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Redevelopment of Ala Wai Harbor’s boatyard site shows little progress

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After losing its lease with the state, Ala Wai Marine closed its Ala Wai Boat Harbor boatyard operation over four years ago and since then the property has remained vacant.

It was announced by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation in Sept. 2009 that a developer – Honey Bee USA, Inc. – had submitted the only acceptable proposal for the property and it paid an initial $150,000 development fee, plus a $15,000 per month fee.

Honey Bee’s most recent plans call for a four-story “Boatyard Building” that would offer office, retail and restaurant space, plus additional retail kiosks. Another two-story building would also house a restaurant and another would contain a wedding chapel.

The property has been cleared of all structures over the past two years and recently it has been occasionally used by the Hawaiian Dredging Company for a construction yard and storage area for off-site projects at the Ala Moana Shopping Center and the adjacent Ilikai Hotel. Even the auger drill equipment for micro piles that had been on site has been removed.

As the previous boatyard had provided Hawaii’s recreational boat owners with one of the few full-service marine repair facilities in the state, their question of “when will it be replaced?” is ongoing. And with little or no construction to be seen on the site, the question would seem to be reasonable.

DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood would only state, “Honey Bee is still very active in the development of the site. (And) the equipment is needed on another project but will be brought back to drive the auger piles later this month.”

With some 10 days left in the month, Hawaii’s boaters can hope they may start seeing some active construction soon.

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