Kahala businesses wait for future plans

Big changes are coming to East Oahu.

Kamehameha Schools has two redevelopment projects in the works near Kahala Mall.

The first one is located on Kilauea Avenue and would provide an “enlivened shopping experience” for the community.

The second one is a redevelopment retail project, and sits on a 3-acre site on Waialae Avenue.

Plans have yet to be finalized for both projects, but work is expected to begin in 2016.

One business already affected is the Kahala Shell Station. Its auto repair shop closed earlier this week after 34 years in business.

The owner says future plans for the property do not include a service station, so it was better to close now rather than later.

“Because of future plans for the site, overhead costs that are diminishing the profitability, it’s the right time for me to make the business decision. We can’t make any capital improvements because the lease time left on the property is not sufficient to recoup any investments we might want to do,” said Madeline Snow, owner of the Kahala Shell Station.

The Honolulu Burger Co. is located just down the road. They were notified about redevelopment plans in April of last year.

“Well, for us it was an unfortunate situation because we signed a lease about six months prior to that. And so what I thought we could do here, really put a hamper on it once the development discussion started,” said Ken Takahashi, co-owner of the Honolulu Burger Co.

Takahashi says now, they’ll just have to wait and see.

Other businesses in the area we spoke to say they don’t know much about the redevelopment plans, but are bracing for changes to come.

“I think whatever’s going to happen, for us, we have to move on, the next step,” said Mike Nguyen, owner of Kahala Nails.

Nguyen isn’t worried and says he would move locations if needed.

“We’ve been here for 17 years already and I think that we have enough clientele. We would be prepared for it,” Nguyen said.

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