Target Corp. officials last night said they are looking at opening their first two Hawai'i stores in Kapolei and Salt Lake in the first half of 2009.
By Gordon Y.K. Pang, Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer
KAPOLEI — Target Corp. officials last night said they are looking at opening their first two Hawai'i stores in Kapolei and Salt Lake in the first half of 2009.
The company has already secured space for a 160,000-square-foot store at Kapolei Commons, on the western end of the "second city" and near the H-1 Freeway off-ramp to Kalaeloa and Campbell Industrial Park.
Target is also negotiating to take over the old Costco site at the Bougainville Industrial Park in Salt Lake, said Brie A. Heath, manager of media relations for the Minneapolis-based chain and the nation's second-largest discount retailer.
Last night, company officials told a meeting of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board that they intend to break ground at Kapolei in about a year. The company has begun interviewing for a local executive management team. About 200 to 250 other employees will be needed and hiring for those jobs will begin six to nine months before opening, Heath said.
The typical Target general merchandise store is 125,000 to 130,000 square feet. The Kapolei store will be larger to accommodate a bigger storeroom. The store will carry some grocery items, but will not have a full grocery, as do some "super" Target stores on the Mainland.
The Kapolei Commons project, across Kalaeloa Boulevard from Home Depot, is being developed jointly by The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group on 54 acres. The Target store will take up less than a quarter of the shopping complex.
Eric Padget, project development manager, said the Kapolei area was chosen because "we know you're a growing and thriving community."
The Kapolei Neighborhood Board voted 6-2 to support the concept of the store in the community. The two members who were opposed said they didn't have enough information to support the project.
A number of people in the audience applauded the vote.
Sarah Akiona, 68, of Makakilo, told Padget, "I welcome you with open arms." Akiona said the store's entry into the region is a welcome sign of progress, noting that she has visited Target stores in California and Nevada.
The only issue raised about the store came from those concerned about traffic in the area. Polly Grace, 70, of Wai'anae, said she is not opposed to the store or the shopping center but wants to see traffic addressed. "I work in Campbell Industrial Park and it's hectic going in and out," Grace said.
Todd Hedrick, director of leasing and property management for The MacNaugton Group, said the developer is working with the city and the state on providing access to the center.
MacNaughton also controls the former Costco-Salt Lake location, which is owned by Kamehameha Schools. The 131,000-square-foot building has been vacant since 2002. Hawai'i is one of three states that do not have a Target. The chain expects to enter the Alaska retail market next year, leaving Vermont as the only state without a store. There are 1,502 stores in the chain.