Climate change is a hot topic, but this time it’s not related to global warming. Instead it’s about the local economic climate of our nation’s second oldest Chinatown, located on O‘ahu. This opportunistically rich cultural center can be traced back to the 1800s, when Captain William Brown called it “Fair Haven,” from the translation of the word “Honolulu.” By the end of the century, the area became a bustling hub filled with recently arrived Chinese immigrants, who owned and operated many of the stores in Chinatown.
Today, more than a century later, Chinatown remains filled with opportunity. In October 2014, founder and CEO of Real Office Centers, or ROC as it is known, Ron McElroy (who is originally from Moloka‘i) put down roots in Chinatown with the opening of his first workspace in Hawai‘i. An avid supporter of the local community, McElroy is contributing to and facilitating economic growth and opportunities for the culturally rich Honolulu community.
In Chinatown, the next generation’s entrepreneurs are rekindling the fire of innovation and global commerce the 21st century way: in cooperative work environments and with support to handle the day-to-day operations and facility management so they can focus on what they do best. ROC is located on the corner of Nu‘uanu and Hotel streets and offers collaborative workspace, meeting rooms, and event space for entrepreneurs and the community at large. Focused on strengthening commerce, culture, and community, the recent work to revitalize Chinatown by local businesses, the Hawai‘i chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and ROC have created a place to thrive. Chinatown Honolulu is both rich with history and abundant with opportunity.