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News, Tips & Bargains : Marketplace Opens in Honolulu

November 20, 1994|SUSAN ESSOYAN

HONOLULU — A $100-million waterfront development--the Aloha Tower Marketplace--opens this weekend at Honolulu Harbor on the island of Oahu.

Dominated by the renovated 10-story Aloha Tower and fringed by coconut palms, the 190,000-square-foot marketplace opens with more than 100 merchants and will eventually house 200 shops, restaurants and an outdoor bazaar.

The marketplace is the first phase of a planned 22-acre redevelopment of the waterfront. Built in 1926, Aloha Tower was for many years the first sight to greet tourists when everyone arrived by boat and it remained the tallest structure in Honolulu for decades. But the arrival of jet traffic in 1959 and skyscrapers overshadowed the harbor and its landmark tower.

Developers and tourism officials hope the Aloha Tower Marketplace will tempt residents and visitors back to the waterfront and revitalize the area just as Baltimore's Harborplace and Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace have done. One reason for their optimism is James W. Rouse, the mastermind behind the East Coast projects and a partner in this one. And all three share the same architect--D'Agostino, Izzo & Quirk Architects.

The new development which also has two new passenger ship terminals, is about five miles from Waikiki. Dingy warehouses and concrete ramps have given way to graciously arched buildings topped with green-tile roofs, hundreds of trees and 14,000 blooming plants. Unlike Honolulu's nearby downtown, which is nearly deserted after dark, it will stay open until 10 p.m., with many restaurants and clubs open until 2 a.m.

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