Honolulu Shopping Centers and the Kakaako Neighborhood Plan

Koi PondAla Moana Shopping Center is the largest shopping center on Oahu with over 260 shops and restaurants  and IS the largest open air shopping center in the world.A little history of Ala Moana Center:

  • 1959 – Ala Moana Center was built on swamp land (and if you folks didn’t know….Waikiki was mostly swamp land as well for most of the 1800’s)
  • With 89 stores back then, it was considered the largest shopping center in the U.S. until the Mall of America was built in Bloominton, Minnesota
  • 1990– Extensive remodeling done on Ala Moana Center with additional shops, restaurants and our famous food courts totaling a total of 260 shops and more coming!
  • 2004- The owners of Ala Moana (General Growth Properties) invested a billion dollars to remodel other centers across Canada and the United States using Ala Moana as a template.

Koi Fountain and pondFebruary 6, 2008- General Growth Properties also owns Ward Center Shopping Mall (2002) just a few blocks down from Ala Moana. They proposed a plan to redevelop 60 acres in this area called Kakaako with a mix of 4,000 residential units, shops and a pedestrian friendly malls and such. This planned community would take about 20 years to complete but bring beauty, residential units, shops and more to this community. Currently, there are many dilapidated buildings and a good cleanup may be just what this area needs to brighten up the place.

Of course the Hawai’i Community Development Authority has to approve of the plan as well as hold a public hearing. They will also have to take into consideration that there will most likely be plenty of ancient burial sites/bones in the area.

In my previous article Purchasing Hawaii Vacant Land? Ancient Hawaiian Burial Sites and Laws I discussed how ‘It is a known fact that all our Hawaiian Islands have many burial grounds and sites that have still not been discovered.’

Back in 2004 Walmart broke ground for construction on our island of Oahu on Keeaumoku Street (Kakaako District) and then they discovered ancient bones. Construction ceases and they await direction from the State Historic Preservaton Division. They call the Honolulu Police Department and an archeaologist at the same time as well. Specialists in Hawaiian culture are called in to handle the remains and/or artifacts. In this case 42 sets of human remains were found. After a process, Walmart resumed the construction and it opened in October of 2004.

Many things to consider when presenting a plan for major reconstruction in any area in the islands don’t you think?

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