Mall to chop up
J.C. Penney space

By Russ Lynch

The former J.C. Penney space in Ala Moana Center will be converted into a complex of 30 or more retail outlets and restaurants, the center's owner, General Growth Properties Inc., said today.

Rather than seeking one major retailer for the 220,000 square feet, General Growth said it will seek a mix of "exciting and unique retailers," including specialty stores, fashion boutiques, restaurants and "one-of-a-kind retailers that would be new to Hawaii."

That doesn't mean the company is looking to exclude local businesses, said Kay Day, regional vice president of leasing for Ala Moana. "We are very interested in doing business with local retailers." Day said the four floors of space will be redeveloped to make it an interesting and attractive complex.

Marketing consultant Martin Plotnick of Creative Resources Inc. said the type of development that takes a big space and divides it among smaller retailers has proven successful in Asian countries for 20 years.

Retailing consultant Stephany Sofos of SL Sofos Co. said stores wanting to get into Ala Moana have not been able to find space. The Penney's space gives the center "an opportunity to re-tenant for the 21st century and creates opportunities for a lot of other smaller retailers who want to come into Ala Moana," she said.

Ala Moana Center has annual sales of more than $1 billion and attracts some 42 million people a year, according to General Growth.

There had previously been speculation that Nordstrom Inc. would open a store in Penney's space.

General Growth Properties Inc

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