Transit-Oriented Development
Leave a Comment

An Overview of the Honolulu Rail Project and Transit-Oriented Development – Simply Put

After all the delays, law suits and speculation, the question is no longer whether rail is going to move forward but rather to understand and maximize the potential benefits of Transit-Oriented Development aka TOD. Simply put, TOD is development that focuses on land uses around a transit station or within a transit corridor.


  • Diversity of land uses
  • Mixed use development encouraged
  • Higher levels of density appropriate to the community
  • Mix of housing options and dedicated affordable housing
  • Intermodal connectivity including pedestrian, bikes and buses
  • Green infrastructure and open space
  • Low parking requirements and alternatives to car ownership
  • High quality design and strong sense of place and culture

The approach of the City and County of Honolulu has shifted over the past year or so from using concentric rings at ¼ mile and ½ mile around a transit station to outline TOD impacted areas. Now the approach is to identify TOD Zones that are more organic and specific to each station. This corridor-wide TOD Zone will be known as the TOD Special District and will eventually be governed by special zoning regulations similar to what we see in Waikiki. At present, there are special IPD-T (Interim Planned Development-Transit) guidelines available to encourage TOD in these areas now.


The guide way sweeps across the Ewa Plains. [Photo courtesy of HART]

The guide way sweeps across the Ewa Plains. [Photo courtesy of HART]

A remarkable transformation is taking place right now in West and Central Oahu as the rail project sweeps across the Ewa Plain into Waipahu and on to Pearl City and, sooner than you expect, to Ala Moana Center. The columns are rising and the guide way is forming while residents of communities along the route anticipate the day when they can ride the rail. Forward thinkers are deeply immersed in re-imaging what our communities will look like in five years, 10 years, 20 years and well beyond. Given that 60% of Oahu’s population lives along the rail corridor, the opportunities for shaping the future of how we live, work and connect are significant and worth serious discussion and consideration.

It is good to keep in mind that the entire TOD process is truly a work in progress. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for individuals and groups to have a significant impact on shaping the future of the community. Our Colliers TOD team has been impressed with the willingness of the DPP-TOD group to engage, share and listen.

Backed by our National Director, Rod Mullice, the local Honolulu TOD team provides a wide range of services to owners, investors and developers. Our Strategic Advisory Services include Opportunity Analysis, Transaction Management Process, Capital Markets and Brokerage.

Please contact us for further information.

Colliers Honolulu TOD Team
Gail Jennings
Project Lead
Transit-Oriented Development

Alika Cosner
Senior Associate
Transit-Oriented Development | Industrial

Ryan Marn (CCIM)
Transit-Oriented Development | Retail

Mark Bratton (CCIM, SIOR)
Executive Vice President
Investment Services

William “Bill” Froelich (CCIM, SIOR, JD)
Vice President
Investment Services | Industrial

Mike Hamasu
Director of Consulting and Research

Nanette M. Vinton
Research Consultant/Project Manager

This entry was posted in: Transit-Oriented Development


Project Lead for the Colliers Hawaii Transit-Oriented Development Group. The Honolulu Rail Transit project is underway and the time is now to work together to ensure that we have thriving communities that promote health, opportunity and sustainability for everyone. Now is the time to communicate and connect our visions for the future while working to make them happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s