$23 Million Project Mirrors Mainland Trend
HONOLULU— Windward Mall will soon undergo a major renovation, owner Kamehameha Schools announced today. The $23 million project is expected to commence this summer and will include many new tenants and significant interior upgrades.
“Windward Mall should be ‘the place to shop’ for residents on the Windward side of O’ahu,” said Susan Todani, director of development and planning for Kamehameha Schools. “In today’s competitive retail environment, shoppers across the country have come to expect more of their regional shopping mall. It’s not enough to have a variety of stores – shoppers are looking for a total experience that includes local and national retailers, restaurants and entertainment in a convenient location. This renovation will provide an attractive setting that combines all of these important elements.”
A critical aspect of the renovation is the leasing strategy for Windward Mall. General Growth Management was retained in 2004 to manage the mall and is responsible for developing a new mix of tenants that will offer a wider variety of stores and merchandise for shoppers. General Growth intends to continue to improve the mix of local and national branded tenants and bring in additional stores selling women’s and men’s apparel, food and beverage, home furnishings and specialty carts and kiosks. Their strategy also aims to attract additional shoppers by providing a stronger community gathering place with the addition of sit-down restaurants, a proposed 22,000 square foot bookstore and popular new retailers.
“Although we have yet to begin the physical renovations, we have already begun bringing in many new retailers,” said Jonathan Kim, general manager for Windward Mall. “Recently, we added new specialty retailers, many of which, such as PacSun, performed well above expectations during the recent holiday season. We’re also excited to bring in new restaurants such as Ruby Tuesday, IHOP Restaurant and Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, which brings back a lot of happy memories for local residents who celebrated their birthdays at this original, family-oriented, theme restaurant. I’m confident that the new mix of tenants, both local and national, along with the interior improvements, will make Windward Mall a major retail attraction again.”
Windward Mall has long been a gathering place for the residents of Windward O'ahu. On any given morning, you’re likely to see a contingent of senior citizens taking their daily walk in the enclosed, air-conditioned facility and then stopping for breakfast and coffee. “Our intention is to remain a community center,” said Kim. “We recognize the role we play in the Windward community and hope that these improvements and new tenants will result in a better mall for everyone. We appreciate the community’s support throughout the years and look forward to meeting with them throughout this renovation project.”
Located in Kaneohe, Windward Mall is a 530,000 square foot enclosed mall anchored by Macy’s, Sears and Regal Cinemas. Managed by General Growth Management, it is the third largest shopping center serving in the state and the only regional shopping center serving the Windward side of O'ahu.
This will be the first major renovation for the mall since it was completed in 1982. Altoon and Porter are the architects and construction will be done by Vratsinas Construction Company (VCC), based out of Irving, Texas. VCC has extensive experience in mall expansion and renovation. Their prior projects include the Houston Galleria, Southbay Galleria and Broward Mall. In Hawai'i, VCC has worked on the Queen Kaÿahumanu Center on Maui and on various projects for Victoria Ward and General Growth.
The majority of the renovations will take place within the interior of the mall. External entrances will be redesigned to make the mall more inviting and landscaping will be upgraded as well. Flooring, carpet and lighting will be replaced throughout the mall and the interior will be painted and enhanced with signage and graphics. Access will also be improved by adding a new escalator between the two levels.
“Windward Mall is one of the top ten assets in our Hawai'i Core Real Estate portfolio and we now have an opportunity to increase our return on investment with this renovation plan,” said Kirk Belsby, vice president of Endowment for Kamehameha Schools. “Investing in our commercial properties such as the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and Windward Mall are important as the revenue generated by these properties go directly to our three campuses and our numerous outreach programs.”
Kamehameha Schools is a private charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and is the sole beneficiary of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system and currently more than 5,400 students of Hawaiian ancestry are enrolled in K-12 campuses on three islands and at more than 30 preschool sites statewide. Thousands of additional Hawaiian learners are served through a range of other Kamehameha Schools outreach programs, distance learning programming, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawaii and across the continental United States.