Bill Cresenzo | Pacific Business News

This rendering shows how the transit oriented development plan for the Ala Moana area in Honolulu would make Kapiolani Boulevard more walkable.
This rendering shows how the transit oriented development plan for the Ala Moana area in Honolulu would make Kapiolani Boulevard more walkable.

The area around Ala Moana Center has a lot going for it, according to Nate Cherry, a California architect who has created a new vision for the neighborhood through a new Transit Oriented Development plan for Honolulu’s rail system that will be presented to the public next week.

The City and County of Honolulu hired Cherry, vice president of the global architectural firm RTKL, to craft a the plan for the Ala Moana neighborhood in anticipation of the completion of the $5.16 billion Honolulu rail project.

Nestled between downtown and Waikiki, the neighborhood has Ala Moana Park, Ala Moana Center and the Hawaii Convention Center.

It also has Kapiolani Boulevard, which Cherry called Honolulu’s “grand boulevard.”

What it lacks, though, is walkability and smaller, outside gathering places, Cherry said.

Kapiolani Boulevard acts as a corridor between the airport and downtown and Waikiki, but Cherry imagines a neighborhood where “locals can really enjoy themselves along the sidewalks,” Cherry said.

That could happen in the coming years, as the rail projects moves forward, Cherry said. Ala Moana will be the last stop on the 20-mile route from Kapolei, with the station located on Kona Street between the mall and Kapiolani Boulevard. Read more