- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - A City Council measure would require studying the feasibility of moving Honolulu’s seat of government out of downtown to Kapolei.

Kapolei was developed with the idea of becoming Oahu’s so-called “second city,” but that hasn’t quite happened.

The Council Budget Committee advanced a resolution Wednesday to study moving City Hall from Honolulu Hale downtown to a spacious new building in Kapolei.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin says Honolulu Hale, which opened in 1929 on King and Punchbowl streets, is cramped, requiring city agencies to rent office space in private buildings, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://ow.ly/yuw96) reported.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to look at another facility,” he said. “And we own a significant amount of acreage next to Kapolei Hale, totally not being utilized.”

Martin said Honolulu Hale could become the permanent home for the Royal Hawaiian Band, the only full-time municipal band in the United States. “It’s such a beautiful place and the acoustics are so excellent,” he said.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his administration would have until Dec. 31 to complete the study.

The California-Spanish building was placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places in 1975 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

“This building is a beautiful building … but it’s really lacking in this modern day,” said Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi.

Oahu resident Richard Elstner was the only person to testify on the issue. “You have this beautiful, architecturally historic building right here in the middle of downtown Honolulu, where everything is,” he said.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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