Friday, March 23, 2012


We can have everything

By Henry Curtis

On March 22, 2012 ThinkTech, HVCA, and Hawaii Business Magazine sponsored a luncheon at the Plaza Club.

The Governor addressed the crowd, followed by a panel of landowners/developers and a second panel on existing and planned places for youth (Powwow, Fresh Cafe, Loft in Space, and the art hui R&D) featuring slam poetry events, art murals, free parking places, and community meeting rooms.
The Governor later spoke at the end of the event that there was room in the new Kakaako for all of this and more.

Tony Ching, Executive Director of theHawaii Community Development Authority: “This is not a 'plan, announce and defend' approach ...The community should have an understanding of what we want for our community."

Here is what Governor Abercrombie said yesterday

At some point we are going to, after the Legislature's over, we're going to have, a big community meeting, I've got to figure out what kind of venue, maybe we will even do if over a couple of  days even, if there is enough interest. So that we can, get across to everybody what it is that we plan to do here. People have heard me say that, I would like to see a third city develop and that's the approach I'm trying to take is a kind of metaphor for, what we intend to do here, all the way from Kewalo Basin out to Kalihi. So that obviously goes beyond the HCDA itself.”

A question was asked by a member of the audience: Would you describe your group or business as thriving currently? Do you believe that as HCDA and  other master plans go through, this will improve the current situation, or their delicate momentum can be in jeopardy with these changes?

Governor Abercrombie responded: “That's exactly why I wanted to get Boards that were going to be responsive.  People have said to me, before, you know editorially and so on, well if the Governor gets his way, then we will lose the continuity of these Boards. That's exactly what I want to get rid of. I want to break the continuity of these Boards that have seen us, as second or third rate, that has always said that Hawaii's got to be behind, that Honolulu has to be behind. We have a Board now with the HCDA, and the reason that I picked that Board and the people on it, is that their innovative, they're going to be totally supportive of this. ...

One of the things I said when I talked to people about who ...I was going to name to the Board. Are you going to support, the arts? Are you going to support, the very foundation that we have of creativity and innovation, in the State. We've sat down with Kamehameha Schools. We've sat down with the owners, right? Well, our vision is the same. The great thing, about being in Hawai`i today is, is we can do this. It's the same thing that's going to happen with Symphony Space. ...when you talk about what's going to happen in Kakaako, the Board of HCDA, and the staff of HCDA, is going to be supportive of genuine mixed use, genuine  seeing to it  that this doesn't become, just some possibility where the infrastructure goes in and then it gentrifies itself right out of existence.

That's not going to happen. The thrust of this is going to be, that this is going to be the most exciting, urban project, not just in the United States, but we intend to make it a beacon, for the world in terms of understanding our native culture, and understanding what innovation and young people are all about, who want to live and work there and have an  integrated community, from all levels, from the little keiki right on up to the kupuna, and that's what's  going to happen in Kakaako. And this Board, and this staff, is going to be supportive of that across the board.

Everything that has been stated today, everything that has been mentioned today, all of the collaboration, all of the innovation,  all of the exciting possibilities are going to be absolutely supported, by the HCDA Board, and by the staff. I can guarantee that for the next seven years at least.

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