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March 6, 2014

Contact:          Renee Espiau, 768-8050

                       Jesse Broder Van Dyke, 768-6928

 

 

Mayor Caldwell, Urban Land Institute panel, to discuss future of Blaisdell Center

 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell welcomed a panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership to Honolulu this week to provide technical assistance on creating a vibrant culture and arts district in urban Honolulu anchored by the redevelopment of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center complex.

 

The ULI experts will present their initial findings and recommendations to the public this Friday, March 7, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Mission Memorial Auditorium, 550 South King Street.  The event is free and open to the public and media.  It will also be televised LIVE on 'Olelo Channel 55.

 

"I'd like to thank the Urban Land Institute for sending this panel of experts to help with the city's efforts to redevelop the Blaisdell Center," said Mayor Caldwell.  "The options they present will reflect their experience with similar projects and best practices from the mainland tailored specifically to Honolulu's needs.  The most important part of this process is public input and the ULI presentation begins these discussions.  I am hopeful that this will be the start of bringing all voices together to decide what's the best plan for the Blaisdell complex."

 

As the Blaisdell Center celebrates its 50th birthday this year, the need for redevelopment could not be more apparent.  Rising maintenance and renovation costs teamed with competition from newer, more accessible facilities on the mainland leaves Honolulu's premier entertainment complex at a significant disadvantage.

 

The Blaisdell Center complex falls within the State of Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) regulated Kaka'ako Community Development District, blocks from a future rail transit station and surrounded by historic Thomas Square Park, the Honolulu Museum of Art and Museum of Art School, McKinley High School, and several medical institutions.

 

Its location presents the opportunity for a redeveloped Blaisdell Center complex to be the hub of a true culture and arts district that could smoothly segue to the neighboring Hawaii Capital District and "the people's park" Ala Moana Regional Park.

 

Panel members arrived in Honolulu earlier week and met with Mayor Caldwell and his senior staff this morning.   

 

In addition to the live broadcast this Friday at 9 a.m. on 'Olelo Channel 55, the presentation will rebroadcast on 'Olelo Channel 49 on the following dates and times: March 19 at 7 p.m., March 20 at 9 a.m., March 24 at 10:30 a.m., and March 29 at 10 p.m.

 

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