Local Businessman Duane Kurisu Envisions a Plantation-style Community with Plantation-era Values

Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Late last month, 24 prefabricated steel-framed boxes that had been manufactured by a Japanese company as emergency homes for victims of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima arrived in the Islands to become part of a community effort to combat the complex and challenging problem of housing O‘ahu’s growing homeless population. The effort — really an experiment — is the vision of commercial real estate investor Duane Kurisu, who also owns locally produced magazines, local sports radio station ESPN 1420 and is a part-owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, among other business ventures.

For most of this year, however, Kurisu has been busy assembling a team of some 40 companies and organizations to build what Kurisu has named “Kahauiki Village,” an innovative, energy efficient plantation-style community for homeless individuals and families. The village will be situated on a slip of land sandwiched between Sand Island and Ke‘ehi Lagoon, on the makai (oceanside) side of Nimitz Highway. According to “Place Names of Hawaii” by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert and Esther T. Mookini, the area was once abundant with kalo (taro) terraces.

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