Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hawaii News

By Andrew Gomes

April 20, 2021

Updated 12:22 a.m.

State officials want some help determining how 78 acres around Aloha Stadium can best become a new mixed-use community produced in partnership with a private developer.

The state Department of Accounting and General Services is announcing today that it plans to host a May 4 videoconference briefing for development industry professionals to help determine how DAGS draws up a request for proposals to have private developers build a residential and commercial neighborhood around a new stadium on 20 acres of the 98-acre stadium site owned by the state.

The outreach plan follows a move DAGS announced in February to seek separate proposals to replace Aloha Stadium and to develop surrounding land now largely occupied by parking.

Previously, the state intended to pick one developer to take on the whole endeavor, dubbed the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, with some financial contribution from the state.

Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator for DAGS, said in a statement that the outreach is intended to facilitate the highest level of interest from the private sector when the agency issues a request for competitive proposals for the real estate project around the anticipated new stadium.

“The real estate project market outreach is another big step forward for the NASED project,” she said. “We are excited to engage with the real estate market and prospective offerors, so we can continue the process of selecting a development team that will partner with the state to achieve the long-term vision for the district.”

According to DAGS, such collaboration will help shape the project’s approach and transaction structure while also giving developers an opportunity to provide feedback on how certain things should be handled and defined.

Kinimaka also said the agency welcomes input from the public and stakeholders.

DAGS previously expected to issue a request for development proposals for the whole NASED project, which involves replacing the deteriorating 50,000-seat stadium with a new 35,000-seat facility by 2023 and adding housing and commercial development that could include restaurants, retail, a hotel and other things gradually over a couple of decades or so.

Taxpayers are expected to pay for some of the development, primarily the new stadium, using $350 million appropriated by the Legislature. A private developer would build the new stadium and maintain it for 30 to 40 years for an arranged price.

Some of this taxpayer expense could be offset with the surrounding real estate deal under which a developer would pay for the rights to develop residential and commercial uses under a 99-year land lease with the state.

DAGS issued a request for qualifications from interested developers early last year, and expected to follow up with a request for proposals in time to ink a contract with a winning bidder by last month.

However, this plan was delayed and reconfigured after DAGS selected three finalists in December.

The agency announced in February that NASED would be divided into two parts.

A new projected timetable calls for seeking stadium replacement proposals from the three finalists in July.

Separately, DAGS expects to seek qualified bidders for the real estate project by issuing a request for qualifications in July that would later be followed by a request for proposals.

To monitor NASED project information, see DAGS updates posted online at nased.hawaii.gov.