As work on Honolulu’s 20-mile rail line begins to enter more populated areas, the state’s Harbors Division said it is looking at how it can capitalize on transit-oriented development opportunities.

This summer, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded Nan Inc. a city center utility relocations contract for work between Middle Street and Ala Moana Center.

The work includes HART’s future Chinatown and downtown stations, two stops that will come close to Honolulu Harbor.

“There are advantages at looking at where rail goes and how it impacts us,” said Davis Yogi, harbors administrator for the Department of Transportation’s Harbors Division, during a transportation panel on Thursday.

The panel, which was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii also included Blaine Miyasato, state government liaison for Hawaiian Airlines, and Vic Angoco, senior vice president of Matson’s Pacific division.

The panel was moderated by Scott Ishikawa, senior account executive at Becker Communications and a former Hawaii State Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Yogi said the department, which is currently in the midst of its statewide $850 million harbors modernization plan that includes the construction of the $450 million Kapalama Container Terminal, is looking at commercial opportunities that would come with Honolulu Harbor’s proximity to the rail stops.

“I think in discussing things with rail, we are also talking about making sure that what they didn’t think was possible, can be possible,” Yogi added. “For example, makai stairways on the ocean side. Everything was more on the mauka side above Nimitz and Ala Moana Boulevard.”

Yogi said Darrell Young, deputy director of the Harbors Division, has been working with the city on transit-oriented development opportunities associated with the rail project.

Link to full article: Pacific Business News: Hawaii Harbors Division looking to capitalize on development opportunities amid rail project