A hui of Waikiki landowners led by Waikiki Pride LLC is requesting a zoning change for several parcels on the mauka side of Kuhio Avenue between Kaiulani and Liliuokalani avenues that will open the door to possible conversions and allow for different uses.
However, the landowners do not have any development plans and are adamant about keeping the buildings as they are
The zoning application, accepted by the City & County of Honolulu’s Department and Planning and Permitting on Feb. 13, asks to change eight parcels totaling 1.25 acres along two blocks on Kuhio Avenue from Apartment Precinct to Apartment Mixed Use Subprecinct.
The change would allow for eight new commercial uses, including convenience stores, retail and eating establishments, financial institutions, medical clinics, real estate offices, travel agencies and personal services that can include anything from a barbershop and hair salon to laundry cleaning and wedding services.
The zoning change was initiated by Waikiki Pride LLC, the holding company for Justin Alexander and his mother and sister. Together, they purchased a 4,531-square-foot parcel and a plantation-style home on the corner of Kuhio Avenue and Kapuni Street for $1 million in May 2013, according to public records.
Alexander said he has no plans to redevelop his parcel. He spoke to PBN from Colorado, where Waikiki Pride LLC is registered, but said he was born in Kailua, lives in Hawaii most of the year, and has family on the Big Island.
If the zoning change is approved, he would keep the house as it is, but would remove a section of wrought iron fence and set up an open-air art market offering one-of-a-kind Hawaiian cultural art.
“I personally believe keeping and preserving a home like this in the midst of high-rise condos accentuates the character of Waikiki,” Alexander told PBN.
Alexander met with neighboring landowners, who joined together for the zoning change. They include Hawaiian Telcom, which has a utility building in the area; Copley Investment Group LLC, the owners of Vive Hotel Waikiki; and several apartment and condominium owners.
“The main justification for requesting a change in zoning … is that many areas are already developed with apartments and mixed uses,” he said.
In addition to the hotel, Hy’s Steakhouse, a real estate office, the Lucoral Museum and a now-closed ABC Store are all within the area. Alexander said that this section of Kuhio had historically been mixed use, but was changed to apartment precinct in the 1980s.
“Waikiki is plagued with many nonconforming issues,” he said. “A change to apartment mixed-use sub-precinct solves many of these nonconforming issues.”
The application, file number 2015/Z-2, can be viewed at the Department of Planning and Permitting. The department will be accepting comments until March 30.
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News