Two officials behind the state’s long-running effort to redevelop Aloha Stadium pushed back today against Gov. David Ige’s recent decision to move in a new direction with the project.
Aloha Stadium manager Ryan Andrews and Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator with the state Department of Accounting and General Services, both said on today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s livestream “Spotlight Hawaii” program that the change will delay replacement of the largely condemned stadium in Halawa instead of accelerating the project as Ige intends.
Andrews said he doesn’t know specifics of the changes Ige wants to make in modifying the public-private partnership plan to replace 47-year-old Aloha Stadium, but that tweaking well-developed existing procurement work will not speed up the project.
“I don’t know what his plan is, but I can tell you that we are so far along in our procurement that we are ready to move and proceed, and we actually have been for quite some time,” Andrews said. “We’ve been waiting for that green light. So I think my concern is any change at this point will cause a delay or will cause us to have to start over, and that’s what I would hate to see is to start this process over and to kick this project out even further.“
Kinimaka added, “Any change that occurs now will delay the project. They’ll pretty much have to start with procurement all over again because you cannot take what we’ve developed, which honestly is a 1,000-page request for proposals for the stadium alone, and pick pieces apart.”
Ige’s chief of staff, Linda Chu Takayama, this month instructed DAGS not to proceed with its work to issue two requests for proposals seeking bids from developers to replace the stadium and to add a mix of retail, restaurants, homes, and a hotel as part of a New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District approved by the Legislature. The governor said he will announce a new direction for the project in the coming weeks.