Time running out for Ualena Street businesses - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Time running out for Ualena Street businesses

Ualena Street Ualena Street
Travis Lindholm Travis Lindholm
William Swider William Swider

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mike's Affordable Tires operates in space on the ocean side of Ualena Street. Travis Lindholm said the business is perfectly placed.

"We're not quite in town. We don't have bad traffic around here. We get a lot of business through Pearl City. Everybody comes through here," he said.

If rail is built it will also pass through the industrial section. Companies on Ualena don't know if they will have to leave at the end of the year when leases on the state owned land expire. Business owners and operators said the state isn't communicating to them what will happen.

"We bring it up periodically but nobody has any answers. We all just speculate at this point," said William Swider of TDK Repairs.

He said there have been rumors the state will offer their landlords month-to-month leases. But they need more than speculation.

"No paperwork so far. They haven't come and talked to me," Lindholm said..

"You hear stories that possibly you'll be able to stay longer. You don't know," Swider said.

The uncertainty mounting on Ualena Street has had opposite impacts. Lease rates are low. but it's hard to find renters. One building has been empty for over a year.

Lindholm said even the prospect of going month-to-month is unsettling.

"That's kind of hard to move everything. But you got to do what you got to do," he said.

Swider rents space at the back end of a bigger operation.

"The first shop is an upholstery shop. The second shop works for rental car repairs. The third shop is a frame man. And then we are a full service body shop. So we all feed off of each other," he said.

They all could be out at the end of the year or they could be offered an option to stay. A spokesperson with the State Department of Transportation promised to look into the matter.

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