Development changing the face of Honolulu

Published On: Aug 22 2012 06:24:15 PM HST   Updated On: Aug 22 2012 10:56:07 PM HST

The face of Honolulu is changing.  New developments are coming up and old businesses are getting a facelift and a name change.

Real estate experts say it's a positive move, but warn we need to remember the needs of the future.

If a possible sale goes through, condominiums will be built behind the historic Honolulu Advertiser building.

Kamehameha Schools and developer Peter Savio will renovate and sell units at the Pagoda Terrace as fee simple condominiums for low-to-middle income working families.

Residential buildings are coming up or being proposed all around Honolulu and real estate analyst Stephany Sofos says it's a good thing.

"The kupuna need care, students need housing and lower and middle income homes are desperately needed in Hawaii," said Sofos.

Sofos says taking care of the immediate housing needs of today is important and positive.

But, she cautions -- while it is very good for today, all the development could cause problems in the future.

"We're going to build all of this nice housing have all of these people in the core of Honolulu, but our sewer system hasn't been upgraded, our roads haven't been upgraded, our electricity hasn't been upgraded," said Sofos.

On the commercial side, Sofos is pleased to see the old buildings being given new life.

Petco and Walgreens signs are up at the old Beretania Street Safeway.

Medical buildings across from McKinley High School are slated to become Longs Drugs, while the old Longs Drugs store in Moiliili is being turned into Ross.

"They're re-energizing previous product and that saves them a lot of money and that is regenerating the neighborhood, which is a great thing," said Sofos.

Sofos says some of the developers may have been holding on to money, waiting for the right moment to act.  Others are finding money available now through financing.


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