State Looks To Lift Deed Re­stric­tion On Aloha Sta­dium

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - News -

and lo­cal govern­ment hope to re­move in the near fu­ture.

“ The re­stric­tion only ap­plies to about 56 acres of the sta­dium’s 100 acres of prop­erty, but it af­fects op­er­a­tions on the en­tire prop­erty,” Saito ex­plained. “ The United States Depart­ment of the In­te­rior, the state Depart­ment of Land and Nat­u­ral Re­sources and the state Depart­ment of Ac­count­ing and Gen­eral Ser­vices have an agree­ment now that says they (Dept. of the In­te­rior) will lift the re­stric­tion if we can find a prop­erty of equal value to trans­fer the deed re­stric­tion to.”

The state and Depart­ment of the In­te­rior are re­view­ing a short list of ar­eas to de­ter­mine a pos­si­ble site not cur­rently in recre­ational use that could ful­fill the re­quire­ments. As part of that de­ter­mi­na­tion, the fed­eral govern­ment re­quires that the state pro­vide a recre­ational use plan for prop­er­ties the state would want to pro­pose for lift­ing the deed re­stric­tion.

If the deed re­stric­tion is suc­cess­fully re­moved, the trans­fer will al­low com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties at the sta­dium and bring in more rev­enue for the state.

“If you hold a con­cert and it’s open it to the pub­lic, that’s recre­ational use. But if a pri­vate com­pany came in and wanted to rent the sta­dium and in­vite only se­lected clients to the con­cert, that’s com­mer­cial use, which isn’t cur­rently al­lowed. That’s rev­enue lost.” Saito ex­plained.

Saito hopes to pur­sue other com­mer­cial uses for the prop­erty, which may in­volve other fa­cil­i­ties, and per­haps even a new sta­dium on the site af­ter the re­paired and re­fur­bished sta­dium wears out.

These ini­tia­tives would seek to im­prove rev­enues from the sta­dium via pri­vate-pub­lic part­ner­ships in­volv­ing re­quests for in­ter­est, re­quests for qualifications and re­quests for pro­pos­als at ap­pro­pri­ate times. The plan­ning and ap­proval process would be sub­ject to and will in­vite pub­lic re­view and com­ment.

In the mean time, Aloha Sta­dium is un­der­go­ing a com­plete ren­o­va­tion (es­ti­mated at $100 mil­lion in 2005 dol­lars) to com­pletely re­fur­bish the Oahu land­mark. Work to re­in­force the bridges that con­nect the seat­ing sec­tions has been com­pleted, and re­place­ment of the roof deck to re­pair rust dam­age is un­der way, as is work to ad­dress all health and safety im­prove­ments.

Fu­ture phases of the restora­tion will see the re­fur­bish­ment/re­place­ment of the sta­dium’s seats as well as added seat­ing in­stal­la­tions in open parts of the struc­ture.

“When we’re done, the sta­dium will be like new again and it should be able to last an­other 20 years,” Saito said, adding that ren­o­va­tions and the po­ten­tial re­stric­tion lift should not af­fect the sta­dium’s weekly swap meet.

“ The swap meet just uses the park­ing ar­eas around the sta­dium,” he said,“so as long as there is space in the park­ing area for those ven­dors, I think con­struc­tion and com­mer­cial events could be sched­uled so as not to in­ter­rupt ven­dors’ busi­nesses.”

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