Discovery of iwi stalls construction of Kailua Target

Two set of remains were found last year and since then, construction has stopped. A spokesman says the Kailua Target store could open next year.

The property that was once occupied by the Don Quijote store remains fenced in and covered with black tarp. No work has been done since bones were found last summer. Construction began in July 2011 and some Windward Oahu residents have been wondering when the store will open its doors.

“It’s a lot nicer than looking at the eyesore that’s there right now. So yeah I welcome that,” says Sandee Phillips, Waimanalo resident.

There had been some opposition when the project was proposed, occupying 130,000 square feet.

“There’s a traffic concern obviously you bring more traffic in this area and this already sometimes gets a little inconvenient,” says Robert Mueller, Waimanalo resident.

That wasn’t enough to stop it. Instead iwi discovered during trenching work now has Target working with Native Hawaiians to work out a burial plan. That burial plan will have to be approved by the State Historic Preservation Division and by the Oahu Island Burial Council before construction can resume.

“We’re hopeful to open the store in October 2014 but again we’re going to be extremely sensitive to the iwi that is in place and make sure that is treated appropriately,” says Brian Treber, Target corporation.

Treber says the company and the group of descendants have agreed on a plan which was supposed to be presented to the burial council today but the hearing was delayed. He says there’s been no problems coming to an agreement.

“None whatsoever. It has gone extremely well and we found them to be very wise descendant group with very good recommendations,” says Treber.

Treber says there’s also no more digging planned for the project. So now it’s a just a matter of getting approval from the state agencies.

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