The shakers and movers of Kakaako, past, present and future, gathered at a power lunch at the Plaza Club Thursday.
Think Tank Hawaii and the Hawaii Venture Capital Association invited stakeholders and landowners to share their broad vision of Kakaako as a third city that the public has only seen in pieces.
“We are going to have art blocks, small businesses. We are going to have people loft-living, every variety of modern life," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
There is the Pohukaina project, the tallest high-rise tower in the state, which the governor envisions as an architectural marvel. It would not be far from a place that could be a tribute to President Barrack Obama.
"That site, or Kakakao waterfront might certainly be a site for a landmark tenancy for a presidential center," said Anthony Ching, Executive Director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority which oversees the district.
One of the next Kakaako projects to roll out is the redevelopment of Kewalo Basin. It calls for 100 new boat slips and two new piers.
The Kakaako blueprint is slowly transforming an eyesore to what some hope will be a magnet for visitors and residents.
“We want to make money, but our primary goals are far-reaching,” said Kamehameha Schools Commercial Real Estate director Paul Quintiliani.
The Kakaako master plan calls for the pedestrian walkways and a waterfront promenade, along with residential high-rises and low-rise neighborhoods that could keep their character intact.
"We need to look at other developments in other places and adjust them to Hawaii.I don't think we can pass up this opportunity," said Mitch D’Olier, the CEO of Castle Foundation.
Panelists also addressed the vision for workforce housing and spaces for artists and cutting- edge business.