CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
A new business called Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care, which opened in December in Koko Marina, had manager Seth Hoffman very busy on Tuesday. The largest retail center in East Honolulu has signed on several other new tenants.
Koko Marina gets $3.1 million overhaul
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Koko Marina Center, the largest retail center in Hawaii Kai, is getting its first face-lift since its founding in the late 1960s. Besides new roof shingles, a repaved upper parking deck and new paint, Koko Marina Center is also replacing its boat decks - all for a cost of $3.1 million. Several new tenants have replaced those that left last year, bringing more restaurants, a sports bar, wine shop and doggie day care center, above, to the mix.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Underway to an offshore beginning surfer lesson for four clients, Trace Harringon, president of Hawaiian Surf Adventure, clambered over surfboards as his boat got underway.
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Koko Marina Center is undergoing major renovations for the first time since its founding in the late 1960s, a face-lift worth $3.1 million.
Koko Marina Center
» Address: 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
» Leasing broker: Sofos Realty Corp.
» General manager: Suzie Setzler
» Anchors: Foodland, Koko Marina 8 Theaters, Zippy's, 24 Hour Fitness, Kona Brewing Co.
» Tenants: 75
» Web: www.kokomarinacenter.com
The renovations at the 280,000-square-foot retail center include replacement of the boat docks, at long last, along with re-roofing, repaving of the upper parking deck and new paint.
Koko Marina Center, anchored by Foodland, Consolidated Theatres, Zippy's and about 70 other shops, restaurants and services, is the largest retail center in East Honolulu.
It is nearly 100 percent leased, with the exception of a few second-floor office spaces. The center is getting new roof shingles for Foodland, its first tenant, as well as the waterfront building.
The Koko Marina 8 Theatres got a new coat of light brown paint called creme brulee. The upper parking deck near the Straub Clinic is being repaved, and a wheelchair-accessible ramp has been installed from the sidewalk.
Sales have increased for many of the tenants, according to Steve Sofos of Sofos Realty, which took over management and leasing in May 2006.
"Sales are up, and we do have some tenants that are in the double digits," said Sofos. "The renovations are only going to enhance the shopping center even more."
Once renovations are complete, there may be more retail concepts coming in, he said.
The base rent for space that is available is at about $4 to $5 per square foot per month for retail, and $2 per square foot per month for office.
Common-area fees are an additional 94 cents per square foot.
The renovations are moving forward at Koko Marina despite a pending multimillion-dollar lawsuit by the center's owners - primarily an internal dispute between its four investors.
Koko Marina Holdings, a partnership of both local and mainland investors formed to purchase the remaining leasehold interest in the shopping center, has Abraham Keh of California as its majority investor.
Keh sued minority investor CB Richard Ellis and three of its senior executives for breach of contract in Circuit Court last April. Keh alleged that CBRE attempted to oust him out of his control of Koko Marina.
The suit has not been resolved yet, but all four owners signed off on Koko Marina's renovation plans.
Sofos said the renovations were approved by the owners in January, and he did not know the status of the lawsuit.
Among the newer tenants that have just signed on at Koko Marina Center are Salad Creations, which took the former Bestsellers Books & Music space, and South Shore Christian Fellowship, which took over the former WeePlay center upstairs.
Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care, which opened in December, but now has new owners - offers dog sitting 24/7 as well as obedience training, and grooming services.
Therapy Sportsgrill, a sports bar featuring sushi and a full menu, recently filled a spot that had been vacant for five years. Bali Pacific Trading Co., an importer of teak furniture, moved into the space formerly occupied by the Hawaii Starshine Music and Dance Academy.
D'vine Wine & Spirits, a wine shop, will be moving in a few doors down from Foodland. Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union is also moving in across from Bank of Hawaii.
Though its logo is: "The last stop on the way to Hanauma Bay!" Koko Marina's strategy has been to try appealing as well to more residents in the neighborhood.
While the mix may once have been an even split between locals and visitors, it has now shifted to about 80 percent locals and 20 percent visitors.
At the same time, the Koko Marina management also started up a trolley service again, which brings visitors from Waikiki to the center.
Sofos said on any given day, visitors do frequent the coffee shops (Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are within 25 paces of one another) and Foodland on their way to Hanauma Bay.
At the same time, local residents are a staple for longtime tenants like Price Busters, Bubbies Ice Cream and Zippy's.
The Cosmopolitan Sun Shop, which sells bikinis and swimwear, has been at Koko Marina since 1975. Manager Kamlesh Sappal said the majority of customers are locals.
The dock slips currently are assigned to many of the water sports operators at Koko Marina, but there has been a three-year waiting list for them as well.