Saks Fifth Avenue store coming to Waikiki

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The International Marketplace has been a shopping stop for five decades and to some it’s seen better days.

“I think it could use a little revamping,” shopper said.

To others it’s an iconic part of Waikiki.

“I think the way it is now is funky it makes Waikiki, Waikiki,” another shopper said.

The shopping center is one-step closer to getting a whole new look.

Queen Emma land company owns the four-and-a-half acre marketplace and announced Friday it has secured Saks Fifth Avenue as the anchor store for its redevelopment project.

“Hundreds of people working here a day, doing this for years, all a little worried,” Hawaiian Accessories Inc. Vendor, Zach Cox said.

Mom and Pop stores and kiosk vendors have known about the plan to revitalize the shopping center for several years. But with Saks now signing on board, they’re worried their time may be up sooner than later.

“Shows they (Saks) have a belief that Honolulu is the place to be and it’s a growing market,” Real Estate analyst, Stephany Sofos said.

The nearby Waikiki business plaza will be home to H&M next year and new stores like Forever 21 and Victoria’s secret have also recently set up shop up on the strip.

“Every time you blink you miss another piece of Waikiki but it’s coming you can’t stop it just enjoy it while its here,” Hawaiian fine jewelry vendor, Melinda Burger said.

The redesigned and rebuilt four-and-a-half acre marketplace would keep all of the major trees and retain elements of an outdoor bazaar.

“Some people won’t like it a lot of people will,” Sofos said.

But the land owner says it’s not a done deal just yet… more needs to be worked out determine if the project will move forward.

If all parties agree the project is a go they could break-ground as soon as the end of this year or early 2014.

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