Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Who owns Chinatown’s markets?

by Larry Geller

I turns out that the owner of the Kekaulike Market is the City and County of Honolulu. So the rats in the video are the city’s problem.

But that’s only one of several large indoor markets surrounding Kekaulike Street, roughly the center of Honolulu’s Chinatown shopping area. Who is responsible for the others?

Checking the Department of Planning and Permitting map, here’s what they show:

Maunakea Marketplace

Maunakea Market City and County of Honolulu


Oahu Market

Oahu Market

Oahu Market Assoc. Inc.


There are several smaller markets, which shouldn’t be ignored (silly me, they’re all being ignored right now!). But two out of the three biggies (Kekaulike Market and Maunakea Marketplace) are city-owned and the third is privately owned.

All should be open to inspection, and the inspections should be carried out at night, when rats come out. To start with, the City could open up Maunakea Marketplace one evening.

I don’t know yet what rules or regulations apply to inspecting these properties. One thing we do know—the rats are free to roam from one to the other. There’s no expectation that any are rat-free, it’s really a question of how bad the situation is, and how the lessees, the individual shops, are protecting their products and cleaning up in the morning (what they do with Clorox at night is irrelevant). Concentrating only on Kekaulike Market would be a mistake.

Will the Governor and the City cooperate by arranging and publicizing the results of inspections of these properties? Let’s see who says what.


Thanks, Larry, I am not surprised that it is City/County owned or am I surpised of the lack of response.We know that local citizens health isn't a priority, but it certainly doesn't looks good from the tourist standpoint. This type of a lack of concern for health can spread quickly via internet.

Thanks for your comment. Yes, the info spreads quickly, and is quite "sticky." It will remain there for the Googling almost forever.

Now, it would be nice if there were also news stories showing how well the City and State have cleaned up the mess, so that Chinatown has become a model of cleanliness, with a regular inspection program and ongoing education for vendors and restauranteurs.


Let's see how it goes.

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