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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 6, 2006

New industrial park planned at Kapolei

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

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More jobs could be coming to Kapolei as Campbell Estate seeks to build a new industrial park near Kalaeloa Harbor.

As envisioned, the project tentatively called Kapolei Harborside Center would be about one-fourth the size of the existing Campbell Industrial Park, the state's largest industrial park and the largest job center for the Kapolei/'Ewa region, with about 4,600 workers.

The Kapolei Harborside Center also would increase the usefulness of Kalaeloa Harbor, which eventually may be upgraded to handle container ships and offer more relief to overcrowded Honolulu Harbor.

More jobs, more businesses and an improved harbor would all help solidify Kapolei as O'ahu's "second city" as originally planned in the 1970s.

"There's going to be a need for a project that serves the harbor," said Dave Rae, a Campbell Estate spokesman.

The Kapolei Harborside Center would be built on a 332-acre parcel previously used for agriculture.

Campbell Estate, a private trust, recently petitioned the state Land Use Commission to reclassify the property between Kalaeloa Harbor and the City of Kapolei from designated agricultural to urban use.

The project would represent Kapolei's final phase of industrial development, according to the petition filed by estate affiliate Kapolei Property Development LLC.

Development of the Kapolei Harborside Center could begin in 2008 or 2009 and take until 2018 to be fully populated with businesses, the estate said in its petition.

That would be faster than the 1,300-acre Campbell Industrial Park, which was developed over about the past 50 years and now is host to some of the state's largest companies, including Chevron, Ameron International, Coca-Cola, Reynolds Aluminum and Tesoro.

Increased traffic and higher demands on water, power and other infrastructure also would be created by the project, the trust said in its application, but there doesn't appear to be much early opposition to the proposal.

Maeda Timson, chairwoman of the Makakilo/ Kapolei/ Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board, said she has not heard of concerns from residents about the planned industrial park given its location.

Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club Hawai'i Chapter, said he was generally aware of the plans but preferred to reserve comment because he has not reviewed them closely.

The Land Use Commission expects to hold initial hearings today and tomorrow to determine if an environmental impact statement or a less intensive environmental report is necessary and whether the agency is the proper authority to accept such a report. Campbell Estate was already preparing an environmental impact statement.

VACANT SPACE SCARCE

The addition of warehouses, light manufacturing and other businesses in Kapolei would help relieve pressure on O'ahu's short supply of available industrial property.

Local real estate firm Colliers Monroe Friedlander recently reported that at the end of last year only 1.8 percent, or 630,000 square feet, of industrial business space on O'ahu was vacant, compared with 1.3 million square feet in 2001.

A mini-boom of industrial business space development is under way, with more than 900,000 square feet of new space expected to be built over the next year. But demand from expanding construction, retail and other industries in Hawai'i's strong economy should keep the vacancy rate near its extreme low, Colliers said.

Campbell Estate still needs regulatory approval before moving forward with the Kapolei Harborside Center. The property is classified for agricultural use, so the estate needs the Land Use Commission to reclassify the parcel for urban use.

The estate also needs a zoning change by the city government, from agriculture to industrial. That may not be a significant hurdle since the city's 'Ewa Development Plan envisioned industrial use for the property.

The property is adjacent to Campbell Industrial Park, other undeveloped industrial-zoned land, the harbor and a planned golf course.

NOT MUCH FARMING

Campbell Estate said the land hasn't been farmed full time since 1995 when Oahu Sugar Co. Ltd. quit growing sugarcane on about 145 acres.

More recent uses include a plant nursery, green-waste processing, intermittent agriculture uses and a conveyor belt system used for transporting coal to nearby power stations.

About 200 acres of the site were previously used to mine coral for making cement and concrete products, the estate said in its application.

Campbell Estate's spokesman Rae said the estate plans to be the developer of the park if the project gains necessary approvals. Estimating a development cost, which would include building roads and other infrastructure, is too early, he said.

Hearings regarding a change in land use and zoning have not been set.

Earlier this year, the estate began an effort to sell an adjacent, undeveloped 100-acre site between Kapolei and Campbell Industrial Park that is zoned for industrial use.

The smaller parcel is expected to be subdivided and made available to smaller users in 2007 or 2008 if a sale can be completed by the end of this year as expected.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.