Entertainment center
planned for Waikiki

An operator of entertainment megaplexes in Japan has purchased a retail site in Waikiki from a company headed by Hilo Hattie founder James Romig, and plans to open its first complex in the United States.

Round One Corp., a publicly traded company that operates primarily in the Osaka area, bought a 30,000-square-foot Beachwalk property Friday for $6.9 million from Romig's RPC Beachwalk LLC, property records show. The site, located off Kalakaua, is at the entrance of Outrigger's Waikiki Beach Walk reconstruction project, which may break ground in late 2005.

Round One plans to build an 80,000- to 90,000-square foot entertainment center and a six- to nine-floor parking garage, though it will need permitting approval first. Attractions will include bowling lanes, video games, karaoke, billiards and food.

"It will certainly drive traffic to that area," said Fred Noa, vice president of retail services for CBRE Hawaii, which represented the buyer, subsidiary Round One U.S.A. Corp.

The complex will seek to attract Japanese tourists, but appeal to a broad base of consumers.

"It'll definitely drive the visitor traffic. With the parking, it will allow the operator to also tap into a segment of the local consumer as well," Noa said.

Romig's company bought the former New Tokyo restaurant site in 2000 for $7.45 million and Hilo Hattie announced, then shelved, plans for a Waikiki store amid declining Japanese visitor arrivals.


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