Kapolei mall development on track


POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2009

DeBartolo Development LLC executives said they are moving forward with building a shopping mall on 67 acres of state land in East Kapolei.





Moving forward

        » Developer: DeBartolo Development LLC of Tampa, Fla.

        » Mall: Ka Makana Alii

        » Cost: $500 million

        » Size: 1.5 million square feet including mall (including 1 million square feet of retail), two office towers (measuring about 200,000 square feet) and two hotels (300 to 500 rooms).

        » Parking stalls: About 4,000

        » Location: Kapolei Parkway and North-South Road

        » Groundbreaking: 2010

        » Ultimate buildout: 2013

        » Presentation: 7 tonight, Ewa Neighborhood Board, Ewa Beach Public Library, 91-950 North Road

Ka Makana Alii, a project now estimated at $500 million, is described as an urban mixed-use project including an open-air mall with a Main Street feel, village center, underground parking, two office towers and two hotels up to 120 feet tall.

With the current downturn in the economy, which resulted in several shelved projects, many were uncertain about whether the mall would transpire more than two years after it was first announced.

“;We're here to tell you we're very real,”; said Erin Nellis, DeBartolo's development officer, before the West Oahu Economic Development Association's annual membership meeting. “;We're excited about the vision for Kapolei. Our timing's actually worked out very well — sometimes you can get lucky. It's the right time for Kapolei and this project.”;

DeBartolo of Tampa, Fla., which is controlled by former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., has hired Belt Collins as its planner, and will build the project in phases.

It is expected to break ground in late 2010, with complete buildout by 2013, bringing 21,000 construction jobs over the next five years, and up to 5,000 permanent full-time jobs when done.

Nellis declined to name retail tenants, although she said DeBartolo is in active negotiations with department stores, home improvement stores, pharmacies, casual eateries, and supermarkets, as well as an entertainment anchor.

A previous site plan included retailers such as Victoria's Secret and Pottery Barn, although they were not confirmed.

Nellis described the mall as a destination center complementary to Ala Moana Center or Pearlridge Center. She said it would not be like the power center at the newly constructed Kapolei Commons nearby.

Undeterred by flagging visitor numbers, DeBartolo is also moving forward with two hotels, which Nellis said would cater to locals and business travelers, offering between 300 and 500 rooms. Several hotel brands have expressed a strong interest in the project, she said.

DeBartolo is not deterred by the recession so far, said Nellis, and has secured pre-development financing from First Hawaiian Bank.

Plans for Ka Makana Alii will be presented to various community groups, beginning with the Ewa Neighborhood Board this evening, followed by the Kapolei Neighborhood board on March 25.

DeBartolo's lease agreement with the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, completed last June, requires it to pay nearly $150 million in lease rent. The first payment is expected some time before DeBartolo breaks ground in 2010.

“;We definitely have a lot of confidence in the project and our partners,”; said DHHL Director Micah Kane. “;Every dollar generated from this project will go towards putting another native Hawaiian on the land.”;