Walgreen makes Kapiolani purchase
The drugstore chain buys an office building near its first planned Hawaii store location
Walgreen Co. has purchased a five-story office building on Kapiolani Boulevard next door to the site slated for its first Hawaii store.
The office building at 1500 Kapiolani Blvd. sits on a one-acre parcel, zoned urban, adjacent to the former Tower Records site, which Walgreen bought to open its first store here. The property's assessed value is about $13.6 million, according to city tax records.
No purchase price was disclosed for the property, which was sold by Kourin Hong Kong Ltd. The deal was finalized last Thursday.
"It gives us options for that area in the future," said Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin. "We don't have any immediate plans for that building. We won't make any changes for at least several years."
Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen is entering the market to provide competition for Longs Drugs, which has had more than a 50-year presence in the islands.
The Walgreens store is under construction at the intersection of Kapiolani Boulevard and Keeaumoku Street, and is expected to open in November.
Additional stores are slated for the former Star Market in Kaneohe and Kam Bowl in Kalihi. Walgreen is negotiating a fourth site on Oahu, yet to be disclosed.
The average Walgreens store measures 14,500 square feet. The first store here will be smaller than that, without the usual drive-through pharmacy because of the smaller lot size.
All Walgreens stores in Hawaii will offer a walkup beverage bar, Café W, and be open 24 hours.
Polzin said Walgreen also will have a district office in Honolulu, but said it won't necessarily be in the building it purchased. Most of the tenants -- a half-dozen including Heald College -- should be able to carry out their lease terms under the new ownership, he said.
Walgreen plans to open 25 to 30 stores in Hawaii, Polzin said.