By BJ Reyes
The future of Kakaako was the subject of a gubernatorial forum in the Capitol Auditorium.
The Monday night forum was hosted by ThinkTechHawaii, a non-profit corporation founded to raise pubic awareness of the importance of technology, energy diversification and globalism.
Star-Advertiser business writer Andrew Gomes reports:
Think Tech invited all governor and lieutenant gov candidates, but only gubernatorial candidates Sen. David Ige and Libertarian Jeff Davis attended, along with GOP lieutenant governor candidate Kimo Sutton.
Ige said he agrees with the idea to make Kakaako a live-work-play community but said Kakaako today is a failure of the state administration and Hawaii Community Development Authority. He said super luxury towers such as Waiea ($20 million-plus condo unit for sale there) does not represent Kakaako development done right. He would not turn HCDA over to the city, at least not in the short term, and believes it's prudent to let changes mandated by House Bill 1866 take effect.
Davis said homeless in Kakaako makai is the result of the "mad rush" of development in Kakaako. He appeared to have invited some homeless from the area to the forum after spending four days living in a tent with some of them. Davis also railed against the Jones Act and said he'd abolish HCDA.
Sutton blamed the Jones Act for the high cost of housing and said Kakaako will be a mess as long as the state runs it.
Besides the bashing and saying what's wrong (they all complained about a lack of infrastructure planning), no one proposed any specific changes. They all dodged a question about what specifically should be done to have more affordable housing developed in Kakaako.