Blaisdell Center

Honolulu, HI  |  Client: City and County of Honolulu

Blaisdell Center

Honolulu, HI

Client: City and County of Honolulu

Case Study


The 22-acre Neal S. Blaisdell Center complex in downtown Honolulu, which includes a 2,200-seat concert hall, a 7,500-seat arena, and a 65,000-square foot exhibit hall, is O’ahu’s major indoor event destination but dates to the early 1960s and was not designed for the needs of modern events. Along with growth in the surrounding Kaka’ako Community Development District and other new downtown development, the city and county sought a masterplan for a renewed complex that would serve the island’s future needs.


David was part of the masterplan team that included local and national economists, architects, planners, and cost consultants. The masterplan considered a wide range of uses of the existing facilities and the broader site, including renovation and new development options. These scenarios were analyzed within the context of market research and technical analyses that addressed the local and statewide inventory of facilities, dynamics of attracting events to Honolulu (which is known as the most remote major city in the world), physical considerations, and the market for various land use types on O’ahu.

The resulting study provided a set of land use alternatives for the complex’s site and a “preferred land use plan” that identified the most viable option based on all research and site considerations. The study also provided recommendations for next steps and implementation, which are being followed by the city and county as they continue to plan for improvements and attract funding. Most recently, the city/county issued an RFQ for a nearly $800-million public-private partnership that will include a combination of renovations and new development.