Con­cerns Rise Over Drive-In Devel­op­ment

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By JES­SICA GOOLSBY

The Aiea Neigh­bor­hood Board met May 10 to ad­dress a pro­posal by Los An­ge­les-based de­vel­oper Robert­son Prop­er­ties Group to re­de­velop the for­mer Kam Drive-In site.

Pre­lim­i­nary plans in­clude three 30-story tow­ers with an es­ti­mated 1,000 res­i­den­tial units and 150,000 square feet of re­tail space.

Res­i­dents liv­ing along Kaonohi Street and Kame­hameha High­way have pre­vi­ously raised ques­tions about what this project will mean for the al­ready-con­gested traf­fic near the 14-acre site, and state Rep. Blake Oshiro notes that his of­fice reg­u­larly re­ceives calls from area res­i­dents with rede­vel­op­ment con­cerns.

“Nor­mally, Aiea’s board meet­ings are pretty tame, but this one had about 100 peo­ple in at­ten­dance,” Oshiro said. “By-and-large. I’d say about 95 per­cent of them were there for this pre­sen­ta­tion, of which a large ma­jor­ity posed a strong op­po­si­tion. To me, that is a strong in­di­ca­tor of 1) how the com­mu­nity feels, and 2)

what they feel.” The devel­op­ment is touted as be­ing an ex­am­ple of tran­sit-ori­ented devel­op­ment (TOD) that will tie into the city’s fu­ture rail tran­sit project.

“It fits in with the over­all idea of TOD,”

Oshiro said. “They didn’t want it just to be a huge foot­print of a build­ing, so that’s why they pro­posed to build higher in­stead of wider.”

Pre­lim­i­nary sketches and renderings of the project (still years in the mak­ing) were pre­sented at the meet­ing, all sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ers’ vi­sion of the pro­posed multi-use liv­ing and work- ing fa­cil­ity.

“This was the first time the com­mu­nity got to see the vi­sion that the de­vel­op­ers have, and there were three pri­mary con­cerns posed by the com­mu­nity; the first two be­ing the ef­fect of con­ges­tion and ad­di­tional traf­fic in that area,” Oshiro said. “We’re talk­ing about a very large com­mer­cial fa­cil­ity with about 750 park­ing stalls and any­where from 1,100 to 1,800 res­i­den­tial units, so that’s a re­ally big con­cern for the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity. The other ma­jor con­cern was the height of the three tow­ers, which are cur­rently pro­posed at about 36 sto­ries. This would be one of the first big, high tow­ers on the lower side.

“I gen­er­ally sup­port the idea of TOD, and see how that can change the char­ac­ter of metropoli­tan cities, but the prob­lem in Aiea is that we are re­ally not like Honolulu,” he added. “I’m concerned with chang­ing the char­ac­ter of this old sugar-mill com­mu­nity, and I don’t want to up­set those com­mu­nity mem­bers who have been here for decades.

“In­put from the com­mu­nity, then, is key. I will def­i­nitely do what­ever I can do in my po­si­tion and power to be the voice for the com­mu­nity and its con­cerns.”

For more in­for­ma­tion or to voice any con­cerns, call Oshiro’s of­fice at 586-6340.

Joe Kino, Hawaii Self Stor­age Kapolei fa­cil­ity man­ager, reads ‘OINK?’ to first-graders at Kapolei Ele­men­tary School May 12 as part of the com­pany’s Lock­ers for Lit­er­acy pro­gram. HSS staff also de­liv­ered new copies of the book to the school for keiki to en­joy. So far this year, HSS has do­nated 700 books to seven ele­men­tary schools across the is­land, in­clud­ing Kapolei, Momi­lani and Wa­iau ele­men­tary. Photo cour­tesy Hawaii Self Stor­age.

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