Friday, March 19, 2004

City OKs
Wal-Mart permit

The retail giant's Pearl City store
could open early next year

Following detailed negotiations with the city, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it hopes to open its store at Pearl City early next year.

The Arkansas retailing giant said the city approved its building permit for the 140,000-square-foot store on Tuesday after a year of negotiations over traffic and infrastructure concerns.

Cynthia Lin, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said that the company will complete its acquisition of the 20-acre Manana parcel in the next three months and plans to open by the first quarter next year.

The property is near the Pearl Highlands Center, where the company operates a Sam's Club outlet.

The new store will complement Wal-Mart's Kunia location and a planned Wal-Mart and Sam's Club at the Keeaumoku Superblock. The Keeaumoku stores will open this fall.

Wal-Mart said it will employ a staff of about 450 at the new store.

The city approved the company's building permit for the Pearl City site after the company agreed to pay for traffic improvements in the area. Lin noted that the company is working closely with the city and the Pearl City Neighborhood board to resolve traffic concerns.

The off-site improvements are expected to cost about $2 million.

Lin said that some of the smaller parcels included in the sale would be used for complementary businesses, such as restaurants.

Real estate sources have said that Sam's Club is considering a gasoline station at one of the parcels. Competitor Costco sells gasoline to members at its Iwilei and Waipio locations at prices of up to 10 cents a gallon less than most gasoline retailers.


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