Welcome to the Chinatown Improvement District in Honolulu, Hawaii!

 We are a non-profit organization formed of people who are concerned about the character and future of our historic commercial neighborhood and the fabric of its community.  Many of the founders and supporters of this organization have generational ties to the area or own buildings and businesses here.  We hope that you will join us in trying to make Chinatown a better place for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

The Chinatown area, bordering Nuuanu Stream, is one of the oldest and most storied neighborhoods in Honolulu.  Here, taro farmers tended their fields, international navigators and explorers disembarked, immigrants set up businesses, and sea merchants and traders established their headquarters.  Two devastating fires decimated much of Chinatown in the late 1800’s and early 1900s only to see it rise again.

During World War II, nightclubs, theaters and brothels thrived here.  However, post-war years brought a decline to the neighborhood as construction of shopping malls in outlying areas drew away customers and adult entertainment venues and vagrancy proliferated.  In the 1960’s well-intentioned urban redevelopment efforts razed many of Chinatown’s old neighborhoods and, in the following decade, the eroding footprint of Chinatown was declared a National and then State historic district.

Today, Chinatown is enjoying a resurgence as outdoor markets and lei stands mix with galleries, apothecaries and an eclectic assortment of eateries.   But it is a delicate balance—preserving the qualities and traditions that make the area unique while adapting to new uses and times.  When the rail station is built on the edge of Chinatown, more changes will come.
Here are some of the projects we are working on:
  • •Working with interested building owners to establish roving security patrols on a
  •       regular basis who will increase safety in the neighborhood and act as a deterrent 
  •       to crime.  
  • •Researching and educating community members about how the proposed National
  •       Heritage Area could impact them.  
  • •Partnering with the Hawaii Heritage Center on special tours of a historical, educational
  •       and cultural nature throughout the Chinatown District.
  • •Partnering with the Lions Club on their Safe Sidewalks program in the Downtown and
  •       Chinatown areas.  The City provides all materials and community members work to
  •       patch and repair sidewalk cracks, holes and uplifts.  This increases safety
  •       for thousands of pedestrians in the Downtown and Chinatown areas.
  • •Partnering with HPU to provide real-life hands on experience for students on a joint
  •       project.
  • •Researching grafitti removers and preventive coatings which are sensitive to the historic
  •       brick and stone buildings in the district.
  • Why we support the request of Chinatown land and business owners to withdraw from the proposed Hawaii National Heritage Area

Letter of Concerns
Letter Supporting Withdrawal