What will a revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace look like? We're learning more as Hawai'i Pacific University unveiled more details of their multi-million dollars redevelopment project.
Restaurants and retail will remain on the ground floor of Aloha Tower Marketplace with the second floor converted to housing for nearly 300 students.
Many businesses have struggled here, but restaurants like Gordon Biersch and Hooters have done well. That's why the school's plan includes eateries along the water.
"I'd love to see a breakfast restaurant on the front here where people in the downtown area would have a good breakfast spot to go to before they go to work. I'd love to see small restaurants near the side of Aloha Tower with little garden spaces," said HPU President Dr. Geoffry Bannister.
Pier 10 and 11 will no longer be the primary place welcoming all those passenger cruise ships. Instead, most will head over Pier 2.
Pier 2 is a more appropriate place to have as the primary place for passenger ships to operate out of. Having said that, Pier 10, 11 will always be a part of our harbor facility – dedicated to passenger ships," said Randy Grune of the Department of Transportation's Harbors division.
Many changes are on the way, but some things will remain the same; namely the parking challenge.
"That's been a problem for this marketplace from day one and the parking has to be developed. But, it's not in the plans right now for Aloha Tower development cooperation," said Grune.
What is in the plans is to limit student parking. The hundreds of HPU students living here will not have access to any of the available parking.
"We will reduce the need for parking because the students won't need cars. We'll have a train station here as well. I hope we'll have a bike share program for the city. This is a very busy service. We should be able to reduce the parking pressure on this," said Bannister.
But if this development revitalizes Aloha Tower as expected, parking could once again be a limiting factor.
Aloha Tower is just down Fort Street Mall from HPU's downtown campus. After this project is finished, there are plans for the school to expand on Fort Street with more classrooms and offices to connect the two campus areas.