Chinatown Artists Lofts

Mendonca Building
Maunakea at Hotel Street

Application information below

HAPAHAPA (Hawaii Academy of Performing Arts) a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the visual and performing arts, in conjunction with Ernest and JoDee Hunt are pleased to announce the completion of major renovations on this 109 year old historic building.

View from Window10 units of second story artist studio space are available overlooking a peaceful courtyard of tropical landscaping. Bathrooms, showers, sinks, air conditioning and other amenities have been added to each unit. Voted one of Honolulu Weekly’s 5 favorite buildings in 2008, this was one of the first built after the infamous Chinatown fires at the turn of the last century.

HAPA is accepting applications for ten units ranging from 500 to 1,500 square feet. Prices range between approximately $850. to $2,500. per month. Applicants will be selected largely based upon creative merit. “Artist” will be broadly defined to include community-oriented creative professionals in performing, visual, literary, and culinary arts as well as cultural practitioners. An ideal mix of residents would include community minded individuals of an ethnic and cultural diversity that would reflect Honolulu’s unique multi-cultural dynamic.


HAPA is an original Partner at The ARTS at Marks Garage. Artist and Marks creative director Rich Richardson has reformed HAPA this year to manage this project. Programming plans include collaborative exhibitions, an artist-in-residence program, theater training for neighborhood youth, and an open studio program for periodic public tours.

Chinatown yacht clubArtists lofts will provide an anchor for the arts, and insure sustainability and depth for the growth of an authentic arts and cultural district. Artists contribute to the positive transformation of urban areas and provide the “eyes on the streets” that make a neighborhood safer.

StairwayCreativity also attracts business, and artists support neighborhood businesses with the money they spend. They also tend to inspire or create their own new ventures, and far from being a risk, actually make places more valuable. Chinatown has the highest number of low income housing than any other place in the state, and a large percent of second story space remains vacant. Second story artist lofts will not displace residents.

The 1901 Mendonca Building is located on the central metropolitan bus corridor of Hotel Street and across from the landmark Maunakea Marketplace. Chinatown itself borders Honolulu Harbor and the Financial District, and despite troubles typical of an aging urban core, is currently undergoing a renaissance. The ground floor of Mendonca is a mix of unique businesses reflective of Chinatown in general, including an herbalist, a barbershop, a liquor store, and a beautiful garden courtyard.


Mendonca courtyard











To apply for a space, please complete an application (download below).
Materials must be emailed to
or turned in to The ARTS at Marks Garage (1159 Nuuanu Ave).

Download application here: PDF

For more information: