Home Depot store just a few permits away

Establishment of a Home Depot hardware, garden and home improvement store in Lihu’e is expected to generate $20 million a year in sales and employ 150 people, and is just a few permits away from moving ahead with construction.

The next steps in the negotiations by Home Depot include a consolidation and re-subdivision of six Grove Farm commercial lots in Kukui Grove Village West into one 9.75-acre lot that includes most of what is now the Puakea Golf Course driving range, and acquisition of a Class IV Zoning Permit from the Kaua’i Planning Department.

Landowner Grove Farm Land Corp. is consolidating and re-subdividing six lots into the single lot it plans to sell to Home Depot. That process requires only subdivision approval from the county, said Mike Furukawa, Grove Farm vice-president.

Home Depot has applied for the zoning permit needed for commercial development on an area one acre or larger. A public hearing on the application is on the Kaua’i Planning Commission agenda for its Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 1:30 p.m. meeting at the Lihu’e Civic Center.

Home Depot plans to build a store 95,200 square feet in size, with an adjacent garden center of 24,000 square feet, all to be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The store’s plan shows 468 parking spaces would be available. The store would be located along ‘Ulu Maika Street off Kalepa Street, across Kalepa Street from Kukui Grove Center. Sections of Nuhou Street now under-construction would run behind the store.

Though no purchase price for the property has been disclosed, Home Depot representatives said the sale of the lot and construction costs are estimated to generate $12.6 million.

Wages for store employees are expected to range from $8 to $20.40 an hour, averaging around $13 per hour. At that rate, the Lihu’e store will pay around $2.5 million a year in wages. Of the 150 employees, half will be full-time. Up to 75 employees could be working at any given time.

Payments by Home Depot to local vendors for products and services including lumber treatment, concrete products, plants, garden supplies and other items are expected to contribute another $12 million a year to the Kaua’i economy.

Home Depot representatives estimate the store will generate over $104,000 in real property taxes annually, and around $832,000 a year in state gross excise taxes.

Most of the land surrounding the new store site is vacant and owned by Grove Farm.

Home Depot sells hardware and building supplies, home improvement materials and goods, plants and garden materials, tools and related items, and other items related to household uses.

The company has requested support from the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce for its zoning-permit application.

Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. is a Delaware corporation with home offices in Atlanta, a west regional office in Orange, Calif., and Hawai’i office in Honolulu.

It operates over 1,435 stores throughout the United States, including two on O’ahu (Honolulu and Pearl City), one in Kahului, Maui, and one under construction and set to open in November in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

Grove Farm plans to move its Puakea driving range to a land parcel near the intersection of Nawiliwili Road and Pikake Street, across Pikake Street from Borders, Furukawa said. The grassy parcel is planned to be the site of three additional golf holes and temporary quarters for a golf pro shop.

Along Nawiliwili Road closer to the harbor, construction of a new golf maintenance facility has commenced. The area near the Ulu Ko subdivision playground, where a dust fence has been erected, is where construction is happening for the golf maintenance facility, Furukawa said.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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