Artspace, the nation's leading real estate developer for the arts, has been meeting with artists, arts and community organizations and government partners in Hawai`i since 2009. Invited by PA`I, with support from the Ford Foundation, and other local and national funders, we have been working to understand the space needs of the creative community in Hawai`i and how permanent, affordable space for the arts would meet city, county and state goals for economic development, transit-oriented development, and cultural preservation. Our local development partner, EAH Housing, will also operate as the property manager. The shared vision to emerge from this work is Ola Ka `Ilima Artspace, a mixed-use arts development blending live/work space for artists and their families, space for non-profit partners and space for community events and gatherings. Ola Ka `Ilima Artspace will be located in the Kaka`ako neighborhood of Honolulu, a transitional neighborhood of light industrial property between the downtown business district and Waikiki Beach.
Ola Ka `Ilima Artspace will include 84 units of affordable live/work space for low-income artists and their families. Residential units will feature high ceilings, large windows, durable surfaces, large doors and wide hallways to accommodate a variety of creative activities. Each of the residential units will be larger than a typical affordable unit to allow for ample workspace. Like all Artspace projects, this building will be multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary.
Ola Ka `Ilima Artspace will have more than 17,000 square feet of community and greenspace, including a playground area and a community room available to residents, partnering non-profit organizations, and the surrounding community for rehearsal, exhibitions, performances, and events.
Approximately 4,500 square feet will be reserved for PA`I Arts & Culture Center, for Native Hawaiian dancers, musicians, visual artists, cultural practitioners and others who are interested in experiencing Native Hawaiian cultural traditions. The Cultural Center will combine classroom space and flexible space for teaching and performing Hula, music, and other traditional practices. Through video conferencing technology, the Cultural Center will be networked to audiences and artistic partners both across the Islands and around the world. Although it is a transit-oriented development, the project will provide adequate parking for residents and visitors.