Kapahulu backs
smaller Safeway


Saturday, August 13, 2005

» Safeway officials said they have been consulting with Kapahulu residents for nearly a year regarding plans for a new store. A Page A3 article yesterday incorrectly reported that Safeway has been working with the community since March. Also, Safeway has not yet applied for permits for the store, as was incorrectly reported.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at corrections@starbulletin.com.

Residents came out last night to urge Safeway to tone down its plans for Kapahulu Avenue, where a 67,000-square-foot supermarket and eight-pump gasoline station are slated to open as early as 2007.

More than 30 residents attended the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board's meeting, where board members passed a resolution supporting Safeway's construction without a gas station.

A Safeway representative was not at last night's meeting, but the company has said that "fuel centers are standard components of all new Safeway stores."

If it does move forward, the gas station would be Safeway's first in Hawaii.

"We believe the Safeway is a good business entity," said resident Daisy Murai, "but the scale of it is extra-huge."

The store will sit at the former Love's Bakery site near Mokihana Street. Construction would likely start next year.

In all there will about 280 parking spaces, located on the ground level and on the store's roof.

An adjacent strip mall will also be demolished to make way for the Safeway, which would be the 19th in Hawaii.

Many meeting attendees said they do not mind another supermarket in the community, but they are concerned about another gas station and more traffic.

Safeway already has responded to community concerns in meetings since March, when it applied for permits. They include:

» A traffic study indicated that an additional turn lane and new traffic signal at Olu Street will relieve the impact of increased traffic.
» Safeway says its plans to include more small retail spaces, wide sidewalks and landscaping along Kapahulu Avenue will retain the character of the community.
» Shade structures will be installed on the store's roof to block the sight of parked cars from nearby taller buildings.

Jay Harden, a board member, is not convinced. He said last night he still has significant concerns with Safeway's plans, and urged them to undertake an environmental assessment before progressing.

"They want to be this mega-mall," he said with a sigh.

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