HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of shoppers flocked to Ala Moana Center as the state's largest shopping mall unveiled its Ewa wing expansion, just in time for the holiday season.
Those shoppers found more than 20 retailers open, including a first-ever Bloomingdale's for Hawaii. They stood in long lines for cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery or ice cream from Nitrogenie.
"It was really cool and fantastic and even though the line was long, it was worth the wait," said Steve Manuel. "I checked out Bloomingdale's too, which is a new store for me."
"I've walked around all over, I think I've looked at a lot of it," said Jack Khong, who works in another part of the mall. "It's really great. I don't know where they found all the space for all of this."
The new multilevel, 650,000 square-foot expansion is still in progress, with another ten stores still scheduled to open in the coming months.
Besides Bloomingdale's, some of the stores to open are Bloomingdale's, Kate Spade New York, Ted Baker London and the North Face. Zara, one of the largest international clothing retailers, will open in December, while many other businesses – like Nordstrom, Hermes, Foodland Farms and the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk – are slated to open in 2016.
The new parking lot will also include 4,500 additional parking stalls, bringing the total number of parking spots for the mall to 11,000.
The wing opens as the state investigates 28 contractors and subcontractors who could face fines for failing to pay unemployment taxes. The state also said seven of those firms also failed to pay pre-paid health insurance and temporary disability insurance.
As construction winds down on the Ewa wing, there is a flurry of activity elsewhere at Ala Moana. Park Lane Ala Moana, a luxury condominium project of seven buildings of six stories each, is going up in the same area of the center and is slated to open its doors late next year.
Ala Moana officials wanted to make sure the Ewa wing would be open in time for this year's holiday shopping season.
"I really wonder how they're going to run things on Black Friday, considering like, it's huge now," said Khong.
For the full list of stores, click here.