Pali Lanes supporters show up in force for the aging Kailua landmark

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pali Lanes was built in 1961, and is showing its age. But many Kailua residents consider it to be a landmark and are increasing their efforts to try to save it.

Hundreds jammed a Kailua Neighborhood Board meeting Thursday night to urge landowner Alexander and Baldwin not to tear down the building to create a new gathering place.

"This is a gathering place," said Kailua resident Patty May. "And to say that we need to tear it down and make a gathering place is a lie."

A&B plans to redevelop the lot on Hekili Street to make space for a farmers market, food trucks, concerts and more. But opponents gathered more than 5,000 names on a petition to keep Pali Lanes open, and delivered them to the corporate office.

The owner of the bowling alley has to be out in January 2019.

"When they hit me with them saying, well, you only get one more year, I was shocked," said owner Art Machado. "I was thinking give us five years or more."

But Alexander and Baldwin said Pali Lanes made an agreement with them.

"We gave them four months of free rent as part of their lease extension, and at the end of the lease they agreed that we would be taking back the property for this redevelopment," said A&B spokesman Darren Pai.

After a public outcry in January, A&B reversed its plan to remove monkeypod trees from Manoa Marketplace. Do these supporters believe that the same thing could happen with Pali Lanes?

"Yeah, I do," said Taylor Caster, one of the organizers of the petition drive. "Actually when we delivered the petitions yesterday, they mentioned the Manoa monkeypod trees, and they said we were able to compromise in that situation."

At the moment, there are no signs Alexander and Baldwin will change its plan.

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