Concerns Rise Over Drive-In Development
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.