HONOLULU (March 4, 2014) – This week the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use will begin a four-day study visit of the Blaisdell Center complex. The panel of land use experts will work with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in developing a strategy for creating a vibrant culture and arts district that is anchored by redevelopment of the iconic performing arts and exhibition complex.
Mayor Caldwell and his Rose Center fellowship team – Ember Shinn, managing director, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii; George Atta, director, Department of Planning and Permitting, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii; and Robert Iopa, president and principal, WCIT Architecture, Honolulu, Hawaii– will work with the visiting panel in designing a preliminary plan that incorporates how redevelopment can work with property owners and institutions in the surrounding neighborhood, makes recommendations for public-private partnerships, and provides insights from other successful projects. The week will culminate with a public presentation of the panel’s findings and recommendations on March 7, 2014 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Mission Memorial Auditorium.
The City and County of Honolulu current owns and operates the 22.4 –acre Neal Blaisdell Center, situated in the Kaka‘ako Community Development District. The area is several blocks from a future light rail station and adjacent to historic Thomas Square Park, the Honolulu Museum of Art, McKinley High School, and Straub Hospital. Since its construction in 1964, the site has served as a major gathering place for performances and community events. In recent years, the arena has struggled for bookings due to competition from newer and more accessible facilities. This panel’s work will precede the city’s future selection of a consultant tasked with crafting a vision for a cultural and entertainment district. This week’s effort will help the city determine the community’s goals, recommend a conceptual design, and seek out potential development partners.
“I’d like to thank the Urban Land Institute for providing this panel of experts to help with the city’s efforts to redevelop the Blaisdell Center,” said Mayor Caldwell. “The ideas and suggestions they present will reflect their experience with similar projects across the country, tailored specifically to Honolulu’s needs. The most important part of this process is public input. The people of Oahu ultimately need to decide the future of this community resource and I’m looking forward to a great discussion on the 7th.”
The visiting panel consists of national renowned land use and real estate professionals include: Andre Brumfield, president, Brumfield Design + Planning, Chicago, Ill.; Christopher Kurz, president and CEO, Linden Associates, Inc., Baltimore, Md.; Brad Beaubien, planning administrator, Department of Metropolitan Development, City of Indianapolis and Marion County, Ind.; Glenda Hood, former mayor of Orlando and partner, trisect, LCC, Orlando, Fla.;; Maura Sullivan, deputy chief administrative officer, City of Memphis, Tenn.; Jennifer Toole, president, Toole Design Group; Leah Treat, director, Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland, Ore.; Ginger White-Brunetti, deputy director, Department of Arts and Venues, City and County of Denver, Colo.; and Roger Williams, principal, RW and Associates, LLC, Potomac, Md.
Honolulu is one of four cities selected for the 2013-2014 Rose fellowships, along with Indianapolis, Memphis, and Portland. During the five years of the fellowship program, teams have been successful in leading change in their communities after receiving technical assistance and strategic advice from ULI. Past classes of Rose Fellows have tackled challenges including revitalization of Detroit’s Livernois Avenue; upgrading and re-branding Louisville’s Fourth Street corridor; the redevelopment of Tampa’s downtown riverfront; Kansas City’s historic livestock district; and the transformation of Sacramento’s nearly empty downtown railyard.
The Daniel Rose Fellowship is the flagship program of the Rose Center, established in 2008 by the ULI Foundation Governor Daniel Rose. The Center aims to empower leaders in the public sector to envision, build and sustain successful 21st century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient and sustainable land use practices. The Center works with public officials throughout the United States to encourage and support excellence in land use decision making. By providing public officials with access to information, best practices, peer networks, and other resources, the Rose Center seeks to foster creative, efficient, practical, and sustainable land use policies.
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 30,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.