Hawaii Pacific University's transformation of the Aloha Tower marketplace broke ground on Jun. 18.
The state's largest private university has invested more than $40 million to revitalize the center.
The redevelopment will bring 200 jobs to Oahu and Barnes & Noble, Ruby Tuesday and Johnny Rockets to the downtown area.
Gordon Biersch, Hooters, Star of Honolulu and The Cab will remain open for business during the makeover.
Most of the retail tenants have moved out to make way for the renovation, but HPU says they can reapply for space.
The lofts will become dorms for about 270 Hawaii Pacific University students.
The school is targeting a spring opening in 2015 as HPU marks its 50th anniversary.
Click here for Lara Yamada's report.