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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Kakaʻako Makai 2021

Kaka'ako Makai

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With new Board and Administrative leadership, combined with a drastically changing and challenging economic environment, OHA is making the development of its Kakaʻako Makai a top priority.

OHA looks to steward its 30 acres in Kakaʻako Makai in a manner that is prudent and creates the greatest value for its beneficiaries. Over the last year, OHA has been taking a fresh look at its previous plans for Kakaʻako Makai lands with the goal of making short- and long-term progress.

One of our development challenges is that state law allows for residential buildings on the parcels just mauka of our lands but prohibits housing in Kakaʻako Makai. OHA originally received its Kakaʻako Makai parcels to resolve the $200 million in past due income from the Public Land Trust owed by the State of Hawaiʻi to OHA. Our planning efforts to date have determined that the residential prohibition on our lands prevents us from generating revenues consistent with a $200 million investment.

Therefore, OHA is exploring all options to maximize revenues in Kakaʻako Makai to best serve our beneficiaries. This session OHA is supporting legislation (SB1334 and HB1267) that would provide OHA the opportunity to develop residential housing on our Kakaʻako Makai parcels. The bill would lift the residential prohibition on six lots and raise the height limit to 400 ft. for two parcels on Ala Moana Blvd. The ability to develop residences in Kakaʻako Makai will not only provide OHA with increased revenue opportunities but also empower the agency to better meet the range of housing needs of Native Hawaiians and the broader public. We are evaluating multiple project scenarios that include but are not limited to affordable, workforce, kupuna and market rate housing.

Photo: Kaka'ako Makai Revised Map

Kakaako Makai Lot Map – PDF Format

Regardless of whether the Legislature grants Native Hawaiians the same ability to build residential housing on our lands as our neighbors across Ala Moana Blvd. enjoy, OHA is moving forward with developing these prime lands. OHA hopes to turn these parcels into a mixed-use project that showcases our Native Hawaiian identity, contributes to economic and cultural revitalization of urban Honolulu and generates revenues to support programs and services for our beneficiaries. Our intention is to submit a master plan to the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority reflecting the best case scenario approved by our board of trustees.

Photo: Carmen Hulu LindseyOHA BOT Chair “Hulu” Lindsey Op-ed & Statement Photo: Sylvia HusseyOHA Ka Pouhana/CEO Sylvia Hussey, Ed.D. Op-Ed

Map of Kaka'ako Makai Landowners

Some people have been led to believe that OHA will build on public park lands and block ocean access. The landowners map (above) clearly shows the large green area, which contain public park lands, parking, and the two public ocean access stairways are on land owned by the City and County of Honolulu, not OHA. Additionally, OHA’s development of its properties on the Kewalo basin will not block public access to the ocean because this area is currently governed by strict harbor rules that do not allow swimming in the Kewalo Harbor area.

To learn more, read our Ka Wai Ola News story. Stay tuned. There is more to come.


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