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POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Haagen-Dazs plans more isle stores

Haagen-Dazs super-premium ice cream will be expanding its retail presence in Hawaii by as many as five stores.

The company has three stores on Oahu and one on Maui. There were two on Maui, but the phone number for one of them apparently has been disconnected.

The chain has more than 250 stores nationwide and plans overall growth of 10 percent, or 25 new stores per year, over the next four years.

Yokota lands position with HRPT

HRPT Properties Trust has named Jan S. Yokota vice president, Pacific Region, effective July 15.

Yokota will be leaving her post as vice president of development for General Growth Properties' Hawaii Region. She previously served the University of Hawaii as director of capital improvements and was the longtime executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

HRPT is a Massachusetts-based real estate investment trust that primarily owns office and industrial properties throughout the U.S., including about 18 million square feet of leased properties on Oahu.

Company to pay EPA cesspool fine

K. Taniguchi Ltd., sister company of KTA Super Stores, agreed to pay an $82,000 fine to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for not meeting deadlines to phase out large-capacity cesspools at its Puainako, Big Island, store site.

Andrew Chun, administrative officer for K. Taniguchi, said the company had hoped to expand the municipal sewer system and connect to it, but when Hawaii County found the cost and topography too challenging, K. Taniguchi sought other options and failed to meet a 2005 deadline.

Chun said the final choice was septic tanks with leach pits, and four of the five cesspools now have been converted with the last one to be finished before the September mandate.

USDA fills top positions in Hawaii

Donna Kiyosaki has been named Hawaii director for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Diane Ley has been selected as Hawaii executive director for the Farm Service Agency at the USDA.

Kiyosaki is the senior vice president for Waimana Enterprises, a Hawaii company that works on projects involving energy development, water and telecommunications infrastructure.

Rural development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees in 500 national, state and local offices.

Ley is the deputy director at the Hawaii County Department of Research and Development, where she oversees programs related to agriculture, tourism, economic development and energy.

The Farm Service Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans.

Hawaii bookings soar on Orbitz

Hawaii, Europe and the Caribbean are summer hot spots for travelers this year as lower prices allow them to take trips “;they've always dreamed about taking, but haven't been able to afford,”; said Barney Harford of Orbitz Worldwide Inc.

Orbitz's share of room nights booked has surged in some leisure markets, including Hawaii, as more travelers seek bargains online, Harford said. So far this year the number of hotel nights booked on Orbitz is up almost 70 percent in Hawaii, he said.

Isle office sector to receive boost

Oahu office rents are expected to stabilize and vacancy is seen dropping as a result of a $121 million federal stimulus renovation that will displace tenants in the 930,000-square-foot Prince Kuhio Federal Building, according to a second-quarter Honolulu office report released yesterday by CB Richard Ellis.

Those tenants will relocate to the private sector when the timing of the renovation is determined, CBRE said.

Office vacancy on Oahu was 10.1 percent in the second quarter — a new four-year high — while gross average asking rents softened 3 cents in the quarter to $2.96 in the metropolitan office market. Sublease vacancy decreased 0.2 percentage points in the quarter to 0.7 percent.

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ON THE MOVE

;  PacRim Marketing Group Inc. has promoted Desiree Yamamoto to director of integrated marketing from marketing and client services manager. Her experience includes being a client service and planning executive with Red Rover Creative, now known as 4Front Branding, and assistant account executive with Laird Christianson Advertising.

The University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union has announced these promotions:

» Ron K. Aoki to director of finance and compliance.

» Paula Sumimoto-Matsushima to training and compliance team leader.