Kakaako Waterfront Park has been closed since October, and the Hawaii Community Development Authority says it’s still working to reopen the park.
But that could change soon.
With a large event planned the weekend of New Year’s Eve, HCDA’s interim executive director, Garett Kamemoto, says crews are working to get the park ready to reopen.
“Basically, we have started on the repairs and they’re going along at a pretty good clip. But there’s no guarantee that the park is going to be open by [the date of the] event, and the promoter knows that if the park is not open, the event cannot go forward,” Kamemoto said.
While HCDA is optimistic, at this point there are no guarantees that the park will be open with hundreds of thousands in repairs still being completed.
“Right now, we are looking at about $200,000 worth of repairs and hopefully less in order to bring park up to minimally safe standards. That’s what we want is a park that safe for people. [As for] making it look pristine and beautiful, we’d like that to happen. But we think people would appreciate that we open the park and let the public have the use of it as long as it’s safe,” Kamemoto explained.
As for other parks in the area, HCDA says it’s bringing in extra security.
The agency recently awarded a $331,481.05 contract to Mydatt Services for security guard and social outreach services. The year-long contract started this month with an option to extend another two years.
The company will provide so-called “park ambassadors,” who will be positioned around the parks, interacting with park-goers and enforcing park rules.
One of the goals, according to Kamemoto, is to provide outreach to homeless individuals who had been living in the parks.
“They are able to help get them some of those services, so hopefully having ambassadors in the park, they can be there longer than our staff can be there. It’s going to help the park be a safer place,” Kamemoto said.