KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - This is ground zero. This is the seven acre property where Target plans to open a store in Kailua.
Don Quiote is the biggest tenant on the property now. There are also a few smaller stores and restaurants.
At the end of March, they'll all be out clearing the way for a brand new 130,000 square foot Target store.
"I see a cleaned up building. I see a parking lot with 185 trees," President and CEO of Kaneohe Ranch Mitch D'Olier said.
Kaneohe Ranch owns and manages 40 acres of prime Kailua town property including the Target site.
"A lot of leases were done in the 50's that are expiring now, and we are faced with aging improvements and what to do and that's driven a lot of the change," D'Olier said.
D'Olier oversees what he calls a renewal in Kailua... replacing aging buildings with new modern structures and amenities.
"I'm trying to make it a wonderful pedestrian place. I'm trying to renew it. I'm trying to make it not tired and dilapidated," D'Olier said.
D'Olier says Target will be another step toward giving residents in Kailua everything they need.
"Our real plan would be Kailua residents don't have to leave Kailua to shop. And right now they have to. If you want to buy office products, kitchen ware, sporting goods for kids, clothing for kids and women, you can't really get it," D'Olier said.
D'Olier believes Target will have a positive impact on other stores and shops because it'll bring people into town.
That means more traffic, but he says Target will make the needed road improvements.
"Target is more concerned than anybody because if people can't get to their store, they're not going to do any business," D'Olier said.
Target plans to break ground next fall and open in the summer of 2012.
"We're in recession. Target comes in and invests $40 million in the Don Quote site cleaning up a mess. They create 250 construction jobs for 14 months. They create 300 permanent jobs," D'Olier said.
So, some compelling arguments from Kaneohe Ranch about why Target may be a good fit for Kailua. Of course the folks who so not want a big box store here say their arguments are even stronger. And we're going to hear from them Friday night at the same time.