I was reading in the paper and came across an article – “Haleiwa to be rebuilt.” The article headline made me sad. I know change is necessary to evolution, but for some reason I found this news distressing.

When I first visited Oahu I stayed on the North Shore for two weeks and loved the charm of Haleiwa. So I was very interested when I learned that Kamehameha Schools has plans for Oahu’s famous rural North Shore.

Part of the plan includes redeveloping the landmark Matsumoto Shave Ice building and adding 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of new commercial space in historic Haleiwa town. So what exactly does “redeveloping the landmark Matsumoto” mean exactly? How could you change the Mecca of shave ice?

According to the article in the Advertiser, the plan is to “revitalize the rural community.” These plans come after two years of community meetings where the developers incorporated suggestions by area residents. The good news is that the trust’s main goal is to keep the North Shore’s rural character intact. As it stands now, the proposed development includes both affordable housing units, as well as market-priced homes. It will also incorporate a plantation-style “Town Center” for new businesses, retail shops, a grocery and drug store as well as office space at the Matsumoto site, totaling 50,000 to 100,000 square feet.

The residential projects are expected to be completed in five to 10 years, with the overall plan targeted within the next 15 to 20 years. Let’s hope they also have a plan for all the traffic.

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