City partners with Hawaii Theatre to make over Chinatown park

Local News

A Chinatown park is getting a makeover.

The city announced Tuesday it is partnering with Hawaii Theatre to improve Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park, located at the corner of Bethel and Hotel streets.

Changes include a $250,000 wrought iron fence that will be built around the park to help keep people out at night.

“It will have gates that will be open during the day and closed during the park closure times, which are right now 10 in the evening, opening up again at five in the morning,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to make sure this park is open to everyone. It’s not taken over or occupied by any one group or people, it’s free and open to everyone. It was built for that reason.”

“We’ve got a lot of wonderful shows for all ages here at the theater, and I think making the park a clean, safe place where people can gather before and after a show, as well as going out to these wonderful surrounding restaurants before the theater and after the theater, I think this block, this beautiful historic block, is really poised to become the artistic heart of urban Honolulu and we’re very excited,” said Ruth Bolan of Hawaii Theatre.

Before construction begins, Hawaii Theatre will work with social service organizations to make sure people living at the park have a place to go.

As part of a 15-year license agreement, the theater will then help maintain the park and provide security, Caldwell said.

Neighboring business owners have also pledged to pitch in.

“We’re just trying to clean up our front yard. We think it’s a perfect example of the city and entrepreneurs working together with Hawaii Theatre,” said J.J. Dolan’s co-owner J.J. Niebuhr.

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