Kakaako Proposed Site

Artspace is one step closer to gaining site control for its Honolulu project.

Artspace Senior Vice President Greg Handberg, and Regional Director Cathryn Vandenbrink, spent three days in Honolulu earlier this month, along with Artspace’s Hawai‘i partner, the PA‘I Foundation. In addition to conducting site visits, the group met with public agencies critical to the process of developing this project – the Hawaiian Housing Finance and Development Agency (HHFDC), The City of Honolulu’s Housing Department, the Hawaiian Community Redevelopment Corporation, and a group of architects.

The project will be located in the Kakaako neighborhood located between the downtown business district and Waikiki Beach – a neighborhood that is transitioning from light industrial to residential properties. The currently vacant project site will be improved with 70+ affordable live/work units for low income artists in Honolulu. Additionally, the project will incorporate approximately 10,000 square feet of non-residential space for use by artists and arts organizations.

Of the 10,000 square of non-residential space, Artspace and PA’I are planning to use 4,000 square feet as the home for a Native Hawaiian cultural center – providing flexible space for gathering, performances, exhibitions, and other cultural activities and celebrations. The balance, and majority, of the non-residential space will be accessible to artistic and cultural activities and organizations that reflect both Native Hawaiian and other traditions.

Also during the visit, Vandenbrink and PA‘I Executive Vicky Takamine reached out to the community through local public radio. The two taped a cultural segment on the transformative power the arts-based project will have on the Kakaako neighborhood, Native artists and arts organizations.

We’re happy to report that on Wednesday, November 9th, the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority, which owns the site, authorized going forward with an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with Artspace – one step closer to gaining site control, which is one step closer to making this project a reality.

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