HONOLULU (AP) — A bill before the state Senate would allow residential development on central Honolulu land now owned by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, reversing a ban imposed eight years ago.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is pursuing the legislation to increase the value of the 25 acres it owns in Kakaako.
The state prohibited residential development in the area known as Kakaako Makai after public protests against a plan by local developer Alexander &Baldwin Inc. to build three condo towers on what is now one of the agency’s parcels.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs came to own land between Kewalo Basin and Honolulu Harbor two years ago in a historic settlement with the state because of deferred revenue generated by former Hawaiian monarchy lands.
Kawika Burgess, chief operating officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said Wednesday a recently completed analysis showed it would be “very difficult” to achieve the $200 million value of the land under existing zoning, but residential development would make it possible.
“We are looking to achieve returns consistent with the $200 million valuation,” Burgess said.