Hasegawa store
may reopen in
Hana next year

KAHULUI » The Hasegawa General Store, made famous in Paul Weston's 1950s song, may finally rise from the ashes and reopen next year.

Chris Hart Partners Inc., a consulting firm, has filed notice of another application for a special management area permit for a new store at Hana. It will be the third time owner Harry Hasegawa has gone to the Maui Planning Commission for a permit to build a new store.

The first application was filed in April 1986 when Hasegawa planned a two-story retail complex that included gas pumps, a snack bar, office space and a caretaker dwelling.

With Maui in the midst of a building boom then, Hasegawa had trouble finding a contractor. Then, on Aug. 14, 1990, the existing hollow-tile and wood general store that sold groceries, clothes, tools, building supplies and souvenirs was destroyed by fire. The fire forced Hasegawa to relocate into temporary quarters in the old Hana movie theater down the road.

The fire and declining business resulting from the Gulf War and the downturn in Japan's economy delayed the rebuilding plans. The family was required to obtain a new permit in 1994, and received extensions in 1997 and 1999.

An amended application in 2002 showed a scaled back structure. Plans in the new application are similar to those in the 2002 design. The latest plan calls for a one-story commercial building of nearly 11,000 square feet but without the gas station.

Hasegawa, whose family started the business in 1906, was preparing to get construction underway last year, but ran into a series of obstacles dealing with a required permit for a retaining wall and a requirement for a new waterline for the store. Those issues have since been resolved.

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