BY JIM DOOLEY – The FBI will become the first federal agency to be headquartered in the Kapolei area of Oahu and groundbreaking for the agency’s new $65 million home was held today.

Frank Montoya Jr., Special Agent In Charge of the FBI Honolulu field office, said the bureau has grown from 15 Honolulu agents in 1971 to 115 now. The office also includes another 120 support personnel, he said.

Agents will move from their present quarters in the downtown federal building to the new offices when construction is completed in August 2012.

The four-story, 152,000 square-foot structure will be leased by the FBI from the private developer, Penrose/Walsh FBI LLC, for $8.2 million per year over the life of a 20-year lease, said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.

Chris Penrose, managing partner of the development firm, has built similar FBI buildings in several other cities around the country under contracts awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration.

GSA official Jeffrey Neely said the FBI’s departure from the federal building will free up space for new tenants and clear the way “much-needed renovations” in the downtown facility.

Architect's Rendering of Finished Building

FBI agents have been present in Hawaii since 1931 but the bureau became a very active law enforcement presence in the Islands in the early 1970’s, said Montoya, a foreign counterterrorism expert who was assigned here in January.

The jurisdiction of the Honolulu office includes Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

The new structure will include a 20,000 square foot annex for automotive and electronic repairs and a secure car parking structure and lot to accommodate 350 cars.

The site is at 91-1300 Enterprise Street on former Barber’s Point Naval Air Station property.

The building was designed by Architects Hawaii and Charles Pankow is the general contractor.

 

 

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com