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Thursday, January 18, 2001

Navy to build
largest retail outlet
near Pearl Harbor

By Gregg K. Kakesako

The Navy is expected to open it's largest retail outlet and supermarket in May 2002 near Pearl Harbor

Groundbreaking will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the site of the new $49 million shopping mall.

The two-story 340,000-square-foot mall will be built opposite the existing Navy exchange (retail store), and its back will be on Radford Drive.

Mike Cottrell, district manager of the Navy Exchange in Hawaii, said the new retail facility will more than double his retail floor space going from 69,000 square feet to 145,000 square feet.

It will become the largest Navy exchange in the world and will be flanked by the largest military commissary (supermarket) in Hawaii. Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia now holds that distinction.

Cottrell said the Pearl Harbor exchange -- which serves at least 100,000 active duty military persons on Oahu -- now brings in annual revenues of more than $100 million a year. The facility is also open to military retirees and reservists, but Cottrell said he doesn't have a figure on how many people in that category use the exchange.

Cottrell anticipates an increase in sales of at least 15 percent after the new complex opens. The exchange will consolidate a furniture and liquor operation under one roof. Although Cottrell doesn't anticipate adding any new categories of merchandise, he said the new store will offer a "large range of sizes in clothing."

"It will give us more space to properly merchandise clothing ... all this will add to the value of the shopping experience."

A food court on the second floor will house 12,200 square feet of food vendors and indoor seating. There will be another 5,700 square feet of seating on an outside lanai. Construction by C.J. Jordan will be done in phases with the existing commissary and exchange scheduled to be torn down and the site converted into parking spaces before the new mall opens by the spring of 2003, the Navy said.

Karl Komatsu, architect and designer of the mall, said the cylindrical glass entrance will be the focal point of the mall featuring a waterfall.

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