Chai's Island Bistro, one of the few remaining signs of life at Aloha Tower Marketplace is closing at the end of the year.

I'm not sure if the complex was ever really thriving, though I'm certain people used to spend more time there (poor parking notwithstanding). I do recall a rather messy change in management a few years ago, after which things really seemed to fall apart.

It used to be a favorite place for my in-laws to wander for a morning each time they visited. Last year, I met them there to find a veritable ghost town. Empty retail spaces everywhere, with tiny businesses lost in space, eking out an existence like weeds in the cracks of a broad expanse of cold concrete.

Now a seemingly perfectly positioned retail and dining hotspot is being eyed as a place to stash HPU students... making for perhaps one of the more picturesque college dorm settings out there.

Similar to Restaurant Row, dumping the food-promising moniker for a more generally corporate name (One Waterfront), it seems the harbor area is a tough place to do business. Any ideas why?