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Outrigger resorts renovations to create Waikiki Beach Walk

by Nanea Kalani, staff writer

 

For the past two years, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has provided off-campus housing for HPU students, according to Barry Wallace, Outrigger’s senior vice president of operations.

In semesters past, Outrigger rented hotel rooms, on a semester-by-semester basis, in their ‘Ohana Reef Towers property on Lewer’s St. in Waikiki for residence options as students. In previous semesters, the ‘Ohana West was also rented by students, according to Wallace.

 

However, according to Wallace, due to Outrigger’s planned renovation to a whole block of properties called the Waikiki Beach Walk Project, the ‘Ohana Reef Towers building was sold effective mid-January, to Fairfield Hawai‘i, a time-share company. As a result, Outrigger Hotels was unable to renew its contract for student housing in the ‘Ohana Reef Towers for the spring 2005 semester.

“ We could only commit through December for 2004,” said Wallace. “In addition, our remaining buildings are too full, so we’re unable to accommodate student housing.”

Waikiki Beach Walk will incur $400 million in construction costs, according to a fact sheet put out by Outrigger’s public relations manager, Nancy Daniels. Five hotel properties will be completely renovated, upgraded and repositioned. All will be linked to a retail plaza through pedestrian bridges, common lobby areas, and connected walkways.

Waikiki Beach Walk will cover the eight acres bound by Saratoga Rd. to the west, Lewers St. to the east, Kalakaua Ave. to the north and the beachfront location of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel to the south.

The Waikiki Beach Walk project will transform “an eight-acre area of outdated buildings and congested city streets into a revitalized, pedestrian-friendly destination with a unique Hawaiian sense of place,” according to Daniels. Wider sidewalks, tropical foliage, water features, and open spaces will be signature design elements, she added.

Waikiki Beach Walk, 90,000 square feet of space, will comprise a shopping and restaurant complex featuring 30 retail shops, six restaurants and bars, and an open plaza gathering place.
The time-share company, Fairfield Hawai‘i, plans to upgrade the ‘Ohana Reef Towers. Extensive renovations will convert the hotel to 195 deluxe vacation-ownership units.

In addition, Outrigger Hotels will redesign and upgrade the ‘Ohana Waikiki Village and ‘Ohana Waikiki Tower Hotels on Lewers St. to two towers with a common lobby. The renovated property will have 422 suites.

And lastly, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach, an 858-room hotel, will receive extensive renovations to all guest rooms, as well as all public areas, including the restaurants and retail shops on property.

According to a recent article by Mel Kaneshige, Outrigger’s chief operating officer, “We have made a lot of progress in the last 10 years. The end of the project — the beginning of construction, to look at it from another point of view — is in sight, thanks to the efforts of our great Outrigger ‘ohana…Waikiki Beach Walk [will be] the place to be in Waikiki!”

Editor’s note: For information on displaced students, see related article on HPU housing options.


 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved. 
 
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