Social and architectural history of Hale‘iwa buildings to be documented

Kamehameha Schools hires conservation architect for Hale‘iwa Store Lots redevelopment project

Social and architectural history of Hale‘iwa buildings to be documented Kamehameha Schools hires conservation architect for Hale‘iwa Store Lots redevelopment project HALE‘IWA – A historic conservation architect hired by Kamehameha Schools will photograph and document the Aoki’s Shave Ice and ‘Iwa Gallery buildings in Hale‘iwa so their history, construction and other attributes can be preserved and researched in the future.

Kamehameha plans to preserve, rehabilitate, and adaptively reuse five historic buildings when it begins construction and redevelopment within this long-time commercial area later this year. An assessment of the existing buildings conducted in 2012 determined that two of the structures – the shave ice and art gallery buildings – were too deteriorated to repair and save.

Spencer Leineweber, FAIA, an authority on Hawaii plantation architecture and Director of the Heritage Center in the School of Architecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, prepared a Historic District and Building Inventory report on all the historic structures and an Existing Condition Assessment of Aoki’s and ‘Iwa Gallery. She will now begin photographic and written descriptions of both the streetscape and individual buildings while the buildings are still occupied and again after they are empty. Her process will follow the standards of Historic American Building Survey (HABS) level II documentation. As stated in the HABS Guidelines, “The purpose of documentation is to preserve an accurate record of historic properties that can be used in research and other preservation activities.”

Kamehameha notified the owners of Aoki’s and ‘Iwa Gallery this week that their month-to-month leases will end May 31, 2013. Once the buildings are empty, demolition crews will meticulously remove layers of construction materials that have been used to stabilize the buildings over the years, and Ms. Leineweber will record the original single wall construction techniques. Many of these construction details are currently covered with modern materials. KS also hopes to utilize original and historic construction materials – like windows and doors – in the new construction. Adds Leineweber, “The proposed development is very sensitive to historic preservation concerns and the design intent maintains the scale and essential character of this important commercial area in Hale‘iwa.“

New development to be named Hale‘iwa Store Lots

Kamehameha Schools plans to redevelop the area along Kamehameha Highway between Kewalo and Mahaulu lanes and rename the commercial area Hale‘iwa Store Lots, a historical reference to the site’s original name, Waialua Store Lots.

The improvements are needed to strengthen aging infrastructure and increase pedestrian safety by moving customer queues away from the edge of busy Kamehameha Highway. In addition, the redevelopment will include new landscaping that will separate pedestrians from vehicles, assist drainage, add 108 parking stalls to the rear of the project and provide additional retail space for local businesses. The project is expected to cost $12.6 million.

Five historic buildings on the property – including the building housing Matsumoto Shave Ice and the two Yoshida buildings built in the early 1900s – will be rehabilitated and adaptively reused. Matsumoto Shave Ice plans to remain open for business during construction.

“We are saddened to see the departure of Aoki’s and `Iwa Gallery. Aoki Shave Ice, in particular, has been in Hale‘iwa since 1981. They represent many of the qualities that we will be preserving in our new line up of tenants: Local Hawai‘i businesses- many mom and pop stores- unique and appealing to both locals and visitors,” adds Kalani Fronda, senior asset manager at Kamehameha Schools.

In November 2012, the Honolulu City Council unanimously approved a zone change application for the 4-acre parcel. Kamehameha Schools expects to request contractor bids in April and begin construction this summer. The project is expected to be complete by summer 2014.

In addition to Hale‘iwa Store Lots anchor tenant Matsumoto Shave Ice, who has been there since 1951, Kamehameha Schools is concluding lease negotiations with many other locally-owned and operated businesses, including several with ties to the North Shore. Categories for these businesses include dining, apparel, gifts, convenience, and coffee.

Hale‘iwa Store Lots is part of KS’ overall North Shore Plan (NSP) which was developed in 2008 in conjunction with an extensive community planning process. This process began the planning for seven “catalyst” projects. Other catalysts of the NSP which have been implemented by KS include the restoration of Loko Ea fishpond, agricultural water system improvements and renewable energy.

The start of construction culminates an additional two-year long consultation with Hale‘iwa community members, area kupuna, neighborhood board, Historic Hawaii Foundation, the State Historic Preservation Division, the City and others. Feedback from these groups has helped improve the project’s design and resulted in an architectural scheme that preserve the site’s historic qualities, and rural scale and character.

Posted in Development.