East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Committee Defers Action on New Pahoa Shopping Center

September 17, 2013, 10:02 AM HST
* Updated September 17, 5:30 PM
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***Updated 5:27 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.***

The consultant for a proposed large commercial development in Pahoa today said the developer is willing to wait until traffic improvements in the area are complete before businesses are allowed to move in.

Jon McElvaney of Inoue Hawaii Realty Corp., consultant on the project for landowner Bryson Kuwahara, told members of the County Council’s Planning Committee that he understands that state and county planners want to see the improvements completed before tenants are allowed to move into the 10-acre project.

“We’re fine with that,” McElvaney said.

The improvements include both a traffic signal that Kuwahara will install at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard, and a roundabout that the state will build at the nearby Pahoa Bypass road.

McElvaney and Kuwahara answered other questions from committee members about the project until the matter was tabled until the next meeting of the committee on Oct. 1.

The committee will make a recommendation on the project which will then be sent up before the full council.

Committee members also questioned Ron Thiel, head of the county’s Traffic Division, about the proposed highway improvements.

Thiel said to avoid unnecessary congestion during construction phases, the traffic signal should be the first to be installed.

Among other components, the new shopping center will include a large supermarket.

Speaking to Big Island Now during a break in the meeting, McElvaney declined to confirm rumors that KTA Superstores would be one of the center’s anchors. He did say it was a possibility.

He said he couldn’t name any of the center’s possible tenants until the project was further along the regulatory process.

The center is currently scheduled for completion in 2015, McElvaney said.

Posted at 10:02 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17:

The County Council’s Planning Committee today will take up a 10-acre shopping center proposed for Pahoa.

This modified Google Map image shows the location of the new Pahoa shopping center (black arrow), the existing Malama Marketplace (blue arrow) and the proposed signal light for the extension of Kahakai Boulevard (green arrow). The black line represents the proposed extension of Kahakai Boulevard.

This modified Google Map image shows the location of the new Pahoa shopping center (black arrow), the existing Malama Marketplace (blue arrow) and the proposed signal light for the extension of Kahakai Boulevard (green arrow). The black line represents the proposed extension of Kahakai Boulevard.

The $20 million project proposed by Bryson Kuwahara on the current home of Bryson’s Cinders would be the biggest development ever proposed for Pahoa town. Kuwahara is the landowner of the three parcels on which the center is proposed.

The County Council is being asked to rezone the property from one-acre agriculture to village commercial. Kuwahara proposes developing 104,326 square feet of leasable commercial space.

Current plans call for a supermarket, two restaurants, medical clinic, garden center and other commercial offerings.

The project includes widening the property’s 600 feet of frontage on Pahoa Village Road and an 830-foot extension of Kahakai Boulevard which currently ends at a “T” at Pahoa Village Road near the proposed center. A signal light would also be installed at that intersection.

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