For the past two years, Outrigger Hotels and
Resorts has provided off-campus housing for HPU students, according
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
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
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area of outdated buildings and congested city streets into a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
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