UH Marine Center faces relocation deadline

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News,Science and Technology

HONOLULU (AP) — About 80 businesses at the old Kapalama Military Reservation have been given an early deadline to vacate in order to make way for a $250 million shipping container terminal on 90 acres at Honolulu Harbor.

The University of Hawaii Marine Center is among the tenants. While most tenants have month-to-month leases, the marine center's lease goes through 2038, according to Monday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://is.gd/4tPuUp ).

The state Department of Transportation Harbors Division wants the center to move to Piers 34 and 35, and the university is willing to do so. But after years of negotiations, the university program now says it is being offered less land, less building space and not enough funds to make the move.

The university program is located on 16 acres at Snug Harbor. University officials say the two large research ships located there make the University of Hawaii one of the top five ocean science institutes in the country.

Brian Taylor, dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, said the latest estimate for building renovations at Piers 34 and 35 is $16 million. But, he said, the Harbors Division allocated half of what is needed. The Transportation Department is questioning the $16 million renovation cost estimate.

The latest relocation plan offers six acres at the piers and a 7.1-acre Sand Island site instead of the 16 acres in current use, and about 50,000 square feet of building space compared with the 80,000 square feet used now, Taylor said. UH has agreed to $4 million in concessions but will have to go to the state Legislature in the coming session and ask for $6 million to make the move work, he said.

The university and the department continue to discuss the relocation, he said, "but we haven't agreed to move because we haven't got the terms of the move settled."

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

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