HONOLULU (KHON2) — Developers are proposing to build a 15-story hotel in a Chinatown parking lot located on 120 Nimitz Highway. They said it could help grow the economy in the area.
Behind the proposed project is Ikenakea Development, which envisions more than 200 rooms for the hotel. Christopher Flaherty, a partner of the plan, said they estimate the hotel’s construction to cost upwards of $145 million.
“We feel this is right for this particular piece of property and will bring much needed economic activity into Chinatown,” Flaherty said. “We’re anticipating all things go our way, and the community supports it, and they feel will work in this location. We figure we could probably break ground within four years from now, three- to four years roughly.”
The initial renderings show lanais off each room, as well as plans for the rail to pass in front of it. The hotel plans include a rooftop pool and a couple of restaurants throughout.
The developers presented their proposal to Chinatown’s neighborhood board. Member Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock said these projects could bring more life and opportunity to the area. She also supports a proposal to build an affordable housing project right next door.
“Can you imagine to utilize a 7000-square feet and build 200-plus studio units to accommodate these many families? That’s great, to me, that’s heroic,” Shubert-Kwock said. “And then to have a hotel willing to invest the big money next to an affordable housing project.”
Some concerns about the hotel fitting with the community were raised during the meeting, although partner developer Kali Watson said they plan to maintain a historic building on the property.
“Great grandfather came from China and probably worked at this boarding house behind me,” Watson said. “A historic building, so to preserve that and acknowledge the history of Hawaii is important.”