Waipahu, Concept Masterplan

Transforming Waipahu into a lively urban centre that is walkable and offers a strong sense of place


Our proposals envision a mixed-use development centred around a new public space that will create a new focus for the town centre at Waipahu. The space is orientated to enhance views to the Sugar Mill Smokestack - an important local landmark. It is animated by shops, cafes, restaurants and a new supermarket, and offers a place for community activities and events. Residential and commercial uses in upper floors create a positive and well-enclosed street environment to all surrounding streets whilst parking and servicing areas have been internalised within the block. A slender residential tower was proposed to prominently mark the centre and new rail station.

Transit orientated development

Waipahu is an historic plantation town on the outskirts of Honolulu, Hawaii. Its centre is characterised by low density, car oriented development, with low rise buildings and surface car parks. The Honolulu Rail Project is currently being constructed above the Farrington Highway, and, when completed, will bring fast rail access into downtown Honolulu from Waipahu.

Urban Initiatives Studio, alongside our local partner, G70 Architects, won a competition to prepare a concept masterplan for two pivotal sites adjacent to the future station. Our client, Kamehameha Schools, a not-for-profit organisation, was looking for innovative ideas and an urban development solution that could capitalise on the enhanced public transport accessibility, and the anticipated step change this would bring to the town centre, while sensitively responding to the historic character of the adjacent Old Town.




Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii


Waipahu, Hawaii


Urban Initiatives Studio
G70 Architects


February 2017 - May 2017


Understanding of development capacity and viability of redevelopment project
Informed Kamehameha School Board decision to progress with project