Home Depot store okayed by planners

Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. is coming to Kaua’i.

At its regular meeting at the Lihu’e Civic Center Tuesday, the Kaua’i County Planning Commission approved Home Depot’s request to construct a commercial retail center/warehouse and garden store on ten acres by the Kukui Grove Shopping Center.

The project, which is scheduled to open next October, is anticipated to provide residents access to a wider array of building and home supplies than is currently available.

The commission approved a Class IV Zoning Permit, giving the green light to Home Depot.

Home Depot proposes to construct a single-story building consisting of 119,200 square feet. Of that, 95,200 square feet is to be used as a “retail home improvement warehouse.” Connected to the main building will be a garden center of about 24,000 square feet.

The store plans to open seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to midnight daily, although the hours may change depending on customer demands.

Seventy full-time and 75 part-time workers are planned to be hired. Bill McHale, store manager of two Home Depot stores on O’ahu, is expected to have some administrative responsibility for the new store. Home Depot also operates a store on Maui and the Big Island.

The Kaua’i store will give a boost to the island’s economy, projected to produce $20 million in revenues in its first year and generate $104 in real property tax revenues for the county and $832,000 in state excise tax revenues.

Grove Farm plans to sell the land to Home Depot once the project receives final subdivision approval by the commission and approval by the state Land Court, according to Kaua’i attorneys Michael Belles Jr. and Max Graham, who represented Home Depot.

The proposal drew near-unanimous support during a commission-sponsored public hearing last month from businesses and construction industry representatives.

Opposition came from a handful of critics who contended approval of the project could hurt some small businesses and that the project should not move ahead because the land on which it would be built doesn’t necessary belong to Grove Farm.

During a previous meeting, David Pratt , president of Grove Farm Land Corp., said no question exists over the ownership of the land because the property is “Land Courts lands.”

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and mailto:lchang@pulitzer.net

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