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The Big Island of Hawaii Construction Projects

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I will add more projects to this thread when I have time with renderings too but for now I just wanted to start with something to get the thread rolling.

45-acre marina may be built in Kona lava field

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A developer who plans to carve a 45-acre marina out of a North Kona lava field will also build two miles of road to ease Kailua traffic congestion, and may construct 500 to 1,000 affordable "workforce" housing units, according to newly released details on the proposed project.

The additional housing could ease a crunch in West Hawai'i, where rents and housing prices are at sky-high levels. While jobs are plentiful in Kona, workers can't afford to live there, so many drive hours to get to work each day.

Spokesmen for the Kona Kai Ola project declined to estimate how much of an investment Atlanta-based Jacoby Development Inc. expects to make in the 530-acre waterfront commercial village planned near the edge of Kailua, Kona.

However, the cost of merely excavating the marina near the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor will be enormous. As a condition of the lease, the state is requiring the developer to build an 800-slip marina out of a lava field. Jacoby representative David Tarnas said that would require at least a 12-foot-deep excavation over the entire 45 acres, and the excavation might have to be deeper.

The project would be built on 350 acres of state land and about 200 acres of Hawaiian Home Lands near Honokohau. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources selected Jacoby as the developer in 2004, but is not expected to actually sign a lease with Jacoby for the 350 acres until next year.

Tarnas said the developer plans to provide a 42-acre shoreline park as part of the project, which would include 1,800 timeshare units and three hotels with a combined total of 670 to 770 hotel rooms. It also would include 52 acres of commercial development along the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway.

"We really want this to be a place that can bring what is really Kona out in front, a place where people can enjoy themselves and focus on the character of Kona," he said.


Buildings in the project would be cooled by ocean water pumped into a cooling plant near the mauka edge of the development, and water discharged from that cooling process will be used to feed a series of man-made salt water lagoons that would flow back into the marina, Tarnas said.

That water circulation will keep the marina cleaner and more clear than an ordinary boat harbor, he said.

Big Island County Council Chairman Stacy Higa said the project promises to "put Kona on the map as one of the premier harbor destinations in the world." However, Higa said, county officials will have to study the project carefully when it is submitted for rezoning and other approvals.

"I want to support this, but the community benefit has to far outweigh the drawbacks," Higa said. "I think roads and traffic will be an issue."


Long, daily traffic tie-ups in the Kailua area have prompted some residents to call for a moratorium on new development until the state and county can build a network of roads adequate to accommodate more growth.

One Kailua resident who is questioning the pace of growth is Doug Parker, who owns a business doing home and commercial property inspections for buyers and sellers. Parker has urged the County Council to hold off on new rezonings until the county has completed a new Kona community development plan.

"Once you develop it, there's no turning back," Parker said of the Honokohau project. "I think that it's kind of overwhelming for an infrastructure that can't even handle what we have, or what we have on the books with approved development as it is."

Tarnas said the Kona Kai Ola project will help ease area traffic congestion because the developer plans to build a two-mile road from the Kealakehe Parkway at its intersection with Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway across the development site and other private lands to the Kuakini Highway near the old Kona airport. That road would be build before the rest of the project so the public can use it as soon as possible, he said.


The developer also plans to provide shuttle service from the project site to the surrounding areas and back, and is seeking permission to build employee housing on state lands near Kealakehe High School that have been earmarked for affordable housing.

Plans also call for a hands-on marine education center for use by area schools, a six-acre site within the development for community gatherings or events, and a man-made wetland habitat for birds that frequent the area.

The developer plans to produce a master development plan for the project, plans for the core infrastructure and a draft environmental impact statement by the end of this year, Tarnas said. Construction is tentatively planned to begin in 2008. Completing the entire development would take about a dozen years, he said.

*I will post renderings as soon as they are available. :)

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Here are some updates:

China-U.S. Center dorm at the University of Hawaii at Hilo


Questions stall new UH-Hilo complex

A promise to repay a construction loan draws concern

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

A long-anticipated project for privately built dorms and a retail, commercial and hotel complex at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has been delayed again after questions arose at a Board of Regents meeting.

But UH-Hilo administrators and new developer Bridgecreek International Corp. said they were still optimistic a deal can be worked out soon.

It's hoped that the center will provide 1,472 new dorm beds to help UH-Hilo attract students and that the commercial and conference center will become a place where students, staff and community members can shop, eat and do business.

Bridgecreek, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., went before the Board of Regents on Thursday to ask the board to grant a lease for 36 acres of state land next to UH-Hilo.

But questions arose about the project during the meeting. After a closed-door meeting with UH attorneys, acting UH President Linda Johnsrud said the administration needs to take a closer look at the project.

Bridgecreek's request was supported by students and Big Island lawmakers, who flew to Oahu to express their support for the project.

Ginger Takecrapa, a housing coordinator at UH-Hilo, told the board that it is "disheartening" to show parents and perspective students the current dorm rooms.

