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At least two developers have submitted competing plans to erect the tallest building in Hawaii as part of an idea promoted by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to build a 650-foot-tall tower with workforce housing on state land in Kakaako.


Developers had until Friday to submit proposals to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency governing development in the area.

The opportunity has been touted as unprecedented -- a chance to turn 2.2 acres bordered by Keawe Street, Pohukaina Street and Mother Waldron Park into a monument that would be 50 percent taller than Honolulu's highest existing building.

But there may not be too many developers competing to build the supertower. Two developers involved with workforce housing high-rises said they had not bid.

Stu Glauberman, HCDA's community outreach officer, said the agency isn't going to specify how many bids it received, or characterize the response to its request for proposals.

Glauberman did say, however, that proposals had been received.

The agency isn't making known names of the bidders or any details of their plans so public pressure won't be put on a committee of HCDA board members tasked with reviewing and scoring the proposals based on evaluation criteria listed in a request for proposals issued in January.

Competing developers and some details of their plans are expected to be made public as part of public hearings slated for December or January, at which time the agency board anticipates selecting a winning proposal.

While specifics of competing plans aren't known, the evaluation criteria contains several elements upon which proposals for the project dubbed 690 Pohukaina will be scored.

To earn a full score, a proposal would contain the following:

--300 affordable residential units for sale or rent;

--500 market-priced units for sale;

--30 percent open space;

--25,000 square feet of civic space for state office and library facilities;

--10,000 square feet of community space;

--30,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space;

--30,000 square feet of high-tech business incubator and innovation space for the state to support enterprises for economic development;

--About 650 parking spaces with a preference for a robotic parking system;

--Space for a bike-share facility;

--A green roof terrace to include a community garden for residents and open space for recreation.

Developers may earn additional points for exceeding these targets. The proposals also will be scored on other factors that include financial feasibility, developer experience and benefit to the state that could include a purchase price for land.

A tower could contain roughly 800,000 square feet of usable interior space, some of it potentially for uses other than housing, such as a hotel, offices and retail.

Anthony Ching, HCDA executive director, has previously said that the intent is to deliver a project that provides the best public value, including the cost of the housing for buyers or rental tenants.

Abercrombie announced the bold plan for the big building in October, characterizing it as "sustainable urban density" that would allow Oahu to get off a path of urban sprawl.

"This project is about enhancing the way we live," he said at the time.

HCDA also said in its request for proposals that the project will serve as a catalyst for future growth, diversification and stimulation of Hawaii's economy. The agency estimates that 690 Pohukaina will pump $500 million into the economy and require more than 500 construction-related jobs.

However, raising the height limit for buildings in parts of Kakaako from 400 feet to 650 feet is subject to a public process governed by HCDA board members.

The agency also has to complete a new or supplemental environmental impact statement.

The new height limit is being proposed by HCDA as a component of transit-oriented-development design around two rail stations planned by the city in Kakaako and possibly a third near Aloha Tower on the edge of downtown Honolulu. So it's possible that multiple towers may rise 650 feet in Kakaako if the height limit is approved.

Yet HCDA also said it intends to establish transit-oriented-development rules that allow a 650-foot tower at 690 Pohukaina even if the city's rail line is not built.

"The project is not dependent on rail," the agency said in a February informational meeting. In April, the agency further elaborated that transit-oriented development can be something that creates attractive pedestrian environments and integrates living, working and recreation but doesn't contribute to urban sprawl.

A question was raised at February's conference as to whether the new height limit might not be approved. Some environmental groups have expressed concerns or opposition to the plan.

HCDA responded that the plan has the support of the governor. Four department directors in Abercrombie's administration occupy HCDA board seats. Another five seats are community representatives, though some are filled by Abercrombie, giving him majority influence on the board's makeup.

Last month, HCDA approved spending up to $1.5 million provided by the Legislature to produce the environmental report and transit-oriented-development plan rules.

The agency's evaluation committee is expected to take the next couple of months to decide on a preferred plan. A public hearing to consider the preferred plan is projected for December.

A board vote to pursue a plan could happen in January.

After that, it would be up to agency staff to negotiate a detailed development agreement with the developer. That could take eight months, HCDA estimates. After an agreement is approved, it could take a little more than two years for the developer to design and permit the project.


That would put the start of construction into mid-2016, with completion three years after that.


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Edited by jesseps

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Interesting, but is it located within the Americas? (I know Hawaiî is a state of the USA). However, like France's Départements d'Outre-Mer, which form an integral part of that country, but are not considered a part of Europe, I rather view Hawaiï as belonging to a different geographic ensemble. But do I really care? Hum, perhaps not that much.

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C'est les mêmes architectes ?


Ça m'étonnerait beaucoup. C'est SOM en 1991 qui a dessiné cette tour. C'était incroyablement moderne à l'époque. SOM fait maintenant des trucs incroyablement modernes pour notre époque!


Un retour dans les "fin 80s" serait vraiment très surprenant de leur part. Et là on nous montre qu'une pâle copie de l'original. Une vraie farce, quant à moi. C'est exactement la même chose, mais disproportionnée.


Bref, SOM ne ferait pas se genre de chose.

Edited by Gilbert

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J'ai fouillé un peu, parce que ce projet me tracassait. Je viens de lire ceci sur SSP :


"According to the article from Bizjournals, this is a state redevelopment agency project that hasn't even gone out for RFP yet. So in this case as of right now, THERE IS NO DEVELOPER, NO ARCHITECT, NO DESIGN, just an idea. There will be if the state can make a development partnership work out money-wise, but until then this is little more than pie-in-the-sky.


So change 'newspaper intern' to 'state redevelopment agency intern' who is responsible for the hack-job."


Ça explique! J'ai bien hâte de voir à quoi ressemblera le design final! :)

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J'essaie, le plus possible, d'être au courant de ce qui se construit ailleurs!

Je conseille d'ailleurs


Incroyable forum!

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