Bill would move oversight of Kakaako from HCDA to city
For the past 40 years, the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) has overseen growth in Kaka'ako. Now a group of state lawmakers wants the city to take the district back.
KAKAAKO, Hawaii - For the past 40 years, the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) has overseen growth in Kaka'ako.
Now a group of state lawmakers wants the city to take the district back.
One state lawmaker told Island News they feel the HCDA's job in Kaka'ako is over.
Part of the HCDA's duties have been planning and developing.
Some lawmakers want to see the HCDA use its resources in a new district instead of Kaka'ako.
"It should go back to the city because HCDA is a development authority, not a management authority. The management of day to day operations of a city should be with the city," Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz said.
A bill moving through the State Capitol is aiming to give over sight of the Kaka'ako Community Development District back to the city.
A group of State lawmakers want to instead move the HCDA to East Kapolei.
"We need an agency that is going to lobby at the legislature to put in the necessary infrastructure," Dela Cruz said.
Some lawmakers say the HCDA could be better used in the second city to bring up both transit oriented development and affordable housing.
The HCDA cautions a move like that might not be as easy as it sounds.
"We understand that there was never supposed to be a permanent district but there are a number of things that the state has made, various promises or money that's owed to the state that we need to figure out how you unwind that before we can call it a day in Kakaako," Garett Kamemoto, interim executive director, HCDA said.
The HCDA's interim executive director says questions remain about promises the state has already made to developer Howard Hughes, who has a master plan in the district as well as Kamehameha Schools.
The HCDA also believes there is as much as $73 million the state could still bring in off of affordable housing that could be put into more affordable housing.
Meanwhile, the city made it clear in testimony that it wants Kakaako. How it'll get it back remains in question.
Both the city and the HCDA says a "transitional master plan" is needed to make sure any change-over from the HCDA to the City goes as planned.
The bill passed through the Ways and Means committee Wednesday with an amendment for a transitional plan.The bill now moves on to a third reading.