The future of Ala Wai Boat Harbor has long been discussed.
Lawmakers have said some areas of the harbor go unused and, if developed properly, could generate additional revenue for the state.
Last year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources held two public meetings to discuss the harbor’s future, but those who live and work in the area say they haven’t received an update since November.
On Tuesday night, Ed Underwood, administrator for the DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, was scheduled to present preliminary ideas at the Waikiki Neighborhood Board meeting.
“We would like to see things that would enhance the boat harbor itself for boaters. Possibly somebody would come in and maybe put in another fuel dock. We’re looking at grading the space up. It is a gateway to Waikiki. We want to make it really nice,” Underwood said.
Not everyone is happy with the idea.
“It’s very secretive. They haven’t led on to what they actually want to do for this development,” said Rob Johnson, general manager, Ilikai Association. “They said they’re going to let the developers decide how it’s going to be developed and then pick from the developers’ choices. That doesn’t necessarily benefit the people that live here in Hawaii.”
Underwood insists there are no plans to build a new high-rise, and a request for proposals is being finalized.
“What we’re going to be requesting is that developers follow the existing zoning, Waikiki design district guidelines,” he said. “We want to make amenities for the recreational boating community or recreational users, surfers, paddlers, that sort of thing. So there’s people out there that have way better understanding on development on these types of things so that’s why we want to see what comes in.”