Construction barriers gone as Aloha Tower Marketplace prepares for students

Local News
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After several months, construction barriers are gone from Aloha Tower Marketplace.

Crews removed the barricades at around 11 a.m. Monday, giving the public its first unobstructed view of the marketplace following a year of renovations.

The former retail mall will soon serve as Hawaii Pacific University’s campus hub for student housing, traditions and activities.

“What’s exciting is that students get to enjoy what Aloha Tower has to offer, but all that downtown, Chinatown also has to offer and the accessibility that comes with living here at Aloha Tower Marketplace,” said Marites McKee, HPU’s downtown campus dean of students.

In addition to Waterfront Loft student residences, there are educational support facilities, plus retail and community gathering spaces.

“We want to infuse the energy. We want students to interact with the greater community,” McKee said. “This is a melting pot for many things to happen.”

Barnes and Noble college bookstore officially opened its doors Monday. Employees spent the past month setting up with new and expanded product lines, and processed 150 online orders for a Monday pickup.

“We’ve got a great view out here. We’re fronting Nimitz Highway so you can see us from the road,” said store manager Shelle Heen. “We’ve got the waterfront just down the way with the dorms right above us. We’re going to have a welcome center, student lounge. This is gonna be the heart of the campus so we’re very happy here.”

Students move in Monday, Aug. 24.

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