February 22, 2014 | Source: bizjournals.com

Group 70 designing Hoopili downtown unique to Hawaii

D.R. Horton — Schuler Division’s 11,750-home master-planned Hoopili project in West Oahu, which is being designed by Group 70 International, will include a redesigned downtown that will focus on the planned rail transit stations that will look unlike anything in Hawaii, according to the chairman of the Honolulu-based architecture firm.

Francis Oda of Group 70, said in a video released on a new Hoopili project website unveiled on Friday, that the downtown area will be pedestrian-friendly and will include weekend markets and cafes along its main street.

The downtown area will be located on the “spine” of the community going all the way from the high school to the central park and neighborhood.

Oda also noted that it repositioned the schools so they would serve the communities that they’re in.

For instance, the lower schools are located in various neighborhoods, the middle school is located in the middle of the community and the high school is close to the downtown area within walking distance to to the planned rail transit line.

The updated plan calls for a linear park to use space that’s under the transit guideway as a place where people will gather.

“It’s large enough to play informal soccer [and to have] community gardens,” Oda said. “[We also] repositioned the major parks, [making them] in very accessible places and then have a central park, a signature for the community.”

The agricultural component will be consolidated and put in places where it could be used as commercial agriculture that will be increased to a capacity of 200 acres.

“Now it is in a good place, a model for urban agriculture,” Oda said. “There will still be personal agriculture near homes for people who want it.”

D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) expects to start construction on the Hoopili project in early 2015 and deliver the first homes shortly after.

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