Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Home Depot scraps plan to buy Keeaumoku site

Just a week after announcing its intention to buy the 8.5-acre "superblock" on Keeaumoku Street, mainland big box retailer Home Depot has apparently backed off.

A statement issued yesterday from the Atlanta-based home improvement store chain said the deal does not make sense. Home Depot had signed a letter of intent to review a purchase of the property to build a store.

Real estate sources say the potential $30 million cost of the superblock would make it expensive to open just one store. Another mainland retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., last month let a purchase agreement lapse to buy the superblock.

Workers' comp payouts in state fell 9.6% in '99

Workers' compensation payouts by Hawaii employers decreased 9.6 percent to $211.1 million in 1999, from $233.5 million in 1998, according to new information from the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Workers compensation payouts in Hawaii as a percentage of total payroll fell to 1.43 percent from 1.64 percent. Nationally, that figure fell to 1.05 percent in 1999, from 1.09 percent in 1998. The data is the most recent available.

Wayne Metcalf, Hawaii insurance commissioner, said the number of workers compensation claims in Hawaii has dropped, because of such factors as increased workplace safety. However, the claims that do get paid tend to be higher than in the past, he said.

Dillingham to sell paving business to Grace Pacific

Hawaiian Bitumuls Paving & Precast Co., which has been part of the Hawaii-founded Dillingham business for more than 60 years, will be sold to a Dillingham competitor in Hawaii's construction business, Grace Pacific Corp., if negotiations now under way are successfully concluded.

The company notified the state late last week that a sale is pending and that 142 of Dillingham's 678 employees are affected. However, the new owner expects to hire all of them, the notice said.

William J. Wilson, president of the parent Dillingham, said yesterday that the parties are close to a definitive agreement but it is not yet a done deal. The target is July 3, he said.

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