Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, July 3, 1997

Home Depot
signs lease for Iwilei site

Home Depot Inc. has signed a 25-year lease with Castle & Cooke Properties for the 9-acre site in Iwilei where it plans a big home-improvement store.

The store, the first Home Depot in Hawaii, will be 130,000 square feet with an additional 24,000-square foot garden center. The Iwilei Home Depot, at the corner of Alakawa Street and Nimitz Highway, is scheduled to open in 1999 and employ about 200, the company said. It will stock 40,000 to 50,000 items, including building materials, home improvement supplies, interior design products and lawn and garden materials, the Atlanta-based company said.

Thirty-year mortgages
rise to 7.62 percent

WASHINGTON -- Average interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose this week for the first time in five weeks. The average increased to 7.62 percent from 7.58 percent last week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said today.

The average's peak, so far this year, was 8.18 percent during the week ended April 3, after the Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy. It has declined during nine of the 13 weeks since.

Fifteen-year mortgages , a popular option for those refinancing mortgages, averaged 7.15 percent this week, up from 7.13 percent a week earlier. On one-year adjustable rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.67 percent this week, up from 5.66 percent last week.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points.

Consumer groups say
air-bag safety varies

WASHINGTON -- Automobile air bags that deploy vertically up the windshield are safer than air bags that pop out horizontally toward the passenger, consumer advocates said today.

Forty-three deaths -- 40 of them children -- have been linked to low-speed crashes in which air bags inflated directly into the passenger's chest or face. No deaths have been linked to vertically inflating air bags used on several models by Honda and Nissan and the 1996-97 Ford Taurus, according to a study by Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety.

"This study shows some air bags are much better than others. Consumers will want to know which type they have in their cars before deciding whether to turn them off," Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, told a news conference.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that while vertical versus horizontal deployment may be a factor in the air bag's safety, it did not appear to be the overriding issue. The NHTSA said in virtually every case in which a person died because of an air bag the person was not wearing a seatbelt.

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