Development in Aiea and rail system will go hand-in-hand

A busy part of Aiea is about to get even busier as a major development is about to get underway at the old Kam Drive-In site.

The “Live, Work, Play Aiea” project will be 14 acres of condos, offices, restaurants and retail shops.

If everything goes as planned, it will also be the first development to be built around the rail system.

“I think it’s a really signifcant project for the folks who live on this island,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, “specifically those who live here and are looking for marketplace housing close to a transit station and close to downtown.”

The $766-million project will contain 1,500 residential units and offer 30 percent of those units as affordable housing.

“This is true affordability,” Caldwell said. “Those people that are hanging on by their fingernails, are living off of the minimum wage (and) barely able to make ends meet, can find housing now.”

George Atta, Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting, said there will be improvements to roadways to accommodate the increase in population.

“We have done a Traffic Impact Analysis Report,” Atta said. “We are doing road widening on Moanalua and Kaonohi along with some other improvements.”

With the “Live, Work, Play Aiea” project slated to break ground in about a year, the development is also being built to work hand-in-hand with rail.

“From what we hear from folks, there is strong interest in riding it,” said Harrison Rue, administrator for the Transit-Oriented Development program. “More important is the interest in making the Aiea/Pearl City area more walkable, so you can walk or maybe ride your bike.”

The rail transit station will be located one block makai from the development.

The hope is that all the options — TheBus, rail, walking and biking — will keep cars off the road, and keep traffic to a minimum.

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