Kailua Shoppers enjoy Whole Foods, wonder about Target

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) – Thousands of shoppers crowded into Whole Foods Market for its grand opening in Kailua Wednesday. And while they enjoyed the vast selection of natural and organic products, some expressed interested in an update from Target Corporation about its planned Kailua store.

The Kailua Target was originally scheduled to open in July of this year (2012) but construction has not begun.

Hawaii News Now called and wrote Target asking for a project update, but Target has not answered.

David Tanoue, Director of the city's Department of Planning and Permitting, told Hawaii News Now Target is still in the process of acquiring needed permits.

"They are going through their grading permit process and pretty much the last thing they need to resolve is working with the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) in ensuring that they can address all the concerns with the possibility of uncovering any kind of archaeological finds or iwi (bones) on the site," Tanoue said.

SHPD is a division of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

A SHPD review is triggered by any permitting activity by the city or state. In this case the SHPD review was triggered by the request for a grading permit.

SHPD asked Target for an archaeological inventory survey plan which Target submitted. SHPD then asked for additional subsurface test trenching based on a review of old maps provided in the survey plan.

In response to an inquiry about SHPD's work with Target, the DLNR wrote, "Kailua was inhabited for centuries before Captain Cook "discovered" Hawaii and there is subsurface evidence of their lives all over Kailua. The archaeological inventory survey may find burials, but that is not its primary purpose. The purpose is to adequately document any historical or cultural sites," the DLNR wrote.

"We have asked Target to revise their survey plan, and are waiting for the revision," the DLNR concluded.

There is no new "official" target date for opening Target's Kailua store. But it will not open any time soon. Target still needs to resolve its business with SHPD. Once that it finished it needs to secure the grading permit. It also needs a building permit. To secure a building permit Target must satisfy the city's concerns about traffic. And Target's web site puts estimated construction time at 10 to 12 months.

It now looks like Target will not open until the summer of 2013 at the earliest.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.