East Oahu shopping center goes through extensive change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

East Oahu shopping center goes through extensive change

Aina Haina Shopping Center Aina Haina Shopping Center
Hawaii state's first McDonald's Hawaii state's first McDonald's
Hi-Ho Liquor Hi-Ho Liquor
Malia Akiona Malia Akiona
Fred Noa Fred Noa

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

AINA HAINA, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been an East Oahu institution for nearly six decades and the Aina Haina Shopping Center has pretty much stayed the same for years.

But now that's changing. It's the anchor of the small East Oahu community.

The state's first McDonald's is here and for more than 10 years, it's been the home of Hi-Ho Liquors.

But these two establishments will eventually be gone, as a result of a multi-million dollar makeover.

American Commercial Equities, a California-based company, took over in 2007.

Since then, they've brought in new tenants and sent others packing.

Foodland was turned into Foodland Farms. The 76 gas station has been renovated. The new food court tenants include Aina Haina Espresso and Blazin' Steaks.

These shops are scheduled to open early next year.

"The tenants that really want to be in the center, we are working with and we will be negotiating new deals with them if we haven't already done so," CB Richard Ellis senior vice president of Retail and Investments Properties, Fred Noa said.

Noa oversees the center's plans for American Commercial Equities.

The owners say their vision has always been to keep it a neighborhood center.

"It really has been just to clean it up, to make a very necessary investment in the infrastructure," Noa said.

But some in the community think the changes send another message.

"A lot of changes are going on, I don't agree with some because I feel lots of tenants have been here for quite awhile," Aina Haina resident Malia Akiona said.

After 10 years, the owner of Hi-Ho Liquors will be moving out in October.

But she doesn't want to leave and has collected the signatures of 1,200 people who want them to stay.

"We didn't want to have the competitive use with Foodland, who made a very large investment to occupy space in the center for the long-term," Noa said. "It's really just providing the community with a neighborhood grocery-anchored shopping center."

Other tenants like Jack's and Subway will stay. Those who've already left include the U.S. Taekwondo Center and Chuck E. Cheese's.

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