PAIA, Hawaii >> The coach and general manager of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team is renovating a small landmark commercial building on Maui, saying he wants to preserve the small-town feel of Paia.
NBA coach saves Maui
"I love Paia Town, I always have," said Don Nelson, a part-time Maui resident and owner of the Kobayashi building.
"It's like a throwback to the 1960s."
Nelson said the building, which once housed Kobayashi Service Station, will be renamed the Shops at Paia and have three businesses, including an Internet cafe.
Improvements include replacing its trademark canopy, installing a cobblestone-embossed concrete walking path and a lawn.
"We want to keep the integrity of the building," Nelson said Friday as he examined the building.
"The preservation is respectful of the old Paia look. We want to keep that but also give the people something nice to visit."
Plans also calls for installing a sidewalk.
"Look out there now -- there's no sidewalk," he said. "We're stuck down here at the end of town. It's like they forgot about us."
Neighbor Jim Fuller, owner of Charley's Restaurant, said he is glad to see the historic building restored.
"I think he's doing a good thing," Fuller said. "He's fixing things up, and he's really doing a nice job."
While Nelson was not sure how old the building is, there are photos of Kobayashi Service Station dated 1917.
"We're happy to see a property owner come in and be willing to reinvest in an existing building and to work with the community to try to retain the flavor and character that helps Paia retain its sense of self and place," said Jocelyn Perreira of the Paia Main Street Association.
County of Maui
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