In the heart of Honolulu, a vacant Walgreens building sits as an eyesore

Updated: Jan. 23, 2021 at 10:43 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since the Walgreens on Kapiolani Boulevard shut down, those who live and work in the area say it’s been overrun by homeless campers.

Graffiti now stains the exterior as the multi-million dollar building sits vacant.

“I have been dealing with all the restaurant complaints, homeless is entering to the businesses scaring everybody,” said Parking Attendant Supervisor, Berlynn Waiau. “I actually got myself threatened by a homeless last week by a knife.”

When it opened in 2015, it was a modern beauty across from Ala Moana. Now, six years later, it’s an empty shell of what used to be a bustling business.

Wrylo Agno, owner of Pandora Café Karaoke/Bar & Grill said the property’s condition is affecting his business, which is located right behind the building on Makaloa Street.

“I’m very, very upset, I lose sleep at night [and] I’m edgy during the day,” said Agno. “I constantly check my cameras making sure they’re not [putting] graffiti over my door or throwing a block to break past my glass.”

The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) said they have not received complaints about the condition of the property.

“We wrote to the chief of police, we wrote to the mayor, pretty much everybody that we can write to and there’s no changes,” said Agno.

DPP stated that if squatters are on the private property, it’s up to the owner to file a complaint with HPD.

In 2017, a Korean investment firm bought the property for more than $42 million.

“I’m hoping that all these people that’s on the streets now, will be able to seek help [and] get the help they need,” said Waiau.

“It would be nice to see a little bit of enforcement around keeping the sidewalk cleared and clutter free,” said Rebecca of Honolulu.

DPP said based on Hawaii News Now’s inquiry they will send an inspector to determine if there are any building or zoning violations.

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