Lawmakers look at building parks, condos, even hotels in Aloha Stadium district
The idea for redevelopment is to reel in money for the state's economy.
Aloha Stadium, home to UH football games and the swap meet, is over 40 years old and lawmakers say it's ready for a makeover.
"Under utilized large parking lot but it could be so much more and this bill envisions that path to so much more," Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson said.
Lawmakers propose adding hotels, condos and even museums and theaters, that will hopefully reel in money for the state's economy.
"There's a desire in Hawaii for entertainment of all sorts, not just Bruno Mars, not just UFC fighting, not just football and soccer but of other events," Sen. Glenn Wakai said.
Two bills in the state house and senate ask for a $350 million investment to create what's called a development district, managed by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
The idea is to bring in retail and other entertainment so tourists and locals will spend more time around the stadium.
"We need to be ready to embrace of all sorts of entertainment options for the people of the state," Wakai said.
Waikele resident Tammy Eselu grew up going to the stadium for events regularly. She's happy with what's there.
"I don't think we need to rebuild and put something else out here for us... It's good for economy but I think we can look elsewhere. Find something else, don't touch what we have here," Eselu said.
Funding for the project is already underway. The state spent $10 million two months ago to start an Environmental Impact Statement.
Wakai says that statement will take about two years. If the bill passes and they get the $350 million needed, he says a new stadium will break ground in five years.