HILO — The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is preparing an environmental assessment for developing a vacant 12.7-acre parcel near Prince Kuhio Plaza to support its beneficiaries in Panaewa.
Known as Project Kamoleao, the development would feature a community center, health-care facilities, a commercial kitchen and space for commerce and light industry, according to a DHHL presentation.
A draft environmental assessment for the plan is expected to be published in June, an agency spokeswoman said.
But it’s not the first effort to plan for development of the property, which is located behind Home Depot and borders Puainako Street and Railroad Avenue. Master plans were developed in 1994 and 2005.
Regarding delays, Bill Brown, president of the Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands Community Association, said the project had gone through different hands and became less community driven.
Brown said he thinks the project is back on track, but it will still take time to come to fruition.
“I believe with the blessing of the community members in Panaewa, we will slowly get there,” Brown said.
He said this would be the first EA for the entire parcel. An earlier environmental document was limited to a 1.5-acre section.
In addition to health-care facilities, Brown said Panaewa residents need a place where people can gather and run community-based programs.
“There are two educational programs that we’re trying to build within the community, but we’re realizing we don’t have the space to do what we want to do,” Brown said.
The development is broken up into three phases, with a community center/certified kitchen, shops and light industry included in the first phase.
DHHL projects Phase 1 construction to begin in 2021 following the securing of funding and permits.
Email Tom Callis at email@example.com.