KA'AHUMANU CENTER
West Ka'ahumanu Avenue and South Kane Street
Maui County (Kahului), Hawaii

The fourth major shopping mall built in Hawaii was located on the northern shores of the island of Maui. KA'AHUMANU ["kah-ah-hoo-mah-noo"] CENTER occupied 33.7 acres of a 58.3 acre parcel located .7 miles northwest of center city Kahului. The site was shared by the open-air shopping center and 25.1 acre Maui Land Pineapple Company's Kahului Cannery.

Construction of the single-level shopping hub got underway in March 1972. Developed by Honolulu's Dillingham Land Company, KA'AHUMANU CENTER encompassed approximately 343,000 leasable square feet. It included the first "neighbor island" store of the Honululu-based Liberty House chain. The dedication of this 1-level (82,900 square foot) store was held October 21, 1972. A 1-level (50,000 square foot) Sears opened its doors December 14 of the same year.

KA'AHUMANU CENTER was officially dedicated, with thirty-three stores, in September 1973. Twelve more tenants opened their doors in November of the same year. The original tenant list included a Ben Franklin variety store and Japan-based Shirokiya.

The shopping hub was the first regional-class shopping venue on the "Valley Isle". It joined the community-class MAUI MALL {.7 mile northeast} which had opened in 1971.

The Maui Land Pineapple Company, which owned the land leased for KA'AHUMANU CENTER, acquired the mall structure in 1986. In 1993, they embarked on a 72 million dollar renovation of the property.

Half of the Kahului Cannery North Building was demolished and replaced by a 2-level (202,200 square foot) South Wing. This was anchored by a 2-level (81,400 square foot) J.C. Penney. Moreover, the center section of the existing complex had a second level added, which featured the 8-bay Queen's Market Food Court.

A Teflon tent-type roof was installed over the mall's common area, which partially enclosed the structure. A multilevel parking garage was built, connecting to the west side of the new Penney's, and the existing Sears was expanded (to 77,500 square feet).

The renovation project was completed in the summer of 1994. The mall, now officially known as QUEEN KA'AHUMANU CENTER, encompassed 572,800 leasable square feet, with over one hundred stores and services. It assumed the position of third-largest shopping mall in Hawaii.

A 6-screen multiplex, the Consolidates Theatres Kaahumanu Theatres, was installed in the upper floor of the new South Wing. Its grand opening date is not available via the internet, but it is possible that it opened during the dedication of the South Wing, in 1994.

A small, but upscale, commercial competitor arrived on the scene in the year 2000. THE SHOPS AT WAILEA {13.5 miles south, in Maui County (Kihei)}, was a collection of boutiques, bistros and art galleries, situated at the center of the world-class Wailea Resort. 

Anchor alterations at QUEEN KA'AHUMANU CENTER got underway November 22, 2001, when Liberty House was converted to the Macy's masthead. Penney's pulled out of the mall January 10, 2003. A Macy's Home Store opened in the space in the fall of 2003.

In September of the same year, ownership of QUEEN KA'AHUMANU CENTER changed . A joint venture of San Francisco-based Seligman Western and Coastwood Capital Partners, and Santa-Barbara-based Somera Investment Partners, acquired the complex. They performed a 5 million dollar face lift in 2005.

The Grand Staircase, in Center Court, was removed and replaced with the Queen's Stage, a venue for live entertainment. New escalators were installed in the mall, along with updated lighting, restrooms and a nautical-theme children's play area.

The Seligman Western Company bought out the partners in their joint venture and established 100 percent ownership of the retail hub in January 2007. At present, the shopping hub is managed by El Segundo, California's Pacific Retail Capital Partners.

Sources:

www.queenkaahumanucenter.com
www.mauiland.com
Maui County, Hawaii property tax assessor website
http://pacificretail.com (Pacific Retail Capital Partners)
www.seligman.com
www.vcc.usa.com (VCC General Contractor Construction)