HONOLULU – Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU) held a ceremonial groundbreaking and traditional Hawaiian blessing today at Aloha Tower Marketplace, marking the official start of revitalizing this iconic waterfront destination. HPU’s plan envisions a vibrant, mixed-use residential and commercial center designed to serve the Hawai’i community and its students.
Honolulu business leaders, community members, campus leaders – as well as key government officials gathered for this milestone. Speakers included Hawai’i Governor Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell as well as HPU president, Dr. Geoffrey Bannister and HPU chairman of the board, Dr. Michael Chun. The Hawaiian blessing was performed by Kahu Kordell Kekoa.
Joachim Cox, incoming chairman of the board, HPU, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Dr. Geoffrey Bannister, president, HPU, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Dr. Michael Chun, chairman of the board, Hawaii Pacific University, Janet Kloenhamer, executive vice president for administration and general counsel, HPU, Miina Huotari, student body president, HPU, Kahu Kordell C.L. Kekoa
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“This revitalization project at Aloha Tower Marketplace is an investment in the future, both economically and for the people of Hawai’i,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “I commend Hawai’i Pacific University and its partners for moving forward with a vision for a vital and lively Downtown Honolulu, while increasing access to higher education in today’s global economy.”
“The Aloha Tower has long served as a beacon, guiding ships from around the world towards our Honolulu Port,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Hawai’i Pacific University’s new use of the iconic Aloha Tower Marketplace will continue its historic role of welcoming visitors, and now students, to the heart of Honolulu in a modern, vibrant mixed-use space.”
The revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace will help enrich Honolulu’s intellectual and cultural scene – from public seminars to think-tank sessions. This diverse, mixed-use plan – which also calls for a renewal in vendors, unique dining experiences and entertainment – will provide an economically sustainable solution for the venue.
“Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, Hawai’i Pacific University is invested in strengthening the Hawai’i community, providing an exceptional educational experience for our students, and bringing new life and vitality to this much-beloved landmark,” said Dr. Geoffrey Bannister, president of Hawai’i Pacific University.
HPU will invest more than $40 million to revitalize Aloha Tower Marketplace. Daily development and construction will peak with 200 skilled-workers on site during the construction and it is estimated that more than 500 people will be working on the project during its duration. The local architecture firm is Group 70 International and the construction company is Swinerton Builders.
When completed, the first floor of Aloha Tower Marketplace will continue to be open for the public to enjoy, inclusive of 84,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor public space and 15,000 square feet of space that is shared by HPU and the public. The second floor is slated to be residential housing for nearly 300 students and will help generate repeat revenue for retail – including the incoming Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Aloha Tower Marketplace tenants, including Gordon Biersch Brewery, Star of Honolulu, Hooters and The Cab will remain open throughout construction.
HPU is a proud contributor to the health and welfare of the state by preparing and nourishing future community leaders. Students and graduates from HPU represent all of Hawai’i’s major islands, all 50 U.S. states, and 80 different countries making it one of the nation’s most culturally diverse universities. More than 17,000 Hawai’i Pacific University graduates call Hawai’i home.