Oahu Arts Center Still Seeking Land
Despite recent reversals, Oahu Arts Center will push on with its mission to find land to build an arts center for the stageless North Shore and Central Oahu communities.
“We’re not going to give up,” said OAC spokeswoman Ann Freed, following Castle & Cooke’s announcement that it has agreed to sell the once-promised three acres in Mililani Mauka for an affordable rental housing project. “We’ll explore all avenues for another piece of land.”
C&C has suggested land in Central Oahu Regional Park as a more appropriate site. “It’s centrally located and isolated from residences,” stated C&C, “and can offer opportunities for long-term planning and fundraising.”
“That may be too far away to benefit the North Shore,” Freed noted, “but it’s better than nothing.”
OAC supporters, meanwhile, are collecting signatures to press the Mililani Town developer to “honor its commitment by transferring three acres of land in Mililani Mauka” for the long-awaited arts center. “But we will find a place,” Freed vowed, “with or without them.”
That agreement to donate the land — bounded by Meheula
Parkway, Lehiwa Drive and Kua‘oa Street — was made in 2002, but the nonprofit group missed a 2008 deadline to raise enough funds to show it could build and operate the center. The Catch 22, Freed said, is that OAC cannot attract big donors without already having land.
On the arts center’s behalf, the 2010 Legislature passed a resolution asking C&C to continue to work with OAC to secure an appropriate site.
Mililani Mauka-Launani Neighborhood Board also voted against the rental housing project July 6 after hearing developer Gary Furuta present details. He said he intends to buy 7 1/2 acres with state housing funds to erect a 226-unit complex of two-and three-story affordable rental apartments.
For more on OAC events, go its Facebook page or call Edmund Aczon at 864-5222 or Freed at 623-5676.
The Royal Hawaiian Band filled Mililani Town Center with music during a free concert July 3. Despite funding concerns, the band maintains a full schedule of free public entertainment each month throughout the state. After a brief vacation, they’ll return to the town center at noon Aug. 7. Photo by Leah Friel, email@example.com.