Thursday, November 21, 2002

Inspiration Home & Office Furnishings will expand to the top floor of the 130,000-square-foot J.C. Penney site in Pearlridge Center. The store will seek tenants for the remainder of the space.

Inspiration owners
to expand with
Penney site

The furniture store will
share the space with tenants

By Russ Lynch

The owners of the furniture store Inspiration have purchased the two-story J.C. Penney location in the Pearlridge Center, expanding its space to six times its present size.

The company is looking for tenants to share the 130,000 square feet of space, saying it will likely use the top floor for an expanded Inspiration store and lease out the lower floor to other retailers.

In an unusual situation, the Penney building, and the existing 22,000-square-foot Inspiration Home & Office Furnishings store next door are outside Pearlridge Center as a stand-alone complex, connected to the mall through the J.C. Penney store.

Inspiration will have the right to find its own tenants without needing to work through the Pearlridge management, said Inspiration spokeswoman Joett Colgan. She said her company "will be very selective" in choosing tenants to make sure they fit with the center. Pearlridge Center officials were not available for comment.

The Penney building was purchased by HDC Properties LLC, an affiliate of Inspiration Hawaii Inc., from Florida-based Kin Properties. The price was not disclosed. Inspiration said the announcement in early October that the Pearlridge J.C. Penney store will close Jan. 10 created an opportunity for the furniture business to expand. Penney will also close its Ala Moana Center and Hilo stores Jan. 10, leaving one Maui store as its only Hawaii presence.

Inspiration opened at Pearlridge in 1997. The Hawaii company is owned by Thomas Sorenson, who founded Scan/Design Furniture here in 1979 but later left the business, and Peter Skaaning.

Sorenson also is the developer of the $45 million Honolulu Design Center, a five-story, 110,000-square-foot retail complex planned for Kapiolani Boulevard land near McKinley High School that used to house the Kodak building and the Flamingo Chuckwagon restaurant.

Construction of that project, which will be anchored by a 50,000-square-foot Inspiration store, is scheduled to start next month, Colgan said.

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