Others questioned whether a college campus was a good fit for the area.
They wanted to know more about the school's plans to deal with parking and partying.
"I live across from there. If you have something noisy, I don’t want you there. If you have students running around all night long, I don’t want you there," said Tom Smyth.
And still others wondered about retail mix and how HPU was going continue to draw cruise ship passengers and local residents to the marketplace.
HPU tried to allay those fears.
"This is not intended to be an exclusive university property. We are not talking about moving the entire university down there,” said Simmons.
The school assured the board its willing to appoint a liason with the downtown community as it moves forward with its plan.
The board voted to give the project support in principle, but wanted to see more details about the development plans.