Harbor makeover pushes out 36 tenants

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Feb 28 2014 06:28:44 PM HST
Updated On: Feb 28 2014 07:36:53 PM HST

Today was the deadline for some three dozen industrial businesses to move out of the Kapalama military reservation to make way for a new shipping container terminal.

HONOLULU -

Moving lots of heavy equipment on deadline has meant heavy traffic at the old Kapalama military reservation near Sand Island.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz' story.

It's been like this for weeks.

Companies that settled into this industrial park are now on the go.

For some it is deja vu.

”We were in Kaka'ako and got moved out because of the redevelopment there," said Jim Higgins, of Seal Pros Hawaii.

The company was expecting to fill up storage containers by the end of the day.

It is headed out to a new home in Waikele, even thought it had hoped to keep a presence in town.

"Space is getting limited in town and we are growing and we need more spaces so there is a lot of space in the west side," Higgins said.

The state plans to transform this area into a new shipping container terminal.

It's part of harbors modernization masterplan.

Companies have been on month-to-month lease in the 65-acre industrial area.

Many of the dilapidated warehouses are unsafe and are soon to be leveled.

The contract for demolition was awarded just last week. The state says the work will begin once all the tenants clear out.

Education Works and the Custom Company which provides uniforms for schools have been packing up for several weeks.

They were scheduled for a final inspection and release of their security deposit to help them transition to their new home in Mapunapuna.

”I am not sure of the address but it's by Dollar Rent-a-Car," Caroline Pascual of the Custom Company. 

A marine business next door was falling behind and had to ask for a last minute extension.

"Today was our deadline and we are struggling with it. Actually there are a few people struggling. The state was gracious enough to let us stay up to 30 days if we need it," said Gary Brookins.

But Brookins is targeting next week Monday.

But after 32 years in business,  and almost half at this location, he was finding he underestimated what it was going to take to pack up and move out .

Other tenants were finding it tough to secure alternate locations, even though the state put them notice this day would come.

"Some of them have moved out as far as Campbell Industrial Park, and one of the trucking companies still hasn't found a place for their tractor trailers," Brookins said.

Brookins doesn't have to move far-- just two blocks down to the Keehi Boating Center--but he says he will have to pay about 20 percent more in rent.

The state said it gave ten companies who did not make the Friday deadline, a temporary extension.

But it won’t be for long, since the demolition contract was just awarded last week and access to the area will become more restricted.

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