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Niumalu Marketplace Breaks Ground

June 28, 2018, 7:28 AM HST
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Niumalu Marketplace, a new 180,000-square-foot shopping center, recently broke ground in the heart of Kailua-Kona. Niumalu Marketplace is estimated to be a $95 million investment in West Hawai‘i.

Kahu Danny and Anna Akaka preside over the recent Niumalu Marketplace groundbreaking ceremony. Dignitaries, including project partner’s children participated in the o‘o ceremony. Courtesy photo.

“This project’s history has been more than 10 years in the making,” said Blue Vista Principal Jason Schwartz. “I’m excited that Wendell Brooks was able to connect us to this project along with an experienced local group of consultants to make this project happen. Wendell brought the team together.”

Located adjacent to Lanihau Center, the new Niumalu Marketplace will feature retail stores, restaurants and entertainment in a collection of 14 buildings on 20 acres with parking for over 750 cars—not to mention sweeping coastal views.

Opening in early 2020, Niumalu Marketplace will be anchored by a new Safeway store with expanded store offerings. Safeway will be housed in a 63,000-square-foot building and will feature a convenient 18-pump gas station.

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Local Kona Historian Aunty Fanny AuHoy and Kumu Hula Etua Lopes were consulted on naming the project and the name “Niumalu” was born from these early conversations. The literal meaning of “Niumalu” is the shade of a coconut tree and local residents may recognize this as the traditional name of the beach to the north of Kona’s Hulihe‘e Palace.

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“We designed Niumalu Marketplace to be that place in Kona reminiscent of relaxing in the shade of a coconut tree where the community can enjoy gathering with friends and ohana,” said Sentinel Real Estate Group CEO Colby Durnin.

The development team is comprised of Sentinel Real Estate Group and Blue Vista Capital Management who acquired the 20-acre commercial piece in late 2017. Liberty Mutual Insurance, AHL (formerly Architects Hawai‘i), R.M. Towill, E.M. Rivera & Sons, Unlimited Construction, Griffith Consultants and Jones Lang LaSalle round out the development team.

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Sentinel Real Estate Group and Blue Vista Capital Management estimate that project construction will create approximately 300 construction jobs and several hundred more long-term jobs once Niumalu Marketplace is completed. Safeway estimates more than doubling its current workforce from 100 employees to approximately 200 to 250 employees when the new store opens.

Sentinel Real Estate Group and Blue Vista Capital Management have Hawai‘i ties to various projects on O‘ahu. This is their first venture into the West Hawai‘i market.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is the project’s leasing agent with Wendell Brooks and Kimo Greenwell heading up the local team. For leasing information contact Wendell Brooks via [email protected] or Kimo Greenwell at [email protected] or by calling (808) 203-5704.

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