Gov. Ige Signs Historic Bill Defining Hilo Community Economic District
On Friday, July 6, 2018, at HPM Building Supply Company in Hilo, Gov. David Ige signed Senate Bill 3058 (Relating to Public Lands) into law.
Building on the work of the Banyan Drive Hawai‘i Redevelopment Agency, this bill will expand the application and scope of their effort and move toward crafting a master plan of all state lands in the Hilo urban core, including Banyan Drive, Wailoa State Park, Kanoelehua Industrial Area, the Hilo International Airport and Pier and other nearby state lands.
The bill defines the Hilo community economic district. It authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to extend or modify the terms of certain public land leases within the economic district upon approval by BLNR of a lessee’s development agreement to make substantial improvements to or construct new improvements on the land as long as the length of any extension granted does not extend the original lease term by more than 40 years.
“As many of you are well aware SB3058 will address a longstanding issue in the KIAA that affects our leasees of much of Hiloʻs state industrial & commercial lands and many of its core businesses,” said Sen. Kai Kahele. “Generally speaking this bill will allow lease extensions with substantial improvements and will avoid the public auction process that many of our longstanding business had hoped to avoid. It will also require investment in those properties and should also spur investment in many of the unoccupied and now derelict properties in the KIAA. In addition the bill will create in statute the “Hilo Community Economic District” that covers the majority of Hiloʻs industrial, airport, harbor, Banyan Drive and bay front areas. This community economic district is the starting point for investment by the State and County in Hilo and East Hawai‘iʻs economic future.”