HPU appreciative for approvals regarding Aloha Tower Marketplace project

January 14, 2013

HONOLULUHawai'i Pacific University leadership praised the actions today of Aloha Tower Development Corporation (ATDC) in consenting to the university’s ownership and management of the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

The approvals passed by ATDC were essential to Hawai'i Pacific’s plans to move forward in redeveloping the Marketplace into a mixed-use property featuring outstanding student housing, retail and dining businesses and community gathering spaces, including a new performance and athletics venue. The university will now pursue permits, review of redevelopment plans with ATDC and bond financing necessary to commence demolition and renovation later this year.

“We’re delighted with the actions taken today by ATDC and excited about our ability to move forward with a project that we believe has tremendous implications for the university, for our downtown merchants and community and for all of Honolulu,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister, who has made the Aloha Tower Marketplace project his top priority over the past year. “This will be enormously helpful in our efforts to attract even more students to study in Hawai'i.

“Creating an inviting environment for those students is at the heart of our plans, and we believe that environment will also be very exciting for the university, for Honolulu residents and for visitors to our island.”

HPU recently hired Scott Hayashi to serve as its Project/Asset Manager at Aloha Tower Marketplace. A deeply experienced professional in real estate development in Honolulu, Hayashi previously was the Asset Manager for the successful Koko Marina Center project and served as a commercial real estate Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools.  He is a graduate of Iolani School and the University of Hawai'i.

Hayashi now serves as the university’s point person on a project projected to get a significant facelift, thanks in part to bonding authority approved last summer by the Legislature and Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The “special purpose revenue bonds” will also cover classroom upgrades, IT enhancements, campus amenities and other improvements at the university’s Downtown Campus, Hawaii Loa Campus and the Oceanic Institute, HPU’s research affiliate.

Those projects and the changes at Aloha Tower Marketplace are an outgrowth of the university’s new strategic plan, also approved last year. And they represent a new vision for HPU.

“Our aspiration is quite simple: We want Hawai'i Pacific to become the great university that this state so richly deserves,” said Bannister. “We’re grateful to the ATDC for its role in helping to speed that process.”