A groundbreaking ceremony and traditional Hawaiian blessing marked the official construction start for the revitalization of the Aloha Tower Marketplace in downtown Honolulu.
According to the Pacific Business News, Hawaii Pacific University is investing approximately $50 million in the redevelopment project, which would bring new life to the city’s landmark waterfront property.
On the first floor, the new mixed-use residential and commercial complex will feature an improved marketplace, restaurant spaces and other HPU academic and support spaces, including a theater/lecture hall for as many as 250 people, while the second floor will be converted into 83 student and faculty residences, with the capacity to accommodate about 300 individuals.
Upon completion in the fall of 2015, the revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace will offer a total of 84,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor public space, along with another 15,000 square feet of space that HPU will share with the public. The venue is also expected to enrich Honolulu’s intellectual and cultural scene by enabling the organization of various events, from public seminars to think-tank sessions.
Four of the property’s existing tenants — including The Cab, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, the Star of Honolulu and Hooters — will remain open throughout the renovation.
Group 70 International is the project’s local architectural firm, while Swinerton Builders is in charge of construction.
“This revitalization project at Aloha Tower Marketplace is an investment in the future, both economically and for the people of Hawai‘i,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “I commend Hawai‘i Pacific University and its partners for moving forward with a vision for a vital and lively Downtown Honolulu, while increasing access to higher education in today’s global economy.”
“The Aloha Tower has long served as a beacon, guiding ships from around the world toward our Honolulu Port,” added Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Hawai‘i Pacific University’s new use of the iconic Aloha Tower Marketplace will continue its historic role of welcoming visitors, and now students, to the heart of Honolulu in a modern, vibrant mixed-use space.”
HPU, the state’s largest private university, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015. The not-for-profit institution is one of the nation’s most culturally diverse learning communities, with graduates from all 50 U.S. states and about 80 different countries.
Photo credit: Hawaii Pacific University
From left, HPU Board of Trustees Chairman-elect Joachim Cox, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, HPU President Geoffrey Bannister, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, HPU Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Chun, HPU Executive Vice President Janet Kloenhamer, HPU alumna/former Student Body President Miina Huotari and Kahu Kordell Kekoa.