Undeterred by current economic worries, several large retail projects that have been put in motion in Kapolei in recent years are moving forward.
Kapolei in upcoming years will become home to a significant amount of brand-new retail space, including several new big box stores such as Target, Costco Wholesale, and two new retail centers.
Combined, the new developments should bring Kapolei's retail square footage to above
Open-air lifestyle mall
Size: 605,000 square feet
Anchors: Target, Regal Cinemas, Sports Authority
Developers: MKC Management (MacNaughton and Kobayashi Groups)
Target opening: 2009
Crossroads at Kapolei
Urban retail center
Size: 40,000 square feet
Developers: Crocodile Partners and Lettuce Expand LLC (subsidiary of City Mill)
Anchors: Simply Organized (offshoot of City Mill), Teddy's Bigger Burgers, Chun Kam Wah Noodle Factory
Target opening: November
Kapolei Village Center
Size: 56,320 square feet
Developer: Foodland Super Market Ltd.
Target opening: 2010
Warehouse outlet and gas station
Size: 159,000 square feet warehouse, 6,000 square feet gas station on 17.75 acres
Developer: Costco Wholesale Corp.
Parking stalls: 798
Target opening: Spring 2008
1 million, in addition to 2,250 new jobs. The new projects may put Kapolei on the map for having potentially the largest Costco gas station on the island, as well as brand-new retailers.
Among the largest retail projects under development is Kapolei Commons, a 605,000-square-foot open-air lifestyle mall to be anchored by Target, Regal Cinemas and Sports Authority.
The developers, MKC Management, said they chose Kapolei as a prime target growth area due to its increasing population and available land, although new roadways have yet to be completed.
"Kapolei is the growth center on Oahu, and the demographics support the argument for more retail in the region," said Jeff Dinsmore, president of MKC Management. "We were also seeing increasing interest from national retailers who wanted a location in a new shopping enter in Kapolei. There was a clear need on the consumer side, and definite interest from retailers."
Among those in discussions with brokers for space at Kapolei Commons are: Victoria's Secret, Ann Taylor Loft, Apple and California Pizza Kitchen.
Wal-Mart, however, is still awaiting a permit to build the store it planned in Kapolei more than a year after purchasing the land.
As of yesterday, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands had no updates on its plans for a 1.5-million square-foot mall by DeBartolo Development on 67 acres in East Kapolei. DHHL spokesman Lloyd Yonenaka said the agency plans to make an announcement on the project in the middle of next month.
Meanwhile, Foodland Super Market Ltd. is building Kapolei Village Center, a 56,320-square-foot retail center to be anchored by Foodland, as well as a few retail shops, which would include a restaurant, dry cleaner, and bank, for instance.
Situated strategically near the planned Mehana residential community, it is expected to open in 2010.
Though smaller, the owners of City Mill Co. Ltd. saw Kapolei as an opportunity to start a new retail concept and develop a new urban retail center.
Simply Organized, a new storage/organization store, will anchor the 40,000-square-foot center at Kamokila Boulevard and Wakea Street and hire between 12 to 15 people,
It will be home to about a dozen other specialty retail tenants, as well as the Chun Kam Wah Noodle Factory (owned by Deborah and Nelson Chun) and Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Construction recently began on Costco's new 159,000-square-foot warehouse on Kapolei Parkway across from Home Depot, in addition to a gas station with 16 pumps that could later expand and potentially become the largest in Hawaii.
The Kapolei Costco would be the company's seventh warehouse in Hawaii. It expects to hire between 200 to 300 employees when it opens in spring 2009.
"Nearly 1 out of 2 people on Oahu are Costco members," said Robert Loomis, general manager of Costco Iwilei. "Eventually, they'll be moving to Kapolei and we want to be there for them."
Costco, which averages about $135 million in sales per warehouse, has estimated there are some 25,000 or more Costco members living between Waipahu and Waianae, the main area that would be served by the new location.