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April 3, 2001

CITY WILL BUY PROPERTY AROUND CONVENTION CENTER

Mayor Jeremy Harris announced today that the city will move to acquire six properties on a one-acre parcel at the intersection of Kapiolani Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue to create a Gateway Plaza/Town Center at the Kalakaua Avenue entrance to Waikiki and the Convention Center.

The Mayor said he hopes to acquire the property and demolish the buildings by the end of this year. Then the area would be grassed and landscaped and eventually developed as a town center similar to Pioneer Square in Portland.

He mentioned the site would have outdoor dining, perhaps a food court with coffee shops and low-rise two and three-story buildings with indoor-outdoor dining areas like the “Room Without A Key” at the Halekulani and the dining area at the Outrigger Canoe Club.

The Planning Commission will meet tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to consider the city's request for a Development Plan Public Facility Map Amendment, which will be needed to start the process to acquire the property for re-development.

The sum of $6 million has been placed in the 2002 capital improvement projects budget proposal for relocation, land acquisition, planning, design and construction.

The Mayor also announced the formation of a Convention Center Special District in which hostess bars, nude dancing and other adult establishments would not be allowed. He also called for no automatic transfers of liquor licenses for these types of bars and cabarets and a cap on all new liquor licenses in the area until the special district is adopted by the City Council.

The Convention Center Special District would have urban design and architectural guidelines similar to those in Waikiki to compliment a “Hawaiian sense of place.”

“All uses and storefronts would be pedestrian friendly,” the Mayor said, “and you would see wider setbacks and landscaping along major streets.”

CLC
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

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