Friday, June 29, 2001

The Costco in Waipio attracted crowds when it opened last year.
The next store will be on 12 acres in Iwilei.

Costco buys
Iwilei site

New store set to replace
Salt Lake outlet late
next year

By Tim Ruel

Costco Wholesale Corp. has paid $31 million for 12 acres of fee-simple land at the Dole Cannery in Iwilei, where the company plans to move its Salt Lake store, possibly around Christmas in 2002.

Costco will close the 120,000-square-foot Salt Lake store when it opens the larger 150,000-square-foot Iwilei store, company Chairman Jeff Brotman said today.

Costco is also thinking of opening its first store on Kauai, in Lihue, Brotman said. The Issaquah, Wash.-based company is analyzing whether Kauai's population of 58,463 residents would support a store. Costco operates more than 360 members-only warehouses worldwide and plans to open up to 31 new outlets in North America this year.

The Salt Lake store was Costco's first outlet in the islands, opened in 1988. The company later opened two other Oahu stores in Hawaii Kai and Waipio, as well as outlets on Maui and the Big Island.

The Iwilei store will be on the Diamond Head side of Alakawa Street, next to another mainland big box retailer, Home Depot Inc., which opened a 145,000-square-foot home improvement store in Iwilei in 1999.

A Costco store will establish Iwilei as Oahu's newest haven for big box stores, said real estate broker Steve Sofos, who represented Costco in the Iwilei purchase.

"It's going to be a tremendous shot in the arm," to the area, Sofos said.

The deal will also benefit Costco, giving the company access to downtown Honolulu, as well as the potential business of hotels and restaurants in Waikiki, Sofos said. "This is a home run for Costco."

At $31 million, the price Costco paid for the land boils down to about $60 per square foot. The seller, Castle & Cooke Properties Inc., has been working to revamp the Dole Cannery into a combination light-industrial and commercial center from its failed tenure as a shopping center. In 1998, Castle & Cooke took the Cannery back from Norton, Mich.-based retail developer Horizon Group Inc., which wrote off $32 million in 1997 for a retail project at the Cannery.

Since then, Signature Theatres has opened the 4,000-seat multiplex Dole Cannery 18 movie theaters at the complex. A group of local radio stations, including adult contemporary leader KSSK, moved into a 14,000-square-foot office in 1999. And last year, Kaiser Permanente took over 90,000 square feet to house its medical records.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin