to find incentives and money from the city, state and federal governments, and partner with property owners are are interested in using the plan as a guide for redevelopment.
Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business News