Kihei Mall Project Touted as “Job Generator”

Exciting news for Kihei residents!  See the article below from the Pacific Business News; January 27, 2012. This project will bring much needed jobs for our Maui residents. Our community needs projects like these to keep our island thriving!

Eclipse Development Group LLC , a California developer, has targeted a 30-acre Maui site in Kihei where it wants to build the state’s largest outlet mall.

The Maui Outlets shopping center will be comprised of about 300,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, according to Eclipse Development Group President and CEO Doug Gray. If the project goes forward as planned, it would be twice the size of the Waikele Premium Outlets on Oahu.

The project, to be built at an estimated cost of $250 million to $300 million, will be done in two phases. The first phase is projected to open in the fall or winter of 2013, with the second phase set to open in 2014.

Gray said he hopes to pick a local contractor within the next 10 to 15 days, and break ground on the project sometime in March. California-based Architects Orange will serve as the lead architect.

The project could create as many as 300 construction jobs, and add another thousand retail-sector jobs once the stores start to open.

Economists say the Maui Outlets should provide a big boost to the local economy, attracting both visitors and kamaaina. Eclipse Development Group LLC, which has built close to 10 million square feet of retail space, is already in talks with possible tenants. Gray would not name any of the prospective tenants because of ongoing negotiations.

“I love Maui and my family has been taking trips to this island for the last 20 years,” he said. “To me there isn’t really an attractive place to do shopping, and what we wanted to do is create a sense of place so people could go and hang out.” Gray said he has had his eye on Kihei for the past two years, and toward the end of 2010 he finally struck a deal with the former landowner to buy the land.

The mall will have between 60 and 90 stores, mostly outlets, consisting of the usual mix of clothing and accessories found at outlet malls. Gray said the theme will reflect Maui’s architectural heritage.

“You’ll see a sugar cane warehouse theme and even a seaside theme,” he said. “It will be the destination people will want to go to and we’re somewhat prideful in that we want to make sure that when we go there ourselves, we feel proud of what we built and see people enjoying it as well.”

Fred Rickert, senior business consultant of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center Network — Maui Center, believes the Maui Outlets will have a major impact on the area.

“Something like this will attract more people to Maui,” he told PBN. “It will have a multiplier effect when talking about taxes and imports because when you hire a thousand people they will pay taxes and the new businesses will pay general excise taxes.”

Jeanne Skog, president and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, said Maui residents have talked about the need for additional affordable retail options.

“From past conversations we’ve had with residents, clearly, retail operations like Kmart and Costco are thriving on Maui,” she said. “So it obviously has interest on the part of residents and consumers, as it helps these individuals afford living on Maui.”

If you are looking to buy or sell something here on Maui, need more info, or want help finding your own personal ”best buy” please do not hesitate to contact me at 808-276-2004. I would love to help get you into the Maui Lifestyle!

Aloha for now!

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