Officials to consider Waikiki hotel tower proposal

HONOLULU (AP) — A 230-room hotel could replace a failed four-story complex in Waikiki.

The owner of the vacant King Kalakaua Plaza building has applied for a permit to redevelop the site. The site’s owner, California-based Robertson Properties Group, is scheduled to give a presentation on the project Tuesday at a Waikiki Neighborhood Board meeting, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (

The proposal calls for a hotel tower to fill the space left by a NikeTown store in 2009. Previous tenants of the building include Banana Republic and the Official All Star Cafe, a restaurant established by Planet Hollywood and backed by professional athletes, such as Tiger Woods and Shaquille O’Neal. The sports-themed restaurant closed two years after opening, and another sports bar that took its place also closed.

A fourth-floor space in the complex intended for a restaurant was never occupied.

The plaza was developed in 1997 for nearly $45 million.

The project’s developer, Hawaii firm Honu Group, lost the building in 2006 to foreclosure in part because there weren’t enough businesses to fill the entire space.

An affiliate of investment bank Lehman Bros. that financed the project took ownership of the complex. Lehman later declared bankruptcy, and the company handed over the property to affiliates of Robertson around 2010.

Hotel use of the site wasn’t possible under city zoning regulations until 2011. The City Council had gotten rid of a “resort commercial” zoning category for many properties that became rezoned for mixed uses including hotel, residential and retail.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,


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