It was less than a week ago that I posted about a development on the west side not going through. Well, the state just approved Kamehameha Schools 29 acre development proposal in Kakaako. Unlike the displacement of farmlands in the Ewa Beach scenario, this is a "re-development" of an area that has traditionally been "industrial" in the corridor between Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu. Kakaako is already the home to several luxury condos such as Hokua, Nauru & Hawaiki Towers, Koolani, Keola Lai and other newer projects like Moana Pacific, 909 Kapiolani, The Vanguard Lofts and Moana Vista (being built). It also boasts the two largest shopping complexes in the state of Hawaii with Ala Moana Shopping Center and Victoria Ward Centers, both owned by General Growth. There's also great outdoor activites available at Ala Moana Beach Park & boating activities at Kewalo Basin. In addition to Kamehameha School's approval to add up to 2,750 more residences in high rises, townhomes & lofts, they plan to add a 25,000 sq. foot plaza on Auahi St. and a 400,000 sq. foot Asia Pacific Research Center for biotech companies. General Growth also got approval earlier this year for a master plan that proposed up to 4,000 more residences.
What does this all mean? More traffic? More congestion? I think, ultimately it will be great place as it is already. Kakaako is vibrant and has a lot to offer. The skyline and traffic will be changing. Maybe not overnight, due to the economy. When you're looking to buy in the area, be sure to work with a good Realtor that's up to date on things. There are several buildings such as 909 Kapiolani & Imperial Plaza that come to mind where this could effect their views for resale values... Other than that, Kakaako ultimately won't simply be a transition from Downtown to Waikiki. It will seamlessly blend in.