East Hawaii News

Pahoa Shopping Center Receives Rezoning Approval

November 21, 2013, 6:23 PM HST
* Updated November 21, 6:26 PM
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A 10-acre shopping center in Pahoa has been given the green light – as long as a traffic signal and other roadway improvements in the area are completed first.

The County Council on Wednesday voted 9-0 to grant a change of zoning for what so far is being called the “B.T. Kuwahara Private Development” for the landowner and developer, Bryson Kuwahara.

The project is planned for the area currently partially occupied by Bryson’s Cinders.

Kuwahara sought the change from agriculture to “village commercial” to allow construction of a project containing 104,000 square feet of commercial space on the Pahoa Village Road.

Tenants planned for the center include a supermarket, restaurants and a variety of other businesses.

To allay council members’ concerns about the traffic impacts from the project, Kuwahara agreed to several new conditions.

As a result, a certificate of occupancy for the project will not be issued until both a traffic signal at the entrance to the center is in place at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard and the state completes a nearby traffic roundabout.

Kuwahara had previously agreed to pay for the traffic signal and make other improvements on the road fronting the development.

The state recently announced it could begin work on the roundabout as early as April. It will be located at the intersection of the Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130, at the beginning of the Pahoa bypass.

The original draft of the rezoning bill called for the occupancy to be delayed until the state released the funding for the roundabout. However, council members said that condition was too vague and they preferred a more definite timetable, to which Kuwahara agreed.

Project consultant Jon McElvaney told Big Island Now that he anticipates the project to be completed in 2015.

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