The City and County of Honolulu and the Hawaii Community Development Authority on Tuesday signed an agreement to transfer control of public lands and facilities.

Effective Nov. 1, 16 parcels that include three roadways and other facilities within an 41-acre section of Kakaako will be under the jurisdiction of the city departments of Parks and Recreation, Facility Maintenance and Land Management.

“For years the city has acted like the gardener in someone else’s garden, taking care of issues within Kakaako makai without having control over the area,” said Mayor Caldwell in a press statement. “Now with this transfer we can thoroughly revitalize this precious public land and help the community realize its true potential.”

The areas to be transferred are outlined. 

Caldwell continued: “It is no secret this area has had a tumultuous past. We hope that this transfer will help pave the way for a brighter future as we activate this area with positive public usage.”

The facilities include Kakaako Gateway Park, Kakaako Waterfront Park, Kewalo Basin Park, adjoining parking lots, and Ohe, Olomehani and Ahui streets. HCDA paid $2.25 million to the city.

“The Kakaako parks are former landfill and industrial areas that were remediated and turned into parks with world-class views,” said HCDA Executive Director Aedward Los Banos. “We are pleased the city will be able to use its expertise to make the parks a gem the public can use for generations.”

According to the city, the focus on the newly acquired land will be in bringing the parcels “up to city standards,” in particular Kakaako Waterfront Park, which will be closed for repairs until at least Feb. 2, 2020.

The Kakaako Makai area has been ground zero for a large homeless population in recent years, due in part to jurisdictional challenges.

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