Target finds bull’s-eye in Kapolei
Target Corp. is looking to put its first Hawaii store at Kapolei Commons, a so-called lifestyle mall being developed in part by the MacNaughton Group.
"We have an understanding with Target to say nothing," said Chairman Duncan MacNaughton, asked by the Star-Bulletin if Target had a signed lease for space.
Target confirmed in a statement only that it is "exploring sites in the Kapolei area" and said it had not settled on any one site or timetable.
Neighborhood board chairwoman Maeda Timson said that Target representatives had gone further in private, however.
"They did say to all of us that they were coming to ... part of Kapolei Commons," Timson said.
Target had been in escrow to buy the 20-acre site of the proposed Laulani Village retail and office complex in Ewa Beach, but that deal fell apart late in January.
Despite its splashy advertising, Target "likes to play it close to the vest," said City Councilman Nestor Garcia, who mentioned that the company was looking at the area during the Makakilo/Kapolei neighborhood board meeting Wednesday night.
The discussion during that part of the meeting was focused on big-box stores, as Wal-Mart's plans to open a store in the area have stirred up controversy.
Garcia addressed the meeting saying, "by the way, while we're in the subject of big-kind department stores, I just wanted to say that Target was coming," he told the Star-Bulletin.
"People's eyes kind of lit up," he said.
Target officials met with Garcia, fellow Councilman Todd Apo and Timson, to discuss their interest.
After Garcia's comment, Timson confirmed to meeting attendees "that I did meet with them and they wanted to come to our board meeting, but the agenda was full," so she put them on the agenda for March, she said.
"It's kind of exciting," said Timson.
"With all this controversy about Wal-Mart, the Target location is at the exact opposite end of the shopping center, so it becomes even more attractive."
Some questioned Timson about the difference. "I think there is a difference because Wal-Mart has discount items at discount prices while Target has retail items at discount prices.
"I think that's why Target's probably more welcome in Kapolei than Wal-Mart is."
The next Makakilo/Kapolei neighborhood board meeting is at 7 p.m. Wed. March 28 at Kapolei High School.