Abercrombie Wants to Build 'Third City'

Abercrombie Administration

Neil Abercrombie will never be saddled with the albatross that hung around the first President Bush — that he's no good at "the vision thing."

The governor's "New Day" plan — his blueprint for Hawaii's future — calls for full sustainability, a quality educational system and the restoration of public trust.

On Monday, Abercrombie riffed on a new idea, his boldest yet: a third city for Oahu, after Honolulu and Kapolei.

This city, which the governor said would stretch from Diamond Head to Kalihi and include Kakaako, Aloha Tower, downtown and Iwilei, builds on the proposal announced last month to construct a 650-foot tower in Kakaako.

The tower and its complex would provide affordable housing, commercial space, broadband capability and public transportation (including bicycles).

The Pohukaina public-private partnership, coordinated by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, is far from becoming reality.

Yet, Abercrombie believes it represents not only the future of Oahu but also responsible urban planning that is, a la Frank Lloyd Wright, as aesthetically pleasing as it is humanely functional.

"I have great hopes that we will create the next urban oasis in the United States, right here in Kakaako" he said.

Another ambitious proposal, to give the Office of Hawaiian Affairs $200 million in Kakaako Makai land to pay off ceded land revenue debt, fits into that urban vision. As does the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation, which was created to better use state lands.

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