New shopping centerBy Rod Thompson
planned for Big Island
KEAAU, Hawaii -- W.H. Shipman Ltd. has announced plans for a new shopping center on 32 acres adjoining the company's 488-acre business park in Keaau.
The project, which will include a supermarket, will create about 470 jobs when completed in 2008, said company President Bob Saunders.
The project will also include a form of zoning which will permit a mix of uses from light industrial to commercial and office space, he said. That part of the project is expected to produce 300 jobs.
The project's success is expected to be based on the existing pattern of growth in the surrounding Puna district. Growth has already led to creation of a new elementary and a new high school in Keaau, and the continuing construction of a bypass highway around the small town.
Saunders declined to name the supermarket company which will serve as anchor for the shopping center.
Less than a mile away, in the heart of the town, a Sure Save supermarket anchors the Keaau Shopping Center.
The new supermarket will be built in about three years, Saunders said.
About one quarter of the existing Shipman Business Park is occupied, he said. It is screened by trees from the Volcano Highway which passes it.
The new center will have more visibility and its zoning will be more flexible, Saunders said.