By EILEEN CHAO – Staff Writer
Ownership of the Kihei Shopping Center changed hands in a deal made last month, but there are “no big changes” planned for the 15 shops that currently inhabit the complex, brokers for the deal said Monday.
The shopping center is home to Amigo’s Restaurant, Rent-A-Center, Maui Brick Oven Pizza and a number of other stores. The center’s anchor store, Longs Drugs Store, and land owned by Longs Drugs Store and parent company CVS Caremark Corp. are not included in the sale.
“Everything will really stay the same. There are no big changes planned,” said Joseph Leonardo, a broker representing Kihei Maui Associates LLC, a group of Mainland investors who bought the center. “The owners bought it for a long-term hold . . . which just means as like a long-term investment. They view Maui as a very prosperous place. They’re not going to be selling it (Kihei Shopping Center) any time soon.”
The sale price for the shopping center was $7,231,000 for approximately 17,897 square feet in a deal finalized Sept. 27, according to a statement released by Joseph C. Leonardo & Co. on Monday. The group of associates is listed as incorporated in Florida, but reports a Missouri mailing address, according to state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs data.
For the past eight years, the center was owned by an affiliate of Kimco Realty, one of the largest real estate investment trusts in North America. But the corporation, headquartered in New York, is refocusing its efforts on other locations, according to a broker who represented it in the deal.
“They (Kimco Realty) are repositioning their portfolio and focusing their efforts more on the Mainland,” said Brooks Borror, managing director at Commercial Consultants Inc. “This is the last remaining asset they owned here in Hawaii.”
The shopping center had been on the market for about 60 days, Borror said, and there were several interested buyers. Kihei Maui Associates was chosen because “they had a reputation of being good buyers,” he said.
But for Frauke Woods, the owner of one of the center’s oldest establishments, it is also important that the new buyer put in face time.
“Kimco is an enormous company. They own properties all over the world,” said Woods, owner of Great Styles & Cuts. “This (Kihei Maui Associates) is a smaller group. It would be nice if they would take their vacation here, and we could have a chance to say hello in person and have a personal rather than long-distance relationship.”
Great Styles & Cuts was one of the original stores when the shopping center opened in 1991, though it operated as a Fantastic Sams back then. Woods said that the new owner, Kihei Maui Associates, is the third owner of the complex.
“It’s kind of a lively center because of Longs and all the restaurants that draw not just tourists but also locals,” Woods said. “There are also a lot of time-share and condo owners who are surprisingly loyal. They come every year since we opened. It’s a good place to form friendships.”
The new owners are open to the idea of maintaining if not a personal, then at least a “good” relationship with shop owners, according to Leonardo.
“They (Kihei Maui Associates) look forward to having a good long-term relationship with the tenants,” Leonardo said.
The UPS Store, Prudential Real Estate Office, Lighthaus Camera, OPI Nails & Spa, Sushi Paradise, Lotus Heart, Boss Frogs, Birkenstock Shoes, Antonio’s Restaurant, Snow Factory Maui and Maui’s Quality Dry Cleaning are other shops in the center.