In ancient times, Kaka‘ako was an area comprised of fishing villages, fishponds and salt ponds. To Native Hawaiians, pa‘akai (salt) was valued like gold and Kaka‘ako’s salt ponds were of major importance to the area.
In the 1800s residential construction began and diverse immigrant “camps” grew. Kaka‘ako’s industrial roots began with the establishment of the Honolulu Iron Works, a metal foundry and machine shop. Small stores, churches, schools and parks were built including Pohukaina School next to Mother Waldron Park. Kaka‘ako grew and became a community built on a blue-collar work ethic, social activism and family.
In the mid-1900s zoning for Kaka‘ako changed from residential to commercial. Small businesses and entrepreneurship grew as wholesaling, warehousing and other industrial businesses displaced residents leading to the urban Kaka‘ako we’re familiar with.
The evolution of Kaka‘ako continues with SALT. Along Auahi, a dynamic gathering place is flourishing, built on the hard-working, entrepreneurial spirit of the past. The businesses, restaurants and shops of SALT at Our Kaka‘ako continue to honor the spirit of the past while looking forward to the future. It’s a special destination where you’ll always find something surprising, just around the corner.