Throughout the State of Hawai’i, food manufacturing is experiencing growth of 3 percent per year. Kapalama, a neighborhood of Honolulu, holds 55 percent of the statewide total, and is positioned for further growth. Both locally and nationally, there is a growing awareness of the economic impact that can be generated by encouraging more local food manufacturing. Specifically, the local, tourist, and export demand products that reflect Hawai’ian culture, heritage, and values. Moreover, food manufacturing is seen as a critical component of a sustainable and integrated local food ecosystem, and a source of well-paying jobs.
Urbane Development partnered with Econsult Solutions on behalf of Kamehameha Schools, a private charitable educational trust, to assess the feasibility of a shared food manufacturing facility in urban Honolulu on land managed by the Commercial Real Estate Division (CRED) of Kamehameha Schools (KS). The team first sought to understand the food-manufacturing ecosystem on O‘ahu, within which the facility would operate. Second, it sought to assess market demand in order to determine how to position the facility and its users for success.
To identify these needs, the consulting team conducted an analysis of secondary data, in conjunction with on-the-ground information gathering. The team conducted 67 stakeholder interviews in addition to a survey of food manufacturers on O’ahu. The evaluation of results was performed through the lens business models and best practices from shared facilities throughout the US.
To better understand the context of the project, the team did a deep-dive into the local food economy and the food- manufacturing ecosystem. The findings from this in-depth analysis generated valuable insights that informed the broader scope of the recommendations. The breadth and depth of the food industry on the local economy and the vital role of small businesses to the food ecosystem informed the direction of Phase I of this project.
The research resulted in a series of recommendations for a shared manufacturing facility, including shared values amongst tenants and operators; design characteristics that lend themselves to a collaborative workspace; expert management entity; and a tenant mix that reflects the uses and community it serves. Additionally, the team identified a number of next steps for a Phase II of the project. The team continues to assess the feasibility of this project to develop a working business plan that includes operational, financial, and programmatic details.