John Carlson, chief executive officer of Bridgecreek International, told the board that if the leases were granted on Thursday, it would still be possible to have the dorms ready for occupancy by fall 2007.

But regents questioned a letter written by UH-Hilo interim vice chancellor for administrative affairs Bill Chen that offered to guarantee enough occupancy for the $74 million dorm project to pay back a construction loan.

Regents were concerned about whether the university would have to pay back the loan or part of the loan if the project falls short of expectations.

Regent Andres Albano Jr. noted that giving the developer the use of state land is already a significant contribution to the project and asked why the university needs to put up an additional cash guarantee.

Board Chairwoman Kitty Lagareta publicly scolded the UH-Hilo administration for making the promise without consulting the UH president's office or the general counsel.

Lagareta said regents only learned about the letter two days before the board meeting.

Carlson told the board he has lined up financing through HSBC Bank and that his company is putting up to $13 million of its own money into the project.

The guarantee of occupancy by the university is required by HSBC Bank as a condition of the loan, Carlson said.

"We're building special purpose housing, which is not easy to rent to anyone," Carlson said after the meeting. "It's not the most profitable housing."

HSBC is also meeting with Bank of Hawaii and Central Pacific Bank about sharing the cost of the project. Because of that, regents Allan Landon, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of Hawaii, and Ron Migata, chairman of the board of Central Pacific Bank, recessed themselves from the discussion on the project.

Regent Jane Tatibouet also raised questions about whether students would be able to afford to live in the dorms.

Bridgecreek is proposing to charge about $5,850 for a shared room during the 10-month academic year and $8,500 for a single room in the new dorms. Carlson said the rents are comparable to currently available housing in Hilo.

Current on-campus housing fees for the 620 beds at UH-Hilo range from $2,524 a person for a shared room per academic year in the Hale Kanilehua and Hale Kauanoe dorms to $4,580 a person for a one-bedroom apartment in the Hale 'Ikena apartments.

Bridgecreek International stepped into the public/private project in January after Taiwan-based Geo International Explorer was unable to obtain financing or construction bonding for the project.

Bridgecreek is using plans already drawn up by Geo to allow the project to proceed faster and Geo remains a minority partner in the venture.

Plans to develop the university land have been talked about for more than eight years, when the project was originally called the "Vulcan Village."

After Gov. Ben Cayetano's visit to Taiwan in 1998, a group of Taiwanese investors promised to finance the building of the dorms for the right to develop a conference center, hotel, and retail and office space on the 36-acre site.

After the regents' meeting, UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng said she believes the board will eventually approve the project, which she said is needed to attract and retain students.

"If we're going to build it (dorms) ourselves, it would cost more money," Tseng said.

The chancellor said the letter offering to guarantee occupancy for the dorms was conditional and was approved by a private attorney hired by the university general counsel to help with the project.

Tseng added that a guarantee of 60 percent occupancy is "conservative," considering the waiting list for dorm rooms at UH-Hilo.

Carlson said Bridgecreek still wants to work with the university and answer any questions the university may have.

He said the board appears to have confidence in the team he put together to build the project, including contractor Parsons Corp.

"We feel very encouraged and are looking forward to doing the project," Carlson said.

He said the project has the support of the mayor and county council, and a grading permit already has been granted.

Carlson said it probably will not be possible now to complete the dorm rooms in time for the start of the fall 2007 semester.

But he said once the board approves the lease for the land, construction could start within days or weeks.

Once completed, the China U.S. Center will become "the focal point of the entire county, not just for the campus," Carlson said.

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Updates: This is not looking good. :(

UH-Hilo's dormitory plans in jeopardy


Source: Honolulu Advertiser

A troubled $74 million project that would triple the number of dormitory beds at the University of Hawai'i-Hilo has stalled for the second time in a year and may be in jeopardy.

Development of the dorm and retail facility, which would be across the street from UH-Hilo, is sorely needed on what is one of the fastest-growing campuses in the UH system, Hilo officials say.

The student population

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Here's some construction projects going on in Hilo:

The Hilo Judiciary Complex


The Hilo State Veterans Home


The Kinoole Senior Residences


Some other projects mainly housing around the island mostly in Kona:

Hualalai Villas in Kona



Hainoa Villas


Queen's Marketplace


Kulalani at Mauna Lani


Waiulaula at Mauna Kea


The Hawaii Wildlife Center - U/C this summer

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Kona master-planned community starts up

Source: honolulu Advertiser

This is an artist's rendering of the commercial center planned as part of Palamanui, a $400 million North Kona development that breaks ground today.


A master-planned Big Island community for 1,100 homes breaks ground today, and will jump-start part of a long-planned University of Hawai'i community college campus in West Hawai'i.

The roughly $400 million North Kona project called Palamanui has been in the works for several years on a site mauka of Kona International Airport, and will add jobs, people and traffic to the growing region.


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