No progress in battle over privately owned Kakaako roads as deadline looms

Local News

The battle between the city and a company claiming to own portions of streets in Kakaako is nearing a deadline.

Back in July, KHON2 discovered the city sent various businesses in Kakaako letters warning them it would stop maintaining the roads starting Oct. 1 if various “reserved parking” signs remained.

The signs were installed by Kakaako Land Company, which has been charging for parking along road.Related Story: City threatens to stop maintaining private road if landowner charges for parking

With the recent heavy rain, some of the roads aren’t looking so good.

Bob Emami owns a car store on Kawaiahao Street, which the Chun brothers of Kakaako Land Company claim to own.

“These gentlemen don’t want to fix it. The City and County don’t want to fix it. We’re in the middle of town, and we feel like we live 100 miles away from the city and nobody cares about us,” he said.

After repeated attempts going back five years, Emami says Cedric Chun finally reached out three months ago, saying he had to pay for the parking spot in front of the business.

“It was very… I would say threatening,” said Emami. “He said if I parked out here, he would tow it. For three days, he had the towing truck passing in front of our business.”

Emami says Kawaiahao Street is in desperate need of repair.

“What happens if someone is injured, who’s responsible? Is it Kakaako Land Company, who won’t even take responsibility to fill the potholes and take care of the road?” said car salesman Majid Biabani.

Repeated calls to Kakaako Land Company were not returned.

“We should just put up a barricade and have someone say, well, you can’t do that! And then we go to court, and let the courts decide. The courts are probably the only ones who can make a ruling as to ownership,” said city councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.

Businesses just want a clear answer.

“In such an important business area in town, when we know we have so much future and there’s so much planning in this area, nobody wants to make this move to solve the problem,” said Emami.

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