Costco says building store on Kauai is too expensive
IF you're holding your breath until Costco
opens its planned first store on Kauai, please breathe. Costco's Garden Island expansion is "delayed or abandoned completely," said Jeff Brotman, the company's chairman.
Construction bids for building the new store were 30 percent more than the company is willing to pay, Brotman said.
Costco is hip to Hawaii's high costs, having built stores in Hawaii Kai, Iwilei and Waipio on Oahu, Kona on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui. And yes, Brotman knows there's a construction boom going on, "but I guess until you get a little dose of medicine, you're not really thinking you're sick," he said.
Construction would have begun or would soon be under way, had the construction bids been in the ballpark.
Costco execs will see if plans can be downsized, such as by eliminating the planned six- to eight-pump gas station.
The company has not yet abandoned plans to expand to Kauai, "but it's such a huge gap, I don't have a lot of optimism that it's going to work," Brotman said. The final decision will be made soon.
Costco said in January it would buy a 14.8-acre parcel from Grove Farm Co. and projected hiring 100 full-time and 100 part-time employees.
While construction is Costco's kuleana, Grove Farm has helped secure zoning and other approvals. "We're going to try our best to make it work somehow," said Marissa Sandblom, vice president.
Connie Lau, head of American Savings Bank
, has been named among the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by US Banker magazine, which ranked her at No. 11.
Today's "Oprah Winfrey Show" on KHON may highlight Lanikai Juice Co.
in Kailua as one of "Lost" star Matthew Fox's favorite places.
A video crew stopped by the juice shop to shoot him whipping up a smoothie.
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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com