Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $18,000 in-kind (rental of office and operation expenses such as staff, telephone, copy services, et.) to A Better Chinatown Association.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell met with Eddie Flores, Jr. about a year ago. He lamented that Honolulu is one of the oldest Chinatowns in America and yet it does not have a Chinatown arch. Mayor Caldwell asked Eddie to take on the project to build a Chinatown arch that the Chinese community will be proud of.


Eddie asked Bryan Andaya, President and Chief Operating Officer of L & L Hawaiian Barbecue, to establish a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and under the name of “A Better Chinatown Association (ABCA)”. The mission of ABCA is to build a Chinatown arch; to promote economic development in Chinatown; and to have a safe and clean Chinatown for local residents and tourists. 

Eddie donated $20,000 as seed money. He opened a bank checking account under the name of A Better Chinatown Association.

The officers are as follow:

  • Eddie Flores, Jr. (Chair and Director)
  • Peter Shi (Director)
  • Gifford Chang (Director
  • Lou Chang (Director)
  • Elisia Flores (Director)

The Board of Directors formed an Advisory Committee. 

  • Dr. Joseph Young (Honorary Chair)
  • Eddie Flores, Jr. (Chair)

 The Advisory Committee members are:

  • Lt. Governor Josh Green
  • Hawaii State Representative Daniel Holt
  • Hawaii State Senator Karl Rhoads
  • Peter Shi
  • Elisia Flores
  • Gifford Chang
  • Mona Choy
  • Michele Choy
  • Lucy Wong
  • Edwina Lee
  • Victor Lim
  • Leonard Kam
  • Joseph Hu


Eddie met with Harrison Hue and Andrew Tang to plan on building the China arch. Harrison is the City of Honolulu Community Building and TOD Administrator and Andrew works for the Transit-Oriented Development of the City of Honolulu.

Andrew Tang spent over 2 years on the design. He completed the preliminary model of the Chinatown arch earlier. It is a hybrid of modern and classical design. The arch is very unique and it will stand out as a new landmark in Honolulu.  


The Internal Revenue Service approved A Better Chinatown Association as a 501(3)c non-profit corporation.


ABCA hired Structural Service LLC to start on the engineering and structural design. Zihang Ou is the principal of Structural Service and is licensed as a structural engineer in the State of Hawaii. He is approved as a “residential third-party reviewer” for the City and County of Honolulu. 


After consulting many Chinese historians and experts, the following Chinese characters will be placed on the Chinatown arch.


林           石    

森           築    

檀           家    

島           園    

澤           光    

潤           耀    

僑           華    

胞           埠


All under heaven is shared. (Top)

“Eternal Happiness in Hawaii”  (top)

“The Forest of the Hawaiian Islands Nourishes the Chinese Overseas” (side)

“A Rock Foundation in the Garden Beautifies Chinatown” (side)

Ming-Bao Yue, Director for Chinese Studies at the
University of Hawaii  and the office staff at L & L Hawaiian Barbecue
assisted with the translation.

Chinatown Arch Honorees

The first Chinatown Arch at King and Kekaulike Streets will honor fourteen Chinese individuals who made significant contributions to the Chinese community and Chinatown. They are the movers and shakers in the Chinese community. Their profiles will be inscribed at the base of the arch’s two pillars. The selection committee consists of Michele Choy, Victor Lim, Elisia Flores, Mona Choy, Peter Shi, Leonard Kam, Edwina Lee, Dr. Lucy Wong, Gifford Chang, Joseph Hu, and Eddie Flores, Jr. The selection committee received the names of twenty-six qualified candidates for consideration. They made the final selection by secret ballots for the fourteen honorees. Their votes were sent directly to Joseph Hu who made the final accounting. The selection process was fair and transparent.

The selection was based on:

  • (1) outstanding record in his/her business or profession
  • (2) recognizable name in the community
  • (3) significant contributions to the Chinese community and Chinatown, and
  • (4) a trailblazer that paved the way for the Chinese community 

The names of the fourteen honorees will be announced later in a press release.

A big mahalo to all the members of the selection committee for their hard work.


Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $10,000 to A Better Chinatown Association.

Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $18,000 in-kind (rental of office and operation expenses such as staff, telephone, copy services, et.) to A Better Chinatown Association.


ABCA signed an agreement with the City of Honolulu to give permission to ABCA to design and to install the Chinatown Arch.  The first arch will be built at King and Kekaulike Street. The second arch is located at Hotel and Kekaulike Street.   Andrew Tang spent several years on this project and designed a version that is very unusual.


The design was presented to the Honolulu Commission on Culture and Arts for review on February of 2020.  The Honolulu Commission on Culture and Arts committee members unanimously approved the design and congratulated Andrew Tang for his work. 


Andrew Tang completed the drawing of the Chinatown Arch.  Zihang Ou of Structural Service LLC started to complete the engineering and structural design.


The Chinatown Arch selection committee voted and selected the fourteen honorees.


Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $18,000 in-kind (rental of office and operation expenses such as staff, telephone, copy services, et.) to A Better Chinatown Association.

Jason DeMarco AIA joined Andrew Tang AIA from Polyline Architect = Urbanism as our lead architect for the Chinatown Arch project.


As one of our first projects to improve Honolulu Chinatown, ABCA hired CAA Cabinets and Construction to remove the graffiti and to repaint the Chinatown Gateway. This is the first time Chinatown was repainted in 20 years.   Please see the link to our TV coverage.

A Better Chinatown Association is planning an exhibition of the fourteen honorees. We are working with Central Pacific Bank as one of our sponsors.  Jill Fukumoto and Brandon Dela Cruz from L & L Hawaiian Barbecue had been assigned to update the information for the fourteen honorees and to design the exhibition. The exhibition is tentatively set for February 21, 2022, at the Central Pacific Bank Main Office lobby.


Dr. Joseph W. C. Young, one of the fourteen honorees, made a generous donation of $50,000 to support the project.


Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $10,000 to A Better Chinatown Association.

Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $18,000 in-kind (rental of office and operation expenses such as staff, telephone, copy services, et.) to A Better Chinatown Association.

Members of A Better Chinatown members re-painted and repaired the existing Chinatown Arch at the intersection of King and River Street.



Central Pacific Bank Foundation donated $25,000 for the first exhibition of the fourteen honorees and a short presentation of Chinatown history. 
(see picture)


Members of the A Better Chinatown Association supported a project with students to paint and beautify Chinatown.
(see picture)


Members of the A Better Chinatown Association worked in injunction with the City and County of Honolulu to display banners of the fourteen honorees at Kekaulike Mall in Chinatown.

The project team was sad of passing of Dr. Joseph Young, ABCA Honorary Advisor.  Dr. Young was a pillar in Honolulu Chinatown and a great supporter of the Honolulu Chinatown Arch. Dr. Young donated $50,000 and his family and friends donated to the project.

In honor of Dr. Joseph Young and the rest of the Chinatown honorees, fourteen banners with their pictures were placed on the lampposts at Kekaulike Mall for two months. Dr. Young’s family and friends donated $3,050 to ABCA.


The Honolulu City Parks Department asked ABCA to remove the banners so renovation could start at Kekaulike Mall. ABCA were asked to wait until the completion of the renovation before ABCA could start working on the Chinatown Arch.


CQ Yee Hop Foundation donated $3,500 to support the Chinatown Arch. Many thanks to Kimberlee Bassford and her family for the support.


Eddie and Elaine Flores donated $20,000 to ABCD and $18,000 in-kind donation.


The construction and design team met in early December to finalize the construction. Tony Shi who is a licensed contractor joined the team.


Cumulative Donations as of 1/1/2024

Eddie and Elaine Flores
Cash:              $50,000
In-Kind:          $72,000

Dr. Joseph Young
Cash:             $50,000

Central Pacific Bank Foundation
Cash:           $25,000

C Q Yee Hop Foundation
Cash:          $3,500

Dr. Joseph Young’s Family and Friends
Cash:           $3,050

Peter Shi – CAA Construction & Cabinets
In-Kind:      $2,000



The first arch should be built in 2025 and the second in 2027.