Honolulu mayor enlists several City departments to improve Chinatown

Local News

File – Graffiti-ridden walls along King Street in Chinatown, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 8, 2021.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration provided an update on the efforts being taken to beautify, revitalize and improve security in Chinatown on Friday, May 7.

Several City departments are involved in the undertaking.

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Mayor Blangiardi said, his administration aims to turn Chinatown into a community that Hawaii can be proud of.

“Chinatown, one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States, has the potential to be the heart and soul of Honolulu, a place where people from all over our island, state and the world can eat, shop, enjoy live entertainment and nightlife, visit art galleries, and immerse themselves in Chinatown’s rich history and culture. We will turn this long-neglected historic front of Honolulu into a safe and vibrant community we can all be proud of.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

These City departments are involved in the revitalization of Chinatown through the following actions:

  • Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)
    • Plant new, hardier trees in select mid-block tree wells.
    • Pavers in pedestrian malls will be repaired and the tree roots causing uplifts will be trimmed and reset.
    • Pavers will be washed using hand equipment.
  • Department of Transportation Services (DTS)
    • Chinatown Gateway Parking & Marin Tower will receive municipal parking facility improvements.
    • Kekaulike Street (Mall) improvements for stormwater management, trees and pavers, with lighting and wayfinding signage.
    • S. Hotel and Bethel Bus Stop ADA and site improvements.
  • Department of Design and Construction (DDC)
    • Rehabilitation of Streets Project (12 Streets) and Pauahi Street Curb Extensions completed by the third quarter of 2021.
    • Rehabilitation of Hotel Street.
    • Security cameras and access controls for Chinatown Police Station.
    • Chinatown HPD station energy efficiency and service upgrades.
  • Department of Land Management (DLM)
    • Facility improvement projects including: elevator modernization, roof repairs, drain replacements, spalling repairs, upgrades to security camera systems and fire panels, etc., at the following properties (as funds permit):
      • Chinatown Gateway Plaza
      • Harbor Village
      • Marin Tower
      • Chinatown Manor
    • Continue negotiations with River of Life to relocate homeless feeding services to Iwilei.
  • Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM)
    • Continue to provide SPO/SNO enforcement, as necessary.
    • Continue to pick up rubbish daily throughout Chinatown, including graffiti removal from City buildings.
    • Continue bi-weekly pressure washing work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    • Replace old street light fixtures with new, energy-efficient LED lights.
    • Retrofit all stormwater catch basins with Automatic Retractable Screens (ARS) and repair the front nose of the catch basins.
    • Inspect and repair sidewalks.
  • Office of Housing and Homelessness (HOU)
    • Work with the City Prosecutor’s Office on a “Weed & Seed” program for Chinatown. American Savings Bank (ASB) and Central Pacific Bank (CPB) are sponsoring a community survey.
    • Community walks with business owners and residents to understand and identify specific concerns.
    • Work with ASB and the Trust for Public Lands on an upgraded usage of ‘A‘ala Park.
    • CORE (Crisis Outreach Response & Engagement) is in the formal planning process. It will be a new and additional option to address the homeless on the streets of Chinatown.
  • Honolulu Police Department (HPD)
    • Work with the Chief of Police/Interim Chief on a sustained, increased level of law enforcement presence on the streets of Chinatown.
    • Seek increased commitment to enforcement against illegal activity in Chinatown.
    • Seek increased activation of the Chinatown HPD Substation.
  • Mayor’s Office of Culture and Arts (MOCA)
    • Create distinct and visible wayfinding boundaries for Chinatown.
    • Leverage technology to stimulate economic opportunities.
    • Make Chinatown safe, family-friendly, and walkable.

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