Waipahu Town Getting Makeover

WAIPAHU (KHNL) - It's a community on Oahu with a lot of history and it's getting a makeover. Waipahu doesn't always have the best reputation, but a part of the town will undergo a transformation.

Developers are pumping big bucks and new energy into this old plantation town.

It's hard to believe that this used to be, the heart of Waipahu. People would travel for miles, just to shop here.

"We'd like to relive the plantation days," said Wayne Ogasawara, of the Waipahu Community Association.

That's why they're transforming this, into a true destination. They're building the Waipahu Festival Market where the Big Way supermarket stood for years.

"The customers will be experiencing of course ethnic foods, fishmarkets, local produce," said Ogasawara.

Developers hope it'll be a new shopping experience for everyone, similar to what Waipahu used to be, when the sugar mill was still open. They also want people to see the town as a place where they can live, work and play.}

That's why they're also hoping to transform this empty lot on Mokuola Street into the "Plaza at Milltown."

"The type of tenants that we're looking for are a wide range of retailers, business services, anything that will complement the entire area," said Collin Miyamoto, of Avalon Development Company.

It's located next to the Filipino Community Center and flagship YMCA facility.

"What we would like and want to provide is to bring it back to the old plantation days," said Miyamoto.

A time when waipahu was a more vibrant community.

The Plaza at Milltown will open by the end of the year. And the Festival Marketplace, on Depot Road, will be ready in September.