Landowner ditches plans to cut down beloved monkeypods in Manoa

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seventeen beloved monkeypod trees at Manoa Marketplace aren't going anywhere.

Alexander & Baldwin said Friday the trees would be retained amid a project to repave the parking lot at the shopping center.

Environmentalists had raised issue with the landowner's plan to cut down seven of the trees as part of an improvement project.

Alexander and Baldwin bought the shopping center nearly two years ago, and has said the monkeypods were not planted appropriately in the mid-1970s, which allowed aggressive root systems to break through pavement.

The retail complex is 40 years old and there are several deferred maintenance issues that need to be fixed, according to A&B. There have been complaints about roof leaks and the air conditioning system.

A&B said instead of cutting down the monkeypods, it will trim them and expand planters to allow for more root growth.

"We're a local company and we take our commitment to our local communities very seriously," said Chris Benjamin, A&B president and CEO. "It is important to us to balance preserving the character of Manoa Marketplace and addressing these safety concerns."

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.