DOD, community draft vision for DeRussy development

| March 28, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here’s a bird's-eye view of the Fort DeRussy property, as seen from the roof of the Hale Koa Hotel. The Army's vision for Fort DeRussy is to create an island resort, recreation and retreat center, while preserving this last of a few remaining green spaces in Waikiki.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the Fort DeRussy property, as seen from the roof of the Hale Koa Hotel. The Army’s vision for Fort DeRussy is to create an island resort, recreation and retreat center, while preserving this last of a few remaining green spaces in Waikiki.

Story and photos by
Sarah Pacheco
Staff Writer

WAIKIKI — Stakeholders from the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and local Hawaii community gathered at the Hale Koa Hotel, here, March 21, to work in tandem on an Area Development Plan (ADP) for the Fort DeRussy Military Reservation district of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Fort DeRussy includes the hotel and surrounding properties, such as the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, the chapel and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

This workshop, a follow-up to an ADP held in December 2013, was the first time in many years that the DOD has fully updated its master plan of the Army property. In doing so, the DOD chose to invite representatives from the City and County of Honolulu and professional planning associations, comprised of members from private agencies, to partner and share experiences.

Mark Gillem (center), principal of The Urban Collaborative, goes over possible design scenarios of the Fort DeRussy property with Department of Defense and community stakeholders during an Area Development Plan meeting at the Hale Koa Hotel, March 21.

Mark Gillem (center), principal of The Urban Collaborative, goes over possible design scenarios of the Fort DeRussy property with Department of Defense and community stakeholders during an Area Development Plan meeting at the Hale Koa Hotel, March 21.

“It was a real coming together of all the different parties that participated,” said Mark Mitsunaga, master planner, Planning Division, Directorate of Public Works, USAG-HI.

“Fort DeRussy is a little special, compared to other installations around the world,” Mitsunaga added. “Fort DeRussy is specifically designated as a rest and relaxation center for DOD members, but it has blended into and become a part of the surrounding community that is enjoyed by the people of Hawaii as much as by the military. This makes it very special and very unique.”

During the daylong workshop, participants received a briefing on the DOD’s approach to urban planning, reviewed the draft vision for the Fort DeRussy district, then crafted their own alternative visions, which were later refined following a field verification tour of the Waikiki property.

Students from the University of Hawaii-Manoa also attended the afternoon final review to see the process first-hand and learn from various planning professionals.

All in all, Mitsunaga said the outcome of the session was very productive.

“They came up with some suggestions that the City thought were really good, as well as the representatives from the Army who were in attendance.” he noted. “The next step now is that the plans (that were drafted) are going to be refined and presented to the major stakeholders for their review and their blessing.”

This ADP is just one part of USAG-HI’s overall master plan project, which began earlier this year with ADPs that covered Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation and Schofield Barracks.

An ADP for Schofield Barracks’ Kolekole/Conroy also was held March 17-20 at the Nehelani on Schofield. Future ADPs are planned to take place within the coming months, through September.

The result of the $1.3 million, 10-month project will be a living document, developed with input from Soldiers and key stakeholders, that will improve the efficient operability of activities within Army communities on the installations, as well as with the land, environment and people of Hawaii.

(Editor’s note: Read about Schofield’s future in next week’s Hawaii Army Weekly .)

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Category: Sustainability

